Wyse Sales Chief Stepping Down, Layoffs Coming As Dell's VDI Focus Shifts To VMware, Citrix

The top sales executive at Dell’s Wyse cloud client computing business is leaving the company, with a wider shakeup of the unit underway that will result in an unspecified number of layoffs.

Maryam Alexandrian, vice president of global sales, channels and field operations at Dell Wyse, confirmed to CRN that she is leaving the company.

"I'm leaving on my own. I’m taking a break," she said.

At the same time, Dell is laying off an unspecified number of workers in its Dell Wyse business as it winds down its vWorkspace virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) software in order to focus resources on VMware, which sells its own Horizon VDI solution, a Dell spokesperson said. Dell is acquiring VMware as part of its $62.3 billion EMC buy. Dell also has relationships with Microsoft and Citrix, and already has an appliance for Citrix VDI. Dell stopped development of vWorkspace in April, and has stopped selling licenses to new accounts, the spokesperson said.

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To replace Alexandrian, Dell has hired longtime Panasonic Solutions President Rance Poehler as its new head of global sales for cloud client computing. He started earlier this week, the spokesperson said.

Alexandrian said she hasn’t decided how long she’ll stay on before stepping down, but said she’d help the company with the transition, "bringing people up to speed before I leave."

As for layoffs within the cloud client computing business, Alexandrian said, "We have a very large team, and if there are any organizational changes like that, it’s part of ordinary business. We still have the largest client team in the U.S. of any vendor.'

Alexandrian is a Wyse Technology veteran who reported to Wyse CEO Tarkan Maner and came to Dell when it acquired the company in 2012. At Dell, she reported to Steve Lalla, Dell Wyse's vice president and general manager. Lalla, in turn, reports directly to Jeff Clarke, Dell's vice chairman of operations and technology.

Alexandrian’s pending departure and Poehler's hiring come as Dell makes cuts within the cloud client business "as we adjust for shifting business priorities," the spokesman said.

A Dell solution provider who wished to remain anonymous told CRN it was his understanding that Dell was laying off a significant number of people from the cloud client team.

The Dell spokesperson characterized the number of people being laid off from that team as "a small number, a very small number when compared to the total Dell workforce."

"Out of respect for those affected, we will not go into any further detail," the spokesman said when asked how many layoffs were planned.

As part of its merger with EMC, Dell is organizing into two distinct divisions under the new Dell Technologies umbrella. One division, Dell-EMC, will house the company’s enterprise business. The other, simply known as Dell, will be home to its PC division – "client" in Dell nomenclature.

"We're hearing a lot of noise from different groups," said one Dell solution provider who wished to remain anonymous. "A lot of change is coming, and people are just freaked out."

As part of its pending acquisition of EMC, Dell has divested itself of business units to help offset the debt – as much as $49.5 billion – it intends to take on in order to complete the deal. The divestitures include its Dell Services unit, which fetched just over $3 billion, as well as its software business, which it agreed last month to sell to two private equity firms for about $2.4 billion. That deal includes nearly all of Dell’s software assets, including its SonicWall security business and Quest Software, which it acquired just months after buying Wyse. Dell also took its SecureWorks business through an IPO that raised about $112 million.

The Wyse business, which includes both hardware and software, including ThinOS and Wyse Device Manager, will remain part of Dell.

The EMC acquisition is expected to close before the end of October, and Dell has said it plans to aggressively pay down debt related to the transaction.