Sunday 4 December 2016

Over 5,000 Irish staff at Dell and EMC face wait on jobs news

Published 13/10/2015 | 02:30

Michael Dell, chief executive of Dell Inc. Reuters.
Michael Dell, chief executive of Dell Inc. Reuters.

Over 5,300 people in Ireland will probably have to wait until next year to see if their jobs will be impacted by the planned $67bn (€59bn) acquisition of EMC by Dell.

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The two computer giants confirmed the planned takeover yesterday in what is the biggest ever tech deal.

Michael Dell, who founded the eponymous computer maker, and EMC boss Joe Tucci insisted it will create opportunities to grow both businesses.

Mr Dell will lead the combined companies. The transaction isn't expected to close until some time between May and October next year.

Privately-held Dell employs about 2,300 between sites at Cork, Limerick and Dublin.

EMC has 3,000 staff in Ireland, almost all of them based at its centre of excellence in Cork. It has about 50 employees at a sales office in Dublin.

Dell will also own EMC's 80pc stake in stockmarket-listed VMware, which employs about 700 people in Cork. It helps customers make their data centres more efficient.

"We're not actually going to move a whole lot of people around," said Mr Dell on a conference call yesterday. He said that Dell has "great teams" at many sites in the United States and around the world.

"This is the way global companies operate today and this business is going to get a whole lot larger as we close the transaction," he said.

Mr Tucci added that nothing that happens between now and the deal being closed next year "will have anything to do with this combination".

Mr Dell added that 20,000-plus sales executives at Dell are "super excited" about the takeover and the ability to have a stronger set of products for the millions of customers they serve.

Mr Tucci confirmed it will be the middle of next year "give or take a couple of months" before the deal closes and details of any jobs impact are revealed.

"In the normal course of business, there are always adjustments that occur," said Mr Dell.

"If our combined company is stronger and grows, so too will opportunities be created inside the company and for our partner ecosystems."

The EMC centre in Cork has functions including marketing, customer services and international finance.

Dell has its European financial services headquarters in Dublin. In Cork, it has its high-tech multilingual EMEA business and technology centre. In Limerick, Dell has an EMEA solutions centre that provides support for server and storage customers. "We are planning to put our server business into the EMC enterprise data centre business," said Mr Dell.

A manufacturing business that had been located in Limerick was moved to Poland in 2009.

A spokesman for Enterprise Ireland said the agency would typically only begin liaising with staff at companies if it became clear that there is a risk of downsizing at an operation.

It then usually launches a taskforce to inform staff who might be affected about some of their options if they decide to establish their own business.

The head of EMC's operations in Ireland, Bob Savage, was a board member at Enterprise Ireland from 2010 until this year.

The IDA declined to say whether it has had talks with the IDA or EMC saying such engagements are private.

During the summer, Dell announced that it was opening a new lab in Limerick that will develop new products for the company, while allowing customers to model, design, build and test hardware, software and services solutions.

EMC has been under pressure from activist hedge fund Elliott Management, which owns 2pc of the firm. The hedge fund firm acquired the stake over a year ago and was pushing EMC to sell VMware.

Irish Independent

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