Dell Thursday announced that Michael Cannon, the president and CEO of electronics maker Solectron, will head a newly formed group that will oversee much of the company\u2019s operations, including manufacturing, procurement and suppliers.Cannon\u2019s appointment is the latest sign of a management shake-up under way at Dell, and underscores the seriousness of the challenges facing the company.Paul Tufano succeeds Cannon and will serve as interim CEO while the company searches for a permanent replacement.Once the PC industry\u2019s superstar, Dell has struggled in recent quarters. The company lost its title of world\u2019s largest PC vendor to a resurgent Hewlett-Packard. The company also faces scrutiny from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission into its accounting practices, which forced the company to delay filing its financial results for the second and third quarters of 2006.In addition, Dell last year recalled millions of defective laptop batteries after they were determined to pose a potential fire risk to customers.In a bid to turn things around, Dell CEO Kevin Rollins was replaced last month by Michael Dell, the company\u2019s chairman. Dell\u2019s return was accompanied by warnings that the company\u2019s financial results for the fourth quarter, to be announced March 1, will fall below analyst expectations.Cannon, who was president and CEO of hard-disk maker Maxtor\u2014now part of Seagate Technology\u2014before joining Solectron, will be responsible for improving Dell\u2019s manufacturing operations after he starts work on Feb. 26. His responsibilities include opening factories that are closer to customers and improving the company\u2019s supply chain, Dell said, noting that plans are under way to add new factories in India, Poland and Brazil.The ultimate goal, according to Dell, is to improve product quality while shortening manufacturing times and reducing costs.-Sumner Lemon, IDG News Service (Singapore Bureau)Related Links:\n\nDell Cost Cuts Described in Leaked Memo\n\nDell Investors File Suit Over Accounting Practices\n\nMichael Dell Back in Charge as Rollins Departs DellCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.