Dell bids adieu to the era of big acquisitions, concentrates on paying down debt and Michael's new book

Partnerships are our future, says tycoon


Dell CEO Michael Dell once loved big-ticket acquisitions, but not anymore.

Dell ruled out major takeovers in the future, and will instead focus on partnerships for product offerings, he said during an analyst presentation livestream on Thursday.

The biz that bears his name went on a string of acquisitions through the last decade as it expanded into software, server, PC and storage offerings. The most notable was the $67bn merger in 2016 with EMC, which included VMWare, to create the world's largest private company at the time.

Dell in April this year announced plans to spin off VMware to create two separate companies. While the EMC acquisition paid off, others like Perot Systems and Boomi backfired and were sold. Like Alphabet, Dell was more a parent company with a consortium of companies operating independently.

"I wouldn't hold your breath for any large transactions like that. Our M&A is going to be targeted," Dell said. "We went through a big transformation and had a complicated capital structure and didn't have steps that simplified that."

Dell is better off partnering with, than owning, companies to co-create products and services, he opined.

"That a blueprint for what we can do in the future," Dell said.

Dell is also paying off debt that has burdened the company after the merger with EMC. The IT giant expects its debt load to be $29bn by the end of this financial year, down from $33.4bn in the previous year.

The company also has an investment arm focused on smaller and strategic investments. Dell Technologies Capital poured an undisclosed amount in server chip maker Nuvia, which was purchased by Qualcomm earlier this year for $1.4bn.

Responding to a question during the livestream on how his past acquisition spree would reflect on his legacy, Michael Dell somehow managed to expertly plug his book being released next month: Play Nice But Win: A CEO's Journey from Founder to Leader.

"The most important and exciting chapter isn't in the book: it's the next chapter, the one we're writing now," Dell said. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Venezuelan cardiologist charged with designing and selling ransomware
    If his surgery was as bad as his opsec, this chap has caused a lot of trouble

    The US Attorney’s Office has charged a 55-year-old cardiologist with creating and selling ransomware and profiting from revenue-share agreements with criminals who deployed his product.

    A complaint [PDF] filed on May 16th in the US District Court, Eastern District of New York, alleges that Moises Luis Zagala Gonzalez – aka “Nosophoros,” “Aesculapius” and “Nebuchadnezzar” – created a ransomware builder known as “Thanos”, and ransomware named “Jigsaw v. 2”.

    The self-taught coder and qualified cardiologist advertised the ransomware in dark corners of the web, then licensed it ransomware to crooks for either $500 or $800 a month. He also ran an affiliate network that offered the chance to run Thanos to build custom ransomware, in return for a share of profits.

    Continue reading
  • China reveals its top five sources of online fraud
    'Brushing' tops the list, as quantity of forbidden content continue to rise

    China’s Ministry of Public Security has revealed the five most prevalent types of fraud perpetrated online or by phone.

    The e-commerce scam known as “brushing” topped the list and accounted for around a third of all internet fraud activity in China. Brushing sees victims lured into making payment for goods that may not be delivered, or are only delivered after buyers are asked to perform several other online tasks that may include downloading dodgy apps and/or establishing e-commerce profiles. Victims can find themselves being asked to pay more than the original price for goods, or denied promised rebates.

    Brushing has also seen e-commerce providers send victims small items they never ordered, using profiles victims did not create or control. Dodgy vendors use that tactic to then write themselves glowing product reviews that increase their visibility on marketplace platforms.

    Continue reading
  • Oracle really does owe HPE $3b after Supreme Court snub
    Appeal petition as doomed as the Itanic chips at the heart of decade-long drama

    The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear Oracle's appeal to overturn a ruling ordering the IT giant to pay $3 billion in damages for violating a decades-old contract agreement.

    In June 2011, back when HPE had not yet split from HP, the biz sued Oracle for refusing to add Itanium support to its database software. HP alleged Big Red had violated a contract agreement by not doing so, though Oracle claimed it explicitly refused requests to support Intel's Itanium processors at the time.

    A lengthy legal battle ensued. Oracle was ordered to cough up $3 billion in damages in a jury trial, and appealed the decision all the way to the highest judges in America. Now, the Supreme Court has declined its petition.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022