Memo From Michael Dell: Will Employee Email Rally Troops?

Michael Dell, in an email to employees, thanked Dell's workers for staying focused amid a pending shareholder vote and ownership battle with activist investor Carl Icahn.

The VAR Guy

August 9, 2013

3 Min Read
In a company wide email Michael Dell thanked employees for their focus amid the current buyout battle
In a company wide email, Michael Dell thanked employees for their focus amid the current buyout battle.

Michael Dell, in a company wide email, summarized his fight to take the struggling PC giant private with Silver Lake Partners. The message, released in an SEC filing, also assures employees that Dell remains committed to partners and growing market opportunities like tablets. The email comes after Dell made some targeted cuts in its software group, killing such platforms as PacketTrap PSA and RMM for MSPs.

Read between the lines and Dell is calling on employees to remain focused leading up to a Sept. 12 stockholder vote, which will likely decide the company’s ultimate ownership. Advocate investor Carl Icahn, meanwhile, continues to push his own takeover plan for Dell.

Here is Dell’s email in its entirety:

August, 2013


Six months ago, we announced an agreement in which Silver Lake would partner with me to acquire Dell and take it private. The proposed transaction has generated unprecedented attention from media, investors and other stakeholders. Along the way, there’s been no shortage of twists and turns, including three stockholder meeting adjournments and an agreement on a revised transaction that will be put to a stockholder vote on Sept. 12.

I believe that the offer delivers full and fair value for stockholders and is best for the future of our company. Importantly, the revised transaction also enables us to enact the will of the majority of voting stockholders. Brian and Larry have done a great job keeping all of you informed throughout this process, and you should expect continued communications from them as we move forward.

I am passionately committed to seeing this transaction through to a positive resolution. We are making the right decisions to position Dell, our customers and team members for long-term success. Dell needs to transform, and we need to do it quickly. The technology landscape has fundamentally changed since the company was founded, and success requires this transformation.

As a private company in partnership with Silver Lake, I believe we can accelerate Dell’s transformation, sacrificing short-term gains for long-term competitiveness and profitability. Silver Lake and I share a long-term vision and have the financial strength to endure the risks of the transformation and the likely near-term adverse effects on earnings.

Delivering customer and partner value through industry-leading solutions will be our single-minded purpose. We’ll retain the flexibility to invest in groundbreaking innovation both through organic R&D and acquisitions. Investments will focus on extending our solutions capabilities, expanding sales coverage, competing in emerging markets, growing the PC and tablet business, and enhancing the customer experience.

I’m proud of our organization and each of you for your continuing effort, commitment and determination. I know this hasn’t been an easy time. The competition has been aggressive during this period of uncertainty, and a slower than anticipated marketplace has created additional op-ex pressure on the business. Thank you for doing an incredible job. Now, I’m asking you to remain focused on executing against our business goals and continuing to deliver a superior customer experience.

For my part, I founded Dell in 1984 and will continue, as I have for the last 29 years, to make Dell the best company I can for our customers, partners and for you.


Here Come Earnings

Meanwhile, it looks like Dell is trying to cut some expenses ahead of an Aug. 20 earnings announcement. The company earlier this week confirmed to MSPmentor that it is shutting down such products as PacketTrap MSP, PacketTrap PSA and FogLight NMS.

Some skeptics now compare Dell’s current challenges to those of Wang, which collapsed when its minicomputer business didn’t adapt to the client-server rage on the 1990s. Fast forward to the present, and USA Today suggests cloud and mobile waves are crushing Dell.

Where does Dell go next? We may finally get an answer on Sept. 12 — assuming the shareholder vote finally occurs.


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