Management

Dell's PR Chief Quits as Buyout Vote Nears


Kelly McGinnis in 2010

Photograph by Stephen Yang/Bloomberg

Kelly McGinnis in 2010

Days before a Dell (DELL) shareholder vote on a $24.4 billion proposal to take the company private, the personal-computer maker’s head of global communications resigned for “another exciting leadership opportunity” closer to her family in California, according to an internal e-mail reviewed by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Kelly McGinnis joined Dell, which is based in Round Rock, Tex., in March 2010 from Enfatico, Dell’s former public relations and advertising agency, and had worked for the company in San Francisco. Marc Bien, a Dell communications manager, will assume the job at the end of July, when McGinnis leaves the company.

Karen Quintos, Dell’s chief marketing officer, announced McGinnis’s departure in e-mail Monday to the company’s communications staff. “Under her leadership,” Quintos wrote, “this Communications team has helped improve Dell’s reputation and credibility as an end-to-end solutions provider through strategic events, thought leadership campaigns and M&A activities, yielding substantial increases in positive share of voice.” Her replacement, Bien, has spent three years on Dell’s communications team involved in “reputation management, M&A and most recently, LBO communications,” according to the e-mail.

McGinnis didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment. A Dell spokesman, David Frink, had no immediate comment on Wednesday.

Dell shareholders are scheduled to vote tomorrow on the proposal to go private. A special committee of Dell’s board could move to delay the vote for about a week to seek a higher bid for the company or build support for the $13.65-per-share offer from company founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Management, Bloomberg News reported today. The buyout group considers the offer its “best and final” one, according to the Bloomberg report, citing people familiar with the situation. Michael Dell and his private-equity partners argue that the company’s earnings have declined and that the best way to repair Dell is as a private concern.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn and several other large Dell shareholders have argued that the Dell-Silver Lake proposal undervalues the company. On Tuesday, the Dell committee reiterated its objections to a plan from Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management. BlackRock (BLK), which owns 4.4 percent of Dell, has voted against the buyout plan, Bloomberg reported, citing a person familiar with the voting.

Bachman is an associate editor for Businessweek.com.
Vance_190
Vance is a technology writer for Bloomberg Businessweek in Palo Alto, Calif. Follow him on Twitter @valleyhack.

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