Dell Technologies confirmed Thursday that it’s laying off an unspecified number of employees in a move the tech behemoth said isn’t related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The actual number of layoffs has not been publicly disclosed, and a Dell spokesperson declined to comment on the numbers.
“Like all businesses right now, we’re taking a number of proactive steps to prepare for the uncertainties presented by COVID-19. We recently made some workforce reductions that reflect decisions made in early 2020 as part of regular evaluations of our business structure, and weren’t related to the pandemic,” said Dell in a statement emailed to CRN USA.
At a local level, a Dell spokesperson sent a similar statement following requests from CRN Australia.
"Like all businesses right now, we’re taking a number of proactive steps to prepare for the uncertainties presented by COVID-19. Recent workforce reductions reflect decisions made in early 2020 as part of regular evaluations of our business structure, and weren’t related to the pandemic," the statement read.
Crucially, the statement does not reject assertions made in news reports and does not address the specific questions on local employees.
Tech news site The Register first reported on the cuts on Thursday.
The 165,000-employee company said in May that it was temporarily halting employee pay raises, contributions to 401(k) retirement plans and hiring on a company-wide basis as the $92 billion infrastructure leader joined a growing list of IT giants implementing measures to combat the financial turmoil from the COVID-19 pandemic.
One solution provider close to Dell Technologies told CRN USA on condition of anonymity that there are two things happening at Dell currently that are likely behind the layoffs at this point.
The first is an internal Dell sales reorganisation called One Dell aimed at reorganising the company‘s entire sales organisation. The solution provider said the One Dell program has already been implemented in the company’s EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) and Latin America territories.
“The U.S. was last,” the solution provider said. ”Dell wanted to see if it worked first. People have known this was coming for years. One Dell will eliminate personnel duplications.”
The second is a regular semi-annual Dell budget realignment based on revenue changes, and is something many companies around the world regularly do, the solution provider said.
“The two have nothing to do with each other,” the solution provider said. ”They just happen to be at the same time.”
With the realignment, Dell is focusing in part on its field force, with a new field force for larger channel partners and one for its smaller partners, the solution provider said.
“They‘re just trying to realign their resources,” the solution provider said. ”This just started today. There will be more details next week.”
The changes will definitely have an impact on channel partners, particularly in terms of relationships with folks at Dell Technologies, the solution provider said.
“It all depends on where the layoffs happen,” the solution provider said. ”If you partner with a selling team, and someone on that team is laid off, operationally it takes time to get settled in with a new team. Or if people move, they will carry relationships. So the partner has to decide whether to go with a previous relationship, or start a new one.”
This would not be the first time Dell has done a reorganisation using the “One Dell” name. The company in 2012 reorganised its Software Group with consistent, streamlined systems as part of a ”one Dell” customer-facing organisation.
David Harris and Nico Arboleda contributed to this report.