Before becoming CEO of PC maker Lenovo in December, William Amelio was senior vice-president at Dell. Amelio had been head of Asia-Pacific of the Texas computer maker for four years but last year Dell made him share the Asia portfolio with another exec, Steve Felice. So it was no wonder Amelio grabbed the opportunity to be CEO of Lenovo, the ambitious Chinese company whose acquistion of IBM's PC division last year leapfrogged it into the top tier of global PC makers.
Now Lenovo has announced a new line of low-cost PCs designed to make inroads into the U.S. market, where Dell dominates. A few days later Kevin Rollins, Dell's CEO, made the fight personal, reminding us that Dell wasn't distraught to see Amelio leave in the first place. "If there is someone who just wants desperately to have a CEO title, they’re not going to get it at Dell,” Rollins said at a Goldman Sachs conference. "They’ll have to get it somewhere else." Ouch. If the latest round is any indication, the battle between Amelio and his old bosses is going to be nasty.