Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Dell Loses Its First Senior Executive Since the Buyout

ejection_seatNow that computing company Dell has completed its $25 billion leveraged buyout, the first member of the company’s senior executive team is headed for the door.

Sources familiar with the matter have confirmed to AllThingsD that Steve Felice, a Dell president and its chief commercial officer, will be leaving the company. His final day at Dell’s Round Rock, Texas, headquarters will be in early December.

Felice has taken a job as Chairman and CEO of Filtration Group, a Chicago-based privately held company that makes industrial air and water filtration equipment. The announcement was made in an internal memo to Dell employees, but hasn’t been made public yet. He’ll start at his new job on Jan. 6.

Felice_Steve_2011I’m told Felice has a professional bucket list and one of the things on it is to be CEO of a big company. So he’s leaving under his own steam. I haven’t seen the internal memo yet, but I’m told it contains some quotes from CEO Michael Dell about how Felice was an important member of the executive team.

Felice is a serious Dell veteran. He joined the company back in 1999 when the PC business was humming and Dell was the company giving the entire industry competitive fits. I interviewed him last year, a few months before the whole buyout saga began.

Felice had been vice president and then later president of Dell’s consumer, small and medium business group, and at one time also led its operations in Asia. He joined Dell from DecisionOne, a computer support services vendor, where he had been CEO. He was a VP at Bell Atlantic (now Verizon) and also worked at Shell Oil.

It’s not uncommon for executives to leave a company after a buyout transition like the one Dell just went through. Several members of the executive team, though, such as enterprise head Marius Haas and software chief John Swainson, are pretty new and are unlikely to be going anywhere soon.

Update: I just got this statement from Dell.

As Dell begins a new chapter as a private company, Steve made a personal decision to take on the new challenge of leading a company as CEO.

Michael Dell said that Steve’s “counsel, vision and insight will definitely be missed by me and the entire leadership team, and I will always be grateful for his contributions.”


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