back to article Dell disputes 15k layoff figure: Only a few staffers accepted 'voluntary separations'

Dell has denied it is laying off north of 15,000 people, and told The Register today that our sources' numbers are "inaccurate". Here is Dell Round Rock spokesman David Frink’s email to us in full: Your story this morning reporting that Dell is laying off 15,000 employees this week/imminently is wildly inaccurate. I can …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Simpsons Work for dell?

    IS anyone at all perturbed by getting a response about things going along swimmingly from Mr. Frink. Aren't his works best categorized under the Productions of Professor Frink?

  2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Good luck to all my friends at Dell. I hope the finger of death points not at you.

  3. unwarranted triumphalism

    Apple are the real villains here.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge


      Would you care to explain why you made that statement?

      What has Apple got to do with the upheavals inside Dell?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For whom the Dell Tolls ?

  5. Allison Park

    expect it to be significant and ongoing

    Dell has to adopt the Larry Ellison model of culling the bottom 5-10% and hiring to backfill

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: expect it to be significant and ongoing

      Yeah, because management techniques like stack ranking et al have done ****ing wonders for tech companies. Morale matters. Culling is non-optimal: look to mentoring, leadership and training instead.

      1. Mark Cathcart

        Re: expect it to be significant and ongoing

        I'm an Executive in the Software Business at Dell. None of our people was eligible for the Voluntary separation, I'm not aware of a further separation programs.

        Your comment on stack ranking is well understood, especially in R&D, but even in general is terrible in large organizations where inter-dependencies are legion. Jack Welch has a lot to answer for continuing to support and endorse this. I've long argued against it, we have now withdrawn it and not before time.

      2. dan1980

        Re: expect it to be significant and ongoing

        Re 'stack ranking'.

        Surely the goal would be to have 100% of the company working well?

        I just can't see how such a system could result in anything other than a culture where employees only look out for themselves, rather than working constructively for the good of the company. In short, why would you want to turn your company into a giant series of 'Survivor'?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: expect it to be significant and ongoing

      You pretend to know what you are talking about, so, FYI: Dell does NOT use stack ranking any more. Performance Reviews: Yes. Stack Ranking: No.

  6. Frank N. Stein

    Dell denies impending culling. Anyone surprised? Of course, they don't want their staff to know the actual sack numbers. Of course, they'll deny it till it's done. But whether it's 15,000 or 10,000, they're still people, and it's just about guaranteed that a majority of those sacks won't be in upper management. Want to save some real money? Cull management. Save them more money than sacking the bottom half.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      At this point if you work for Dell in any capacity you should have a layoff plan for yourself well formed. Dell is the new Kodak and the train wreck hasn't exactly happened over night.

  7. asdf Silver badge

    curious timing

    And in other news Lenovo continues to make money, expand, buy companies and enter new markets by kicking the shit out of bloated stagnant has been incumbents like Dell. Market forces can be brutal to the inept (lol Streak 7).

  8. Lars Silver badge

    I hope

    They could take a leaf out of Nokia's book if they have to lay off people.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Five sources...and five answers

    Be certain, people ARE leaving, some are voluntary, and some are involuntary. Just looking at Dell people on LinkedIn can confirm THAT. However...there's a huge question mark about how many Dell staffers are leaving and the proportion of voluntary to involuntary severances.

    I too have been talking to sources inside Dell, and across five sources I got five answers, ranging from 3000 to 17000 people -- worldwide. Obviously, at least four of my sources are wrong, and it's possible all five are wrong.

    The fact is that people just don't know -- that information is confidential to the point that I have talked to senior HR people who don't know. No one at Dell knows what's happening outside their building, much less across a company that operates in 140 countries.

    In the absence of information, here's what people do. They see what's happening in their little group, where 3 out of 11 are leaving. They then guesstimate to a company-wide number, while failing to account for the fact that dozens of groups weren't offered voluntary severances, other groups that are making money are actively hiring, and many groups aren't as bloated as theirs.

    Dell is getting focused -- it will look radically different in 12 months time. During that process products, services, solutions, jobs, and people, are going to go away for various reasons.

    I can see several areas for obvious consolidation:

    1. Fiscal year reviews are coming up, and I suspect that if you've had two poor performance reviews in a row, you're out the door --voluntary or not.

    2. Marketing and sales have gone through massive reorganization without many heads being cut, so those groups are ripe for "rightsizing" because there are people sitting around without real roles. I've talked to some of them -- they exist and they are ready to go.

    3. There's portfolio bloat across nearly all lines of business, so if they rationalize the portfolios, people responsible for defunct products no longer need jobs. For example, Dell sells 24 printers not counting the Canon ones they resell. Sheesh!

    4. Many professional services don't make Dell a dime -- so those need to go, and so do the managers and service delivery teams and marketers responsible.

    So which of those categories SHOULDN'T go away? Poor performers, people who don't really have roles anymore, product managers managing unnecessary products, or services people selling services that don't make money?

    I don't want someone to lose a job, and I have many friends there who are feeling exposed. But I can tell you this, Dell is like a heart patient told to lose 4 stone or else -- get skinny or die.

  10. mark 58
    Thumb Down

    "We wish it well in its transformation and hope it emerges a stronger company as a result of it." - suddenly realised that there might be real people whose jobs are on the line reading this article did and suffering because of it did you ? Seems a little disingenuous to me, just saying is all.

  11. TheVoiceofReason

    Hopefully the 15K of dumped staff are all from the EMEA as they are useless

    I find the guys in Dell Inc pretty switched on, market aware, business alert and excellent communicators. Dell EMEA by contrast behave more like the UK's public sector. They are essentially lazy and stupid, and couldn't recognise an opportunity if it ran up to them naked with the words "opportunity" written across its breasts - let alone offer a solution even if you present the solution to them spelt out in large capital letters with a mime artist acting out the solution for them just in case they can't be bothered reading that day.

    Any opportunity, issue requires the involvement on a cast of thousands at Dell, none of whom are actually capable of doing anything. What you actually have is a inverted flock of seagulls / pigeons all scrapping internally over already won business looking only internally at their own career / survival rather than being able to think about the company, its partner channel and ultimately its customers.

    There are positive signs from the USA that Dell is making some good decisions. The issue they have is the thousands of incompetents currently entrusted to transform a box-shifting retirement home for poor business people into a leading software business.

    The 15K clearout might not be enough judging by the current ratio of talent vs incompetents.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hopefully the 15K of dumped staff are all from the EMEA as they are useless

      Sorry to hear this, if you have had any bad experiences, please contact Dell on Facebook of Twitter, and our social media team wil reach out.

      If you just want to moan and whine - keep up the "good" work.

  12. Queasy Rider

    Your story this morning reporting that Dell is laying off 15,000 employees this week/imminently is wildly inaccurate. I can confirm that a very small percentage of Dell’s global team members accepted the company’s recent offer of a significant severance package associated with a voluntary separation program...

    Translation: Since so few accepted the voluntary separation program, 14,999

    will be enrolled in the involuntary separation program.

    Meanwhile, we’re hiring in strategic areas of our business, including hardware and software development, engineering and customer coverage worldwide...

    Translation: But you won't have to take your shoes and socks off to count how many each department actually hires over the next long while.

    It is accurate that we've taken steps to optimize our business, streamline operations and improve its efficiency over the past few years. And, as any prudent business, we'll continue to review our operations in an effort to remain competitive and best serve customers. Thanks...

    Translation: Not only are we laying off massive numbers immediately, but these kind of layoffs will continue for the next few years. So frack you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You, Sir, are full of It.

      You are aware that any large scale lay-off in Europe are under tight restriction and needs to be agreed with the unions, right? (Please tell me you don't post stuff you know nothing about??) Where are the news that Dell are in talks with unions, like the ones we see at IBM and HP?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Severance package?

    I am not sure why an employer in the USA would care about a severance package (from the good of their heart? Yeah right), other than for senior management with special contracts (say you have a 6 year contract and they pay you all your wages in one go and kick you out). For the average salaried employee, where the employment is for an undetermined amount of time, this is unnecessary. In the USA most States follow an "at will employment" policy:

    "At-will employment is a term used in U.S. labor law for contractual relationships in which an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason (that is, without having to establish "just cause" for termination), and without warning. When an employee is acknowledged as being hired "at will", courts deny the employee any claim for loss resulting from the dismissal."

    As an aside, there are as always pros and cons, but having lived in both a country with strict labour laws and in the USA I can say such a policy does make it much easier to be hired permanently and it makes the job market more dynamic (but I still don't think I agree with such a policy from a humanist point of view...). When there are strict labour laws the employers will find sneaky ways to get around it and screw you in the behind.

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