Michael Dell charts his course for “world’s biggest start-up”

AUSTIN, TEX. – Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell began his keynote address at Dell World this week by recapping some of the significant news the vendor has made over the year. And at the end, almost as an afterthought, he added “and you may have noticed we’re a private company once again.”

The audience laughed at the deliberate understatement, as the move by Dell and partner Silver Lake to take Dell out of the realm of publicly-traded companies in a deal worth nearly $25 billion dominated the headlines for months before finally coming to fruition in September will approval from Dell shareholders. Customers and partners alike were watching closely to see what would happen, and how the outcome could impact Dell’s direction and their relationship with the vendor.

With Dell now firmly in control of the company that bears his name though, the CEO used the conference to begin providing stakeholders with the long-term guidance and direction on strategy that they’ve been craving.

“We’re really excited about this. We have the fiscal strength, capital and scale to lead our industry as a private company, and we have the freedom to make the bold moves necessary,” said Dell. “We can focus 100 per cent on our customers, and take a long term view of our investments and the way they create value for you.”

The customers that CDN spoke to at Dell World were largely positive on the news, although they caution that long-term the jury is still out. For his part, Dell said he’s been seeing a renewed sense of excitement about Dell since the go-private, both from within and without the company.

“It feels like I’m part of the world’s biggest start-up,” said Dell. “We’re really unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation that have always been hallmarks of Dell.”

As a company that has always believed in the power of technology to enfranchise and democratize, Dell said he sees enormous opportunity for technologies such as social media, big data and cloud computing to create new models for society, and he wants the vendor to provide the infrastructure to move the next billion people out of poverty.

“As a company, that’s where we’re going,” said Dell. “We’re going to do what Dell does best: innovate and make the technology behind those forces more affordable, easier to access and easier to operate.”

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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