I know what you did last summer



Dell may well look back on August 2006 with a wry eye. But then again, maybe not.


The firm’s month of bad luck has featured battery recalls and worse than expected results. But most worryingly, the problems at the company were punctuated during by a large number of executives jumping ship to rival Lenovo.


The exodus, which now stands at half-a-dozen, began in December last year with the company’s CEO William Amelio enticed to the Chinese PC giant.


Most have been from Dell’s Asia unit, simultaneously strengthening Lenovo’s home turf and undermining Dell’s position in the region.


Recent indications have pointed to a potential price war between the two. Chairman Yang Yuanqing was reported as saying the company is "not afraid of pricing competition". Which is a good thing because Dell has been lowering its prices in preparation for such a battle.


Dell’s last Q2 revealed net income was down by 51 percent with Hewlett-Packard putting the boot in by announcing its own profit had gone the other way, up 51 per cent on last year.


Whether owner Michael Dell and his chief executive and president Kevin Rollins can pull themselves out of the troublesome period remains to be seen. But with more of the same expected in the upcoming quarter it will be a while at least before the pair can look back on this summer without anything but a wince.