Dell: Report of 15,000 Job Cuts 'Wildy Inaccurate'

The company said some employees have taken a voluntary buyout, but that reports of an upcoming massive wave of layoffs are off target.

Reports that layoffs at Dell could hit as many as 15,000 employees are "wildly inaccurate," according to a company spokesman.

The tech Website The Register, citing unnamed sources within the newly private tech vendor, reported that Dell officials could begin the job-cutting process as early as this week, and that they could number as many as 15,000, with the layoffs hitting most departments in the company.

Dell officials in a statement Feb. 3 said that "a small percentage of Dell’s global team members accepted the company’s offer of a significant severance package associated with a voluntary separation program. We’ve taken steps to optimize our business, streamline operations and improve our efficiency over the past few years. And, like any prudent business, we’ll continue to do so. Meanwhile, we’re hiring in strategic areas of our business, including hardware and software development, engineering and customer coverage worldwide."

However, as reports of 15,000 layoffs circulated throughout the tech news media Feb. 3, the company—which has about 110,000 employees—became even more forceful, with a spokesman saying in a brief statement that "the report in The Register is wildly inaccurate." He did not give more details.

It's been a difficult few years for tech companies with ties to the PC market, which has seen sales fall worldwide as consumers and business users spend more of their dollars on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. PCs are still critical computing tools, but users are doing more with their mobile devices and the buying cycle for PCs continues to lengthen, according to industry analysts. The result is falling sales numbers, with Gartner analysts saying PC shipments will continue to decline through 2015.

Founder and CEO Michael Dell and financial backer Silver Lake Partners bought the company for almost $25 billion in September and took it private, a move that the CEO and other executives said will help accelerate the transformation of Dell into an enterprise IT solutions and services provider. The company will continue to make PCs, but officials want to reduce Dell's dependence on that market.

Dell has spent billions of dollars over the past several years buying dozens of companies to expand its capabilities in such areas as storage, networking, enterprise software and the cloud. The company also is building up its portfolio of mobile devices, including tablets.