ROUND ROCK, Texas: Dell Computer, since 1993, a solely direct-sales operation, is aiming a Mr Nice campaign at large US electronics retail chains such as Circuit City and Best Buy. It is also mulling plans for a number of own-brand stores.

The move comes hard on the heels of founder-chairman Michael Dell's ousting of ceo Kevin Rollins, a close friend and protégé - allegedly at the behest of dissatisfied investors.

Dell, who founded the eponymous firm in 1984 and built it into the globe's largest vendor of personal computers - a position from which was toppled by Hewlett-Packard two years ago - has now added the ceo role to that of chairman.

The move is designed to mollify those of his dissident stockholders who prefer Dell's 'Yee-Ha' management style to that of the relatively dour Rollins.

Data sourced from The Times (UK); additional content by WARC staff