Gateway, Inc. announced late yesterday that Jeff Weitzen has been named chief executive officer, a position previously held by company founder Ted Waitt, who will continue as chairman of the board. Weitzen will retain the title of president, which he has held for the past two years, continuing to run Gateway's worldwide operations. Waitt will continue to be actively involved in the strategic direction of the company. The transition is effective January 1, 2000.
"Jeff's appointment to CEO is both a formalization of the roles we've essentially been playing for the last year and a recognition of the outstanding job he's done preparing Gateway for the next century," Waitt said. Before joining Gateway in January 1998, Weitzen spent 18 years at AT&T, most recently as executive vice president of the Business Markets Division. He led the company's efforts in creating and delivering voice, data, on-line and emerging electronic commerce services to businesses, the government, resellers and other long-distance carriers.
During his time as president and COO of Gateway, Weitzen oversaw sharp growth in the Gateway Country Store retail chain and training businesses. One of his current efforts, the company said, is to rapidly grow business-to-business sales to complement Gateway's position in the consumer PC arena.
Waitt co-founded Gateway (then called Gateway 2000) in 1985 in a farmhouse near Sioux City, Iowa, and personally sold, built and shipped its PCs. First-year sales reached $100,000. Sales in 1998 hit $7.5 billion. Waitt is worth $6.2 billion and ranks 26 on Forbes Magazine's list of the 400 wealthiest Americans.
"Ted Waitt is one of the industry's true visionaries," Weitzen said. "Personally, I'm proud and honored to lead an organization that is one of the industry's success stories. I also firmly believe that our best years lie ahead."
The announcement came after stock markets closed.
Gateway's NYSE listing.
For previous TWICE Online coverage of Gateway see.
Gateway All-In-One Astro Ships, 19-Oct-1999
Compaq (Barely) Hangs On To Top Share Slot, 09-Aug-1999
Business Sales New Priority In Gateway Country, 25-May-1999
Gateway Opens Country Store In New York City, 21-May-1999