UPDATE: Gateway CEO Inouye Quits

Inouye resigned Wednesday and is leaving the Irvine, Calif.-based PC hardware maker to "pursue other interests," Gateway said in a statement. He took over the CEO post in 2004 when Gateway acquired eMachines, where he was CEO.

Snyder is a former Gateway president and COO. The company said it will search for a permanent replacement while Snyder serves as acting CEO, and Inouye will serve in an advisory role to help with the transition. Gateway said it expects to complete its new CEO search by late summer.

Last week, Inouye reported that Gateway's fourth-quarter operating earnings missed analyst estimates. At the time, he told investors that Gateway was committed to growing its revenue in the professional and commercial segments, despite more pressure on company profit than in its legacy direct sales and retail business segments.

During last week&'s earnings conference call, Inouye gave no indication that a change in the company&'s top executive ranks was in the offing.

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"He's going to opt to do other things in his life," Snyder said Thursday in a conference call with financial analysts. "He's going to have some time to improve his golf game, and go on vacation first." Discussions with Inouye about resigning occurred "over recent days," according to Snyder. Snyder said that while he serves as interim CEO, Gateway doesn't plan to make any major changes to its strategy, but the company would re-evaluate its operations in direct sales and its channel-based professional sales.

"We just approved an annual operating plan at the board level for the company," Snyder said. "There were a lot of constructive, good things in that."

One element of Gateway's strategy is a road map to increase the number of VARs eligible for Gateway financial incentives for meeting sales targets, as well as a move to have a significant number of direct-sales representatives work with solution providers to close more deals with end users.

*EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated to include information from a Gateway conference call on Thursday morning, following the initial CEO resignation announcement.