Rumor Has It Dell Is Planning To Lay Off 15,000 Employees – UPDATE

Layoff rumors are rarely happy news and this is particularly unhappy: the Register is reporting that sources have told them that Dell is laying off 15,000 employees this week, almost 15% of its 108,000-employee workforce. This move comes after an already substantial round of layoffs in January.

Dell noted that the “that The Register’s reporting is inaccurate.”

It appears that Dell is moving its support staff into one “umbrella,” melding consumer and commercial support and improving the “Pro Support” offering. Engineering staff may be cut in addition to the “client support” layoffs.

Wrote The Register:

The severance package is two months’ pay plus an extra week of pay for each year of service, a bonus at 75 per cent, obligated COBRA health insurance for 18 months in the United States, and outplacement services (in the US at least).

The company, like most PC manufacturers, is facing the results of reduced demand in 2013 and expected contractions in 2014. Analysts predict sales will hit around 300 million this year, down from almost 350 million PCs in 2012. As handhelds and tablets eat up the computing market (and user attention), Dell’s laptops are seen as a less obvious purchase for consumers and IT buyers alike.

UPDATE – Dell representative David Frink replied:

Hello John. As I’ve told others, I can confirm that a small percentage of Dell’s global team members accepted the company’s offer of a significant severance package associated with a recently announced voluntary separation program. It’s accurate that we’ve taken steps to optimize our business, streamline operations and improve our efficiency over the past few years.We’ll continue to make prudent business decisions over time. Meanwhile, we’re hiring in strategic areas of our business, including hardware and software development, engineering and customer coverage worldwide.