back to article When Michael Dell met Chris Mellor

This is the way of it: you're sitting there, at a table in a general meeting room at the Dell World event in Austin, talking to a distant colleague about what happened to Don, did I know Liem had moved to such and such an office, when an ordinary-looking guy comes over and sits down at the same table, saying: "How's it going …

  1. Bronek Kozicki

    OK Cris

    ... so, what is it you talked about?

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: OK Cris

      He courteously swats away what you might call challenging questions

      It sounds like the weather might have been high on the agenda...

  2. returnofthemus

    Chris finds new LOVE ...

    With the death of his beloved EMC, he seeks solace, can Dell Storage fill the void?

    1. Chris Mellor 1

      Re: Chris finds new LOVE ...

      Read on in to see if fulfilment beckons, or sad loss ... :-)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "In my trade as an IT hack I've been lucky enough to meet several CEOs and many have shared a characteristic of presence, of somehow making you feel they are a stronger, better, more forceful, persuasive, more dominant person than you,"

    That's what a shitload of money in the bank does for you.

  4. nobody_important

    ..just a slight typo/auto-correct howler..?

    "... Tarkan Maner at Nexan has it too..."

    He probably meant Nexenta....

    1. Chris Mellor 1

      Re: ..just a slight typo/auto-correct howler..?

      He did ... duh. Getting it fixed and thanks.

  5. Mugs

    Always been like thta

    I was a contractor at Dell in the early 90s when they'd just opened their Bracknell office. My friends (all lowly techies, not managers) who'd been to Austin and had met him all said the same thing - he's a nice guy.

    Shame that being a nice guy and successful is so unusual.

  6. Yesnomaybe

    Lovely stuff

    Nice bit of namedropping there.

    1. Chris Mellor 1

      Re: Lovely stuff

      I thought so too, after reading your comment. But hard to write CEO character comparison without name-dropping, damn it.

  7. ntevanza


    +1 to Mr Dell for not being an alphahole, and for doing the rounds at his own show. You don't have presence if you're not there.

    On presence: To meet Eddie Merckx is to know what goes through the mind of prey seconds before death. In one second I knew he was an unblinking, unsentimental killing machine. In retrospect I'm glad he had a bicycle to play with and not a country.

    It's in the eyes.

    1. Nunyabiznes

      Re: Presence

      +1 for alphahole. I'm totally stealing that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Presence

        OK for a little balance I nominate Rob Salmon of NetApp fame as an alphahole.

        After a stirring speech at one of the recent 'kick-off' meetings I tried to engage him in a corridor to ask him a question or two about it.

        The bellend completely ignored me, in fact, he almost walked through me. OK, I'm a minion on the street but it might help management to understand that the minions make the company. When all is said and done, these are just people, people who happen to have made good decisions, but people nonetheless.

        Needless to say that I no longer work for NetApp.

  8. Storage Ed

    Nice interview

    Without actually interviewing the guy.

  9. Widgetbox
    Big Brother

    Yes but not always

    In my corporate life I've met some big kahunas and most had the "common touch" and were approachable, other less so but obviously leaders of men/women and companies.

    I will always remember discussing a restructuring with one managing director. Having suggested (as the wimp I am) that it would be unfortunate to lose certain people - he looked over his specs right at me and said "Widgetbox I have fired many people I really like". That has always stuck in my mind.

    I often wondered if the "nice guys" found it really hard when they had to be complete and utter bastards or if they put it in a box marked"it's not personal - it's just business".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yes but not always, just ask Limerick

      I met a lot of Dell people in Limerick who said Michael was a nice guy. I am not sure he is many Christmas lists there any longer.

  10. Disgruntled of TW

    Name drop goulash. Middle Age crisis Chris? ;-)

    "There's no indications of great wealth" ... with a dash of apostrophe horror.

    1. Chris Mellor 1

      Love that apostrophe horror - proof-reading and writing alert!

  11. ByteMe

    Don't insult NYC that way

    "Don Basile of Violin Memory was a true New Yorker." Hey now. Not all people from New York are arrogant ass-clowns who wreck every company they touch. Many of them are lovely people.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Met him...

    When working Bracknell (their third office in Bracknell if I recall = Farley Hall --->>Cookham Road--->>Milbanke House), from 89-95 in Andy Harris / Martin Slagter MD days. Both excellent MDs in my opinion. But boy, when this guy landed for a visit, you might as well have been IN silicon valley. Bear in mind this is Bracknell. True, he could be tough when needed (nature of the beast), but I won't forget the 'effect' he had on the whole company from just walking in the door. It really was 'we're here because you had a vision and started off small - now look at all of us'.

    We were still buzzing for weeks after. Didn't do our sales figures any harm either. Yes, I was lucky enough to meet him F2F, and I also had the unfortunate experience of leaving my PC unlocked and some monkey thinking it would be funny to send Michael a cheeky cc:Mail. The next day I was terrified to see a response from Michael. Christ, I had a mail personal from Michael Dell. No one got those in my department. Opened it and it was just 'This wasn't really you was it?' and loads of smileys. Nice bloke, as we say in the UK.

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