Dell Names New CFO, Broadens Dell Ventures' Scope

SAN FRANCISCO (03/29/2000) - Dell Computer Corp. today named James Schneider as the direct PC vendor's new chief financial officer. The previous CFO has become a managing director of Dell Ventures, a wholly-owned Dell group responsible for the company's strategic investments, which is now widening its range of activities.

Previously employed as Dell's senior vice president of finance, Schneider takes over the CFO role from Thomas Meredith who had held the position for over seven years, according to a Dell release issued today.

Schneider joined Dell in 1996 from MCI Communications Corp. where he was senior vice president of finance. During his time at Dell, Schneider was also the company's interim chief information officer for a number of months before that position was filled with the appointment of Randy Mott last month who came to Dell from Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

In his new role as a managing director at Dell Ventures, Meredith joins Alex Smith, also a managing director, with both men reporting to Dell's Office of the Chief Executive Officer.

Dell also announced today that Dell Ventures is to add equity investments and incubation services for privately-owned startup companies to its list of activities. The incubation services will include helping startups develop their business strategy as well as giving them access to professional services, the company said.

But Dell's motives aren't purely altruistic. "We are particularly interested in early-stage companies with products and services which have the potential to create breakthroughs in the evolving Internet age, with an aim to integrate those products and services into Dell's business and drive our future growth," Michael Dell, Dell's chairman and CEO, said in today's company statement.

Dell set up Dell Ventures in April last year. To date, the investment group has invested more than US$700 million in over 90 companies including Linux distribution specialist Red Hat Inc., storage firm StorageNetworks Inc. and Chinese-language portal Sina.com. Dell has concentrated its investments in companies whose product offerings facilitate the necessary Internet infrastructure to enable B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) electronic commerce.

Dell's Meredith reportedly told Wall Street analysts today that the company's unrealized gains from its venture investments currently exceed $2 billion, according to a report on today's Dow Jones newswire. Dell has investments in 11 companies who are soon to go public, with such investment contributing around 1 cent per share to the PC maker's quarterly results, Meredith said, according to the Dow Jones report.

Last month, Dell reported slightly better than expected fourth-quarter results for the period ended Jan. 28, 2000, following the company's January profit warning. [See "Dell Sneaks Ahead of Lowered Q4 Expectations," Feb. 10.]Dell, based in Round Rock, Texas, can be reached at +1-512-338-4400 or via the Internet at http://www.dell.com/. More information about Dell Ventures can be found on the Internet at http://www.dell.com/dellventures.

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