What's next for new Dell AP head?

Stephen Felice, who is now vice president of Dell Asia-Pacific and Japan, had shared joint responsibility with William Amelio in the past six months.
Written by Jeanne Lim, Contributor

SINGAPORE--With William Amelio exiting from Dell to join Lenovo as its head honcho, all eyes are now cast on Stephen Felice, who is now in charge of Dell's operations in the Asia-Pacific region.

According to a Dell spokeperson, Felice had been "sharing responsibilities" with Amelio over the past six months, and he will now fully take over Amelio's duties as vice president of Dell Asia Pacific and Japan.

Compared to Amelio, who was often profiled during his tenure at Dell, Felice has remained largely out of the limelight.

Felice now leads Dell's operations in the Asia-Pacific region, including manufacturing and customer service centers in Penang, Malaysia, and Xiamen, China. Prior to his current role, Felice was vice president of Dell Americas' corporate business group. Felice joined Dell in 1999 from technology support services company DecisionOne Corp., where he served as CEO and president.

According to one industry observer, Amelio, who spent 18 years at Big Blue before joining Dell, brings valuable experience to the Chinese PC giant. Amelio has taken over the reins from Stephen Ward, the IBM PC executive who became the CEO of Lenovo last year.

Reuben Tan, research manager of IDC Asia-Pacific's personal systems division, told ZDNet Asia that Lenovo stands to gain not only from Amelio's IBM experience, but it could also profit from his "profit-driven, bottomline-driven" mentality. "Lenovo is in the growth expansion phase--it makes sense to bring in someone like Bill," he said.

Commenting on the man who's now in Dell's hot seat, Tan said Felice's best move for now would be to keep things status quo. Although Amelio's exit is "a loss to Dell, and a gain to Lenovo", Tan added, it does not mean that Dell has to "make any drastic changes".

In fact, Dell should continue to reassure its customers and partners that "nothing really changes" with Amelio's departure, said Tan. He added that "although growth [for Dell] shouldn't be conservative, they should minimize employee churn and keep things understated".

"[Dell] should minimize any disruptions internally, do business as usual, and drive profitability with or without Bill (Amelio)," he said.

For growth, Dell could continue to push on other areas such as printers, displays and storage, he noted.

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