Dell chief technology officer Kevin Kettler is leaving the company in January.
Dell, now the world's number three PC firm by shipments, says Kettler's departure has nothing to do with the 9,000 job cuts the firm has initiated.
Dell was overtaken by Hewlett-Packard as the number one PC provider around a year ago, but according to analyst Gartner, Acer overtook both to become number one in the third quarter, thanks to its popular notebook range.
Dell says it is now looking for a new CTO. Kettler is reported to have a part-ownership in a wine bar located in Austin, Texas, where Dell is headquartered.
With Dell struggling to maintain margins in a worsening recession, there may be a greater margin to be had on a glass of wine.
Casey Jones, a vice-president of marketing at Dell, also left the company earlier this month. He is being retained as a "consultant".