Ted Waitt, founder and chairman of Gateway, Inc., (NYSE: GTW) announced yesterday that he will step down from the board following the company’s annual meeting of shareholders. Waitt said he was retiring from the board in order to focus on a number of business and philanthropic interests.
Ted Waitt built Gateway from the ground up just like Scott Cook, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison and others who have built companies from the ground up and are still involved in them.
“This year marks my 20th year as Gateway’s chairman. It’s been a great ride. We’ve built one of the best brands instantly recognizable around the world. But now my interests are vast and varied and I’d like to be able to take on some new challenges in the next twenty years,” Waitt said. “It’s taken a lot of work, but Gateway’s back on track. I am a loyal fan of the company, but it’s time for the company to grow without me, and time for me to grow without the company.”
In detailing his reasons for retiring, Waitt spoke briefly on his other
* Continued management of his private investment company, Avalon Capital
Group, which has become a billion dollar plus fund that is growing and
requiring more active involvement in a wide range of investments from
health care to technology to real estate.
* Waitt also owns a large and rapidly growing construction finance
company in the Midwest that is requiring a significant time
* Continued deep involvement as chairman of The Waitt Family Foundation,
as well as his recent appointment as a trustee of the Salk Institute.
* Three recently launched new non-profit institutes that he chairs —
the Waitt Institute for Historical Discovery, the Waitt Institute for
Violence Prevention, and the Waitt Institute for Scientific
* A new commitment through The Waitt Institute for Historical Discovery,
which has just launched a major worldwide project with National
Geographic, called the Genographic Project, involving a DNA study of
human origins and migration.
* An agreement to chair for a third year the “Founding Fathers” campaign
for the Family Violence Prevention Fund to help prevent domestic
violence against women.
* A planned major initiative with the Waitt Institute for Scientific
“I want to further the interests of a number of businesses I own and a number of non-profit institutions I’ve either established, or am in the process of setting up,” Waitt said. “I think that with the amount of time required, and my interests in the work of the institutes growing, it’s only fair to the shareholders and the company to put in place someone who can give the shareholders the Board leadership they deserve.”
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