Dell Technologies Co-COO Chuck Whitten Will Resign
‘After discussions with Chuck and the board of directors about the leadership profile the company needs and its next chapter we have jointly decided that Chuck will depart Dell Technologies. His last official day will be August 18th,’ Michael Dell wrote in a statement to Dell employees.
Just weeks after addressing a packed Dell Technologies World on the mainstage, Dell Co-COO Chuck Whitten will leave the company as part of a leadership restructuring that CEO Michael Dell said was necessary to move to its next chapter.
“After discussions with Chuck and the board of directors about the leadership profile the company needs and its next chapter we have jointly decided that Chuck will depart Dell Technologies. His last official day will be August 18th,” Michael Dell wrote in a statement to Dell employees that was shared with CRN.
According to a Friday regulatory filing, Dell Technologies and Whitten agreed on July 27 that he would resign effective as of that date in August.
Whitten joined the company after spending 14 years as an outside advisor to Dell while leading Bain & Company’s southwest division as the PC vendor shifted to become the dominant provider of IT infrastructure to the world.
Dell Technologies told CRN that Whitten would not be replaced as co-COO. The company said “COO and vice chairman Jeff Clarke will continue in the role.” A Dell spokesperson said Whitten was not available for an interview today.
In a statement, Whitten said he would be rooting for Dell from the sidelines.
“I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished not just over the last two years, but during the 14 years that I have had the privilege of working with the company both as co-COO and external advisor. The integrity, grit, and customer focus of this team has been constant, and Dell’s future is incredibly bright.”
Whitten was named to the co-COO role in 2021, sharing it with Dell’s veteran COO Clarke, a longtime engineer and designer of Dell products.
In order to win him away from Bain & Company, Dell gave Whitten a cash sign-on bonus of $5 million, according to regulatory filings. Dell also awarded Whitten a $45 million “new hire equity award” in the form of time-based RSUs with five-year ratable vesting. The rub was that, according to the filing, “98 percent of Mr. Whitten’s pay is at-risk, time-based and performance-based pay.”
As part of Dell’s separation agreement, Whitten is allowed to keep 354,000 time-vested shares of Dell’s common stock, which will continue to vest until August 2025. At yesterday’s trading those shares are worth $19 million, according to an SEC filing.
While Whitten led Bain’s southwest region, the business more than doubled, was among the best Bain offices in employee satisfaction, recognized in 2020 and 2021 as one of Fortune magazine’s best workplaces in Texas.
Whitten talked with CRN in November about the channel and how Dell is positioned for the future.
“A year into the job my observation is, strategically we’ve never been in a better place,” he told CRN. “We are perfectly positioned for this era of technology. Data is exploding. The world is digitally transforming all around us, and critically, modern infrastructure is becoming multi-cloud … So against that backdrop, we are really uniquely positioned. We have an end-to-end solutions’ portfolio that spans across those domains and where we have leadership in all of our core markets.”
Whitten had been a leading voice on Dell’s earnings calls during his time with the company. He issued some headline-grabbing statements, such as that Dell’s Apex business had reached $1 billion in annual recurring revenue, as well as the company’s hope that the PC business was in a historic position to bounce back.
Whitten graduated from Rice University in Texas with honors and received a master’s of business administration from Harvard Business School.
He has previously said the company’s robust partner ecosystem is what gives Dell the power to meet its customers biggest challenges.
“Our commitment to the channel is unwavering. Our entire strategy is built on it,” he said.