Michael Dell: No longer constrained by “short-term” minded investors

Michael Dell says as a private company Dell can be “as aggressive as we want to be”.

Michael Dell

Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell this morning outlined his vision for the future of the firm now it is once again a "family-owned company".

Speaking at the Dell Tech Camp in Paris, Dell described how taking the company back into private hands and no longer answering to shareholders enabled it to pursue its aspirations as a serious player in the enterprise.

We're continuing to build our solutions in software, server, enterprise, the datacentre, vertical expertise we're absolutely building for the long term.

"The capital structure we have now is much more favourable than the one we had as a public company," he said. "There's greater flexibility and I feel fortunate to operate this as a private company...and the ability to be as aggressive as we want to be. We have all the capacity we need. We have two equity investors who will contribute additional capital as needed; we have plenty of capital to expand and make acquisitions."

He added: "The last four or five years our business has shifted in a dramatic way. We've built an entirely new business in the enterprise, the datacentre, software, services we've more than doubled the size of that business from $10bn $21bn. Now we want to double it again."

Dell explained how, crucially, the buyout will allow for increased investment in R&D. "In the US there's an affliction of short term thinkingPublic companies are subjected to what can be characterised as a 89-day planning cycle where they constantly have to adjust their plans based on market expectations," he said. "We care about three, five, 10 years from now.

"[We're] accelerating the strategy we have around end-to-end solutions. Our R&D grew by 25 per cent last quarter. We filed more patents this year than last year, which was a record.  We're continuing to build our solutions in software, server, enterprise, the datacentre, vertical expertise we're absolutely building for the long term."

The exec also couldn't resist taking a swipe at rivals HP and IBM's recent results: "Our enterprise business grew nine per cent last quarter. One of our two-letter competitors had a growth of negative nine per cent; one of our three-letter competitors' x86 business is down 18 per cent so we believe we're gaining share across the enterprise and the datacentre."

He adds: "All of these things are things that as a public company are harder to dobecause of the demands of these short-term minded investors."

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