Key mergers executive leaves Dell Inc.
Jan 08, 2013 (Austin American-Statesman - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Dave Johnson, the executive who steered Dell Inc.'s merger and acquisition efforts for more than three years, has left the company to take a position with the Blackstone Group investment firm.
Johnson, Dell's senior vice president of corporate strategy, guided the company through about $10 billion in acquisitions since he joined it in 2009.
"The performance of the acquisitions we have made is virtually unmatched and it is largely a testament to Mr. Johnson's leadership," said Dell spokesman David Frink.
"He leaves a strong and sustainable organization behind, one that will continue to execute our strategy and pursue our aggressive M&A; activities."
Dell acquisitions during Johnson's time at the company included: Quest Software, for $2.4 billion; Compellent Technologies in storage for $960 million; and Force10 Networks in networking, for an estimated $700 million.
Before coming to Dell, Johnson was a longtime IBM executive, working with that company's mergers and acquisitions.
He guided Dell through a critical period in its transformation journey away from relying on sales of commodity personal computers toward becoming a one-stop-shop provider of critical information technology hardware, software and services for large and mid-sized corporate customers.
He was regarded as an expert in sizing up acquisitions and in the finer details of integrating newly acquired organizations smoothly into the company.
"Dave Johnson was, in our view, more critical to Dell's current transformation effort than anyone with the possible exception of Michael Dell," wrote analyst Cindy Shaw with Discern Group in a report released Tuesday.
With Johnson's departure, his responsibilities will be assumed by Chris Kleiman, a Dell vice president for corporate development, and by Prakash Jothee, a vice president for corporate strategy. Both will report to Brian Gladden, Dell's chief financial officer.
Dell learned greatly from Johnson's time there, Shaw noted.
"However, we think Mr. Johnson has much work left to do to help Dell transform its culture to facilitate and (intellectual property) based company," she wrote.
Dell's stock price dropped 30 cents a share, down 2.7 percent, Tuesday morning following release of the news. Dell's stock price, which traded below $10.80 a share Tuesday, is down almost 30 percent from a year ago. Much of the reason is tied to the global slump in sales of commodity personal computers and price cutting by competitors.
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