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Dell’s New Year’s Eve surprise

Dell Inc. launched a major reorg on December 31. The move “globalizes” operations around three major customer segments — large enterprise, public sector, and small and medium businesses (SMBs). The press release posted quietly on Wednesday morning, making the Dell just the latest tech vendor to attempt to bury major news that could be construed as negative, before a holiday. Or so it seems. (The consumer segment was already handled globally.)

A less jaded view holds, as the press release states, that Dell chief marketing officer Mark Jarvis, an Oracle veteran, is leaving the company “having completed the transformation of Dell’s marketing organization, including revitalizing the brand and instilling new levels of marketing effectiveness and efficiency.”

Another high-profile departure buried in the release was the imminent retirement of Mike Cannon, president of Dell’s Global Operations. He will be gone as of January 31.

The new large Enterprise global organization will be headed by Steve Schuckenbrock who was most recently president of Global Services and CIO for Dell. Paul Bell, who has been president of Dell Americas, will head up the public sector organization. And Steve Felice will lead Dell’s SMB attack and is based out of Singapore.

The news comes as Dell, with its direct sales roots, navigates the rocky shoals of channel relationships. Some VARs credit Dell with much progress in channel relationships. Even some diehard Hewlett-Packard VARs contend they’d be nuts to ignore Dell as a potential vendor partner. Some saw Dell’s buyout of storage vendor EqualLogic, which had great partner relationships, as a signal that the vendor was changing its ways. Still other partners with long memories of channel conflict with Dell and of Michael Dell’s contentious remarks about the value of the channel would rather leave the business than deal with the vendor.

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