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Chuck Whitten, Dell puts in his papers in face of slowdown

Dell Technologies Inc. Co-Chief Operating Officer Chuck Whitten is resigning next month as the hardware giant grapples with a historic slowdown in computer demand.

“After discussions with Chuck and the board of directors about the leadership profile the company needs in its next chapter, we have jointly decided that Chuck will depart Dell Technologies,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Dell wrote in an email to employees Friday, which was posted by Whitten on LinkedIn. Whitten will leave Dell August 18, the company said in a securities filing.

The chief operating role at Dell has more visibility than at many of its peers, with Whitten and Co-COO Jeff Clarke running quarterly earnings events rather than Michael Dell. Whitten was absent from an analyst event last Monday. Clarke will remain as sole COO, the spokesperson said.

Whitten joined the Round Rock, Texas-based tech stalwart in the co-COO role in August 2021 after more than two decades at consulting giant Bain & Co. His total projected compensation for fiscal 2023 was $12.6 million, making him the second highest-compensated executive at the company, according to a proxy statement filed in May.

Whitten’s departure may signal Dell’s effort to tighten its leadership and go-to-market strategy as it works to promote its multi-cloud products, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Woo Jin Ho said.

“The company has never been better positioned for the current moment in technology,” Whitten said in the LinkedIn post announcing his departure.

Dell is wrestling with a sharp drop-off the past two years in demand for personal computers, the sale of which makes up more than half of the company’s revenue. In February, Dell announced it would cut about 6,650 jobs. Stabilization and recovery in the PC market may come in the second half of the year, executives have said. During a customer conference in May, the company announced a collaboration with Nvidia Corp. to facilitate on-premise generative AI on Dell servers. Bloomberg

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