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First ad since privatization positions Dell as plucky startup
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MacNN Staff
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Jan 1, 2014, 07:32 PM
In its first ad since the company completed its privatization bid late last year, Dell is positioning itself not as a massive computing powerhouse, but more as a feisty startup. The ad juxtaposes Dell's current state with the starting points of companies like Dropbox, Shazam, and Skype, and it casts Dell as a company that "personifies entrepreneurial spirit" and "celebrates it every day." As the computing giant looks to carve out a niche for itself in the new computing paradigm, the ad is an entreaty to encourage companies to look at Dell products in order to "do more."

Dell delisted from the Nasdaq exchange in October of this year, which marked the end of its standing as a private company. Founder Michael Dell partnered with private equity firm Silver Lake to buy the computer maker for roughly $25 billion, and the deal closed following a months-long saga that saw the privatization bid countered and at times on the verge of collapse.

At their peak, Dell shares traded above $50 as the consumer PC market boomed. The final bill to take Dell private, though, saw Dell and Silver Lake paying $13.75 per share, plus a 13-cent special dividend per share.

The collapse in Dell's share price was due to the contraction of the traditional PC market. As devices like Apple's iPhone and iPad have grown in popularity, consumers have been less inclined to refresh their PCs, and Dell's sales have suffered as a result. Not helping the matter was Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system, which attempted to bridge the gap between traditional PCs and mobile devices but instead confused and alienated many potential computer buyers.

Dell has offered its own mobile products for consumers as well, including the largely well-received Venue 8 Pro tablet, which runs the full version of Windows 8. How exactly the manufacturer will manage to contend in the new computing environment remains to be seen.

With regard to the company's path forward following privatization, the ad gives little in the way of guidance. Dell and Silver Lake said at the time of their purchase that the changes necessary for the company to thrive would be hard to achieve under the scrutiny of shareholders, but they did not detail Dell's strategy for the near future.

"I am pleased with this outcome, and am energized to continue building Dell into the industry's leading provider of scalable, end-to-end technology solutions," said Dell at the time of the transaction. He continued, "as a private enterprise with a strong private-equity partner, we'll serve our customers with a single-minded purpose and drive the innovations that will help them achieve their goals."
Fresh-Faced Recruit
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Jan 2, 2014, 12:06 AM
No one in his right mind would go to work for Dell. Not even a 22 year-old.
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