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The 10 Biggest News Stories Of 2021 (So Far)

Rick Whiting

While the COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions have continued into 2021, the biggest news stories this year include major cybersecurity attacks, leadership changes at major IT vendors, and accelerating industry trends such as as-a-service and cloud market adoption.

10. Dell Set To Spin Off VMware In Q4

It’s been just over one year since Dell Technologies confirmed that it was in the early stages of exploring a potential spin-off of virtualization technology leader VMware in which Dell holds a majority ownership stake.

This is the year it really happens. In April of this year Dell unveiled a plan to spin off its 81 percent stake in VMware sometime during the fourth quarter of this year.

The move will create two standalone companies while attempting to preserve the close partnership between the two. CEO Michael Dell said in a statement that the spin-off will “drive additional growth opportunities” for the two companies and “unlock significant value for stakeholders.”

For Dell, the spin-off will simplify and strengthen its capital structure, help the company achieve an investment-grade credit rating and provide Dell with funding to reduce its core debt stemming from its $67 billion acquisition of EMC in 2016. VMware will pay a special cash dividend of between $11.5 billion and $12.0 billion to shareholders – including around $9.5 billion for Dell Technologies. Michael Dell himself will own 41 percent of VMware.

Dell and VMware have signed a five-year commercial agreement to keep their technology innovation and sales synergies intact.

 
Rick Whiting

Rick Whiting has been with CRN since 2006 and is currently a feature/special projects editor. Whiting manages a number of CRN’s signature annual editorial projects including Channel Chiefs, Partner Program Guide, Big Data 100, Emerging Vendors, Tech Innovators and Products of the Year. He also covers the Big Data beat for CRN. He can be reached at rwhiting@thechannelcompany.com.

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