AUSTIN: MICHAEL DELL has responded to HP CEO Meg Whitman's criticism of Dell's to buy data storage firm EMC, saying "she got some of her facts wrong".
The Dell CEO made the comments in the opening keynote of his company's annual conference in Austin, Texas, when questioned about whether he'd heard Whitman's comments regarding Dell's decision to acquire EMC for a record-breaking $67bn.
"HP is a great VMware partner," said Dell, just before he paused for a good few seconds and smirked, throwing some shade at the HP CEO and immediately provoking laughs among the crowd.
"I don't have any other comments about that, but she got some of the facts wrong. We'll let the facts speak for themselves."
Whitman criticised Dell's acquisition of EMC a week ago, claiming that the firms will be overridden by debt and that the deal will be disruptive to customers.
Her first point of attack was the debt that the deal incurs, noting that to pay back the combined $50bn, Dell will need to cough up roughly $2.5bn a year in interest, "which will keep them from better serving their customers".
Her next argument was that the size and scope of the merger will be an "enormous distraction" to employees at both firms.
"This will be a massive undertaking and an enormous distraction for employees and their management teams as two very different cultures come together, leadership teams shift and an entirely new strategy is developed," Whitman said.
This isn't all that puts HP ahead of its competitors, according to Whitman, who also claimed that the deal will create confusion among customers that "simply will not know if the products they are buying today from either company will be supported in 18 months".
However, Dell said in the press conference today that his strategy is different to that of HP, which is currently splitting itself into a device business and an enterprise business.
Dell made it clear that his company is focusing more on scale and volume because "customers don't want more suppliers" and CIOs want to deal with fewer people to get things done.
"First, you have all the CIOs who are trying to fund the digital transformation by reducing cost in the infrastructure," he explained. "There's also this move to virtualisation, hyper-converged systems where the silos are starting to go away. It's important to lead in that next generation of IT, and the combination of Dell and EMC gives us a leadership in that position. The deal enables these new capabilities."
Dell announced the purchase of EMC last week, which at $67bn is the largest technology merger of all time, topping Avago Technologies' $37bn acquisition of Raspberry Pi chipmaker Broadcom in May.
The deal sees Dell setting its sights firmly on the enterprise market, combining EMC's digital storage business with Dell's server and IT services. The move will soften the blow of its struggling PC business, after Gartner confirmed last week that PC sales shrank 7.7 percent in the third quarter. µ
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