Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

How Dell Moved an Exec Across Texas for Only $9,655 a Mile

And while we’re speaking of Dell, another news item on that company caught my eye this morning. Footnoted, the Morningstar-owned blog that specializes in the meatier details of regulatory filings, noticed a few interesting facts from Dell’s proxy filing made yesterday.

Among the items worthy of note:

  • CEO Michael Dell’s compensation package came in north of $16.1 million, or more than three times what he made last year. This despite consistently missing forecasts.
  • Stephen F. Schuckenbrock, whose title is “President, Services,” received $1.9 million in relocation benefits in order to move from Round Rock, Texas, to Plano, Texas. Okay, except Footnoted looked at a map and noticed the distance between them is only about 200 miles, in which case the move works out to $9,655.19 a mile. And while the filing concedes that the benefits included a cash payment of $1.5 million to compensate Schuckenbrock for the loss on his house, even excluding that amount it works out to $2,079 a mile. That must have been a really nice moving truck.
  • Also, Dell’s directors, like those at other tech companies like Apple, got free stuff. Nine Dell directors got Dell Vostro computers, which the company valued at $903 each, based on Dell’s actual cost. While it sounds reasonable, try as they might, the Footnoted folks couldn’t push the price of a Vostro above $1,500 without throwing in a lot of extras like printers and backpacks. It certainly doesn’t say anything good about the apparent gross margin on that particular model.

More at Footnoted.org.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik