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Amid outbreak, Dell suspends some employee benefits

Round Rock-based Dell Technologies has suspended some employee benefits amid the downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to an internal company memo.

Effective June 1, the technology giant will cease matching U.S. employees’ contributions to their company 401(k) retirement plans, according to a memo sent to employees by Dell Technologies chief operating officer Jeff Clarke. The contributions will be suspended until the end of the fiscal year, which ends Jan. 29, according to the memo, which was obtained by the American-Statesman. Bloomberg News first reported the suspension of the benefits.

“While it’s difficult to predict the shape of the slowdown and a recovery, our job is to prudently manage our business so that we’re in a strong position on the other side of this situation,” Clarke wrote in the memo. “Given the economic uncertainty that continues, we’ve made another tough decision to maintain the strength of our team and future of our company.”

Dell Technologies has not reported any significant layoffs related to the coronavirus pandemic. Company founder and CEO Michael Dell decided in April to forgo the majority of his salary though the end of the current fiscal year, according to a company securities filing.

Dell Technologies is one of the largest private employers in the Austin metro area, with about 13,000 employees in Central Texas. The company has more than 160,000 employees around the world

The internal memo did not detail other cutbacks Dell Technologies might be making, but Bloomberg News — citing an unnamed person familiar with the matter — reported that Dell has instituted a hiring freeze, and will not proceed with promotions or raises for employees for the remainder of the fiscal year.

“Like all companies right now, we’re constantly evaluating our business to plan for resiliency in the current environment and to support our team members, customers, and community in a way that sets us all up for success on the other side of this pandemic,” a Dell spokeswoman said in a written statement Friday.

Dell’s quarterly earnings report is currently scheduled to be released on May 28.

—The Statesman

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