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SEC: over a quarter of shareholders want Dell CEO out

updated 08:10 am EDT, Wed August 18, 2010

SEC filing shows mutiny against Michael Dell

Just over a quarter of Dell's shareholders want company founder Michael Dell out from chairman of the board, an SEC filing late Tuesday revealed. About 25.1 percent of investors refused to vote for Dell's return to the board of directors at last week's annual shareholders' meeting. The lack of confidence was a reflection of protests by the respective unions of the AFL-CIO and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees over the company's refusal to fire Dell after settling an SEC suit alleging fraud.

Both the company and Michael Dell were accused by the SEC of hiding kickback payments from Intel intended to guarantee an exclusive and prevent AMD from getting a significant foothold. The company ended up paying $100 million to settle the case, with Dell himself paying $4 million. Neither had to admit wrongdoing, although the subsequent Intel settlement with the FTC for paying off PC builders has indirectly supported the existence of the payments.

The relatively significant opposition is rare as most companies' board leaders are often given near-total support, particularly when the chairperson is an original member of the company. Dell returned to his company in the CEO role in 2007 but has lately been struggling as it has been losing share to Apple, HP and Lenovo in the US and worldwide. The executive also faced a symbolic defeat early into his tenure as, a decade after he said he would have closed Apple were he in charge, Apple had doubled Dell's market cap in late 2007 and now is worth much more despite its smaller computer market share. [via FT]



By Electronista Staff
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  1. jfelbab

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2004

    +18

    He should follow his own advice

    "he should sell the company and give the money back to the shareholders."

    ROTFLOL

  1. ruel24

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2009

    +10

    Doomed...

    Like digital watches and digital calculators before it, the Windows PC was a race to the bottom and margins are so thin, and the equipment so cheap, it's hard for manufacturers to make money. Dell, at one time, was the premier manufacturer, and made the best PC's out there. That was 10 years ago. Now, the product is mediocre and the India based support sucks. When your company isn't innovative, you're nothing more than a commodity maker.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +7

    Re: Doomed

    Sorry, but since when was Dell anything but a commodity maker? They were and are a 'premier' manufacturer (premier meaning lots of sales), but they were never innovative with their products.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005

    +5

    If Jobs Could Run Apple and Pixar ...

    ... why not let Ballmer run Microsoft and Dell? Then they could change the name of the company to BALLMER and Billy Gates could unleash his not-so-inner nerd in a series of ads proclaiming "Dude! You're getting a Ballmer!" In follow-up ads he could patrol the aisles of Best Buy and when someone grabs a Vaio, he could scream "Dude! Why aren't you taking a Ballmer?" (The series of ads will be promptly cancelled after they decide do a live version but when BillyBoy asks "Dude! Why aren't you taking a Ballmer?" the dude responds "Because I just took one in the restroom.")

    Of course if Ballmer does so, it would mean that "run" is being used in the sense of "all the way into the ground" but between that and the aforementioned ads, it'd be even more fun to watch than it is now.

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2006

    +3

    Dell's ego

    Every time CEO talks s-h-i-t about other company (especially Apple), it comes back to haunt them. Who has the last laugh, Mr. Dell?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -4

    Re: Dell's ego

    I'm sorry, you're making fun of Dell's ego? No one in the computer world has a bigger ego than Steve Jobs.

    Oh, and what did he do, talk smack over 10 years ago. Mind you, this is when Apple's stock was worth less than the cash value of the company. That's right, Apple's 'market cap' was over a billion dollar less than if they actually did sell off the assets and give it back to the investors.

    But I forget, everyone 'knew' Apple would make a comeback and be the market force in varying different device markets. h***, those brokerage houses should hire all the late 90's Apple fanboys who claimed Apple's stock would shoot up to $100/share. Of course, whether they could predict anything besides "Apple up, everyone else down", I don't know.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005

    +5

    Re: Re: Dell's Ego

    But I forget, everyone 'knew' Apple would make a comeback and be the market force in varying different device markets.

    Wrong. Not everyone. But Steve Jobs did.

    Fourteen years ago, the bulk of the industry pretty much ignored Apple and wrote Apple off. So then Steve Jobs came back. So what? OK, there's this cute little toy iMac thing he came out with. So what? And then this iTunes thing. So what? And this overpriced MP3 player iPod thing. So what? Then he goes and opens an online music store in iTunes. So what? Then video iPods, iPhones and iPads. So what? So when it comes to egos, it's a lot easier to endure the ones that actually back it up - that's what. Whether you or the industry likes it or not.

  1. freddymac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2010

    +3

    comment title

    Re: Re: Dell's Ego08/18, 01:40pm reply

    Foe Hammer,
    Nice comeback!!!!!!!!!!
    You go girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -3

    Re: Re: Dell's Ego

    Wrong. Not everyone. But Steve Jobs did.

    Um, no he didn't. Otherwise, he wouldn't have been the iCEO for like forever. And he wouldn't have sold all but one of his shares in Apple that he received when he returned. And he's reported to have done so for he was unsure whether he could turn the company around (gee, they had only lost over a billion dollars in the last year or so, don't know why he'd be concerned).

    And bear in mind the only reason Apple was able to get NeXT was because no one thought Apple worthy enough to buy (which they weren't). The talk at the time was they were going to be bought out by Sun or Oracle.

  1. CmdrGampu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2009

    +2

    Geez, testudo

    What are you talking about? "iCEO" is a joke title Steve gave himself when he stopped being interim CEO and became permanent CEO ten years ago. Where have you been?

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