A shareholder revolt organised by trade unions gave Michael Dell a kick in the pants at Dell(the company)'s annual general meeting last week.
Documents compulsorily filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission show that just over a quarter of shareholder votes cast were in favour of withholding support from the CEO, following revelations of financial chicanery and of sucking up to Intel at the expense of chip-making underdog AMD.
US shareholders usually just rubber stamp the reappointment of the CEO at such meetings, so the size of the revolt demonstrates the depth of feeling that exists amongst shareholders over Dell's dodgy dealings.
More than 25 per cent of shares counted suggested Dell should be ousted as a director of the company.
US regulators found that both Dell the company and Dell the man trousered payments from Intel aimed at keeping the computer maker an Intel-only shop. The company coughed up $100 million to settle the claim, and Michael Dell managed to rummage around and find a $4 million contribution in exchange for which neither had to admit to the charges.
Intel was found guilty of handing out such 'inducements' willy-nilly and a potential settlement with the FTC is currently open for public debate. It also paid AMD $1.25 billion last year, but by that time the outfit had been carved up by Hector 'Slash' Ruiz.
The AFL-CIO and AFSCME unions recently wrote to Dell shareholders saying: "Based on the allegations in the SEC's complaint against our Company and Michael Dell, we believe that shareholders would be better served by the removal of Michael Dell as the Chairman of our Company's Board of Directors.
"By withholding support for Mr Dell’s reappointment as a director, you can encourage the board of directors to appoint a new chairman,” the missive stated.
Michael Dell is Dell's largest single shareholder with an 11.7 per cent stake. We assume he voted in favour of himself.