High-level change at Dell as former Apple exec Medica set to retire

“The last of the high-level executives Michael Dell hired in the early 1990s to lead his rapidly expanding company through its toughest growing pains will retire early next year,” Dan Zehr reports for the Austim American-Statesman.

Zehr reports, “John Medica, Dell Inc.’s senior vice president of product design, plans to leave the company by the end of April, spokesman Bob Pearson said. Medica led a range of operations during his 14 years at the company, but his biggest impact stemmed from the product-design experience he brought from a decade at Apple Computer Inc.”

MacDailyNews Take: He must have designed scales for Apple’s bathrooms. Close an ugly-ass, thick Dell laptop and you’ll have the urge to step on it to weigh yourself. Our apologies to bathroom scale designers everywhere for equating your work with Dell’s (total lack of) design acumen. John Medica, whose real title is “Senior Vice President, Product Group,” (bio) is as much a product designer as we are Windows evangelists. We’re sure Mr. Medica has many fine attributes, but product design isn’t one of them; at least not from what we’ve seen out of Dell.

Zehr continues, “Much like his entrance, Medica’s departure comes amid a rough stretch at Dell. Sales growth has slowed over the past two years and rivals have brought reinvigorated competition, so the company has looked to refresh its operations — and its executive ranks.”

Full article here.


  1. At my job, they just installed two new Dell Optiplex units to control security systems at our warehouse. These things seem to be Dell’s take on the Mac mini, but they’re much bigger, louder and have a power brick that’s closer to the size of the actual Mac Mini than the mini’s brick.

    That said, Dell had some of the better-designed peecees for a while. I had an Optiplex tower 5-6 years ago that opened by swinging the side panel out. It wasn’t as well-executed as the Apple towers of the time, but it was miles ahead of the rest of the beige boxes.

  2. That picture looks like my Dell Inspiron 9100. They are large because they are considered desktop replacements – not laptops. And the power bricks really are as big as a brick. It’s not too bad for a Windows machine if you reformat and remove the Dell garbage and other crap that they load in. Of course I never use the thing, and I’m typing this on my beloved iBook.

  3. Granted, the early 90’s wasn’t a bright spot for Apple design. But, we don’t know what drove Medica out. Perhaps he couldn’t get traction of the manufacturing vision he implemented for Dell. Sure, make fun of Dell’s design, but take a look at Dell’s stock price during that stretch and amount of market share it claimed for itself. Design doesn’t have to be pretty, if the goal is to produce mass quantities quickly, inexpensively, and most of all – profitably.

    Sure, Apple’s design is more sexy, but it did take a while for them to marry the beauty with the low cost and high margins.

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