DELLusionals be warned
The way it looks to this old timer (not, of course, necessarily true at all, but someone's got to say it):
Dell never was anything but a commodity box shifter and financial engineering operation. Michael Dell has already extracted more than the entire profits since the start from the business for his personal use. Economic forces are chipping away the pedestal on which his cash making contraption is built. Remember that IBM sold its PC business to Lenovo for $2B, but Dell's market cap is still $40B.
Dell needs to drastically cut costs, which means getting rid of expensive Europe and North America staff. But Dell actually needs more staff to maintain and preferably grow sales to feed the $18B constantly borrowed short term from suppliers et al to keep afloat (why does this remind me of sub-prime?). So Dell have been dumping the most experienced, most expensive staff and replacing them with overseas outsourced staff, and some cheap local fire fodder whose time will also come. Overheads and total head count (including subcontractors) have gone up, even as Dell is supposedly "slimming down".
In order to keep the plates spinning, Dell has also been forced into retail sales and has channel-stuffed new resellers throughout the world each quarter, artificially inflating sales over the past year.
It can't go on. Michael Dell hoped for a turnaround that would allow the problems to buried under growth, but Dell (revenue $60B, market cap $39B) is not significantly different from Ingram Micro (revenue $35B, market cap $3B). One of these days quite soon, Dell may be out of the USA and headquartered in SIngapore; the move is already half done. Amid a major slash and burn operation in Europe an North America and a share price below $10.
If you're one of the lucky ones being let go with a redundancy payment, keep your work habits squeaky clean in your final days. Remember browsing, email and keystroke loggers, and avoid a sudden fast track dismissal that puts you out the door with no redundancy, your former colleagues possibly none the wiser.
And if you're an employee and don't believe the general gist, why do you think Intel pulled the plug on Dell's preferential terms a couple of years back? Perhaps they know Dell's time is ending. Why do you think IBM sold out to Lenovo four years ago? And why do you think Dell's market cap has gone from 8 times Apple's to one quarter of Apple's in just five years? The market knows too.
And what happened to that SEC investigation that Dell tried to bury under $100M plus of paperwork? Maybe the option of a fast exit to Singapore is helping to keep it unresolved.
40 years in the business can make you a bit cynical!