Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Dell Services Head Schuckenbrock Resigns Suddenly

Dell just announced a weird resignation. Stephen Schuckenbrock, the head of Dell Services, an $8.5 billion business unit for which CEO Michael Dell has expressed high hopes as part of his long-term transformation strategy at that company, has just resigned “to pursue other opportunities.”

That’s the classic line that companies often use when the choice was “resign or be fired.” It’s not exactly clear what happened. (Update: Not so much. See below.)

Suresh Vaswani was named to replace him. Vaswani is a 25-year veteran of India’s Wipro and is a former co-CEO of its IT business unit, and even served on its board of directors.

I spoke at length with Schuckenbrock in September. He had been co-COO at EDS, the IT services company that Hewlett-Packard acquired for $13.9 billion in 2008. (It later wrote down the value of EDS by $8 billion.)

Schuckenbrock was part of a new wave of senior hires at Dell — including Marius Haas, who’s running the Enterprise business, and former CA CEO John Swainson, who’s running the new software division and has been tasked with turning the old PC giant into an enterprise-focused full-service IT company.

It’s also odd that he would leave so soon, especially after Dell spent $1.9 million to move him and his family from Round Rock outside Austin, to Plano, Texas, which worked out to a cost of $9,655.19 a mile.

The move was to take over the services business, including the former Perot Systems business that Dell acquired in 2009. Before that, Schuckenbrock had been CIO and then for two years he had been President of the Large Enterprise Business Unit.

Update: I just checked in with a source familiar with the situation and he says it was definitely a resignation. The short explanation: Shuckenbrock wants to be CEO somewhere.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald