A Dell spokesperson confirmed with Business Insider that the company is asking its employees to quit. Dell is calling this scheme a "voluntary separation program," and cannot be deemed as a layoff even though this program has layoff elements such as getting a chunk of money to use until the person finds another job, eligibility and so on.
"Dell has announced an optional, global and voluntary separation program for eligible team members who choose to leave the company in exchange for the offer of a separation package to support their transition," reads Dell's statement. "Would note that we've taken steps to optimize our business, streamline operations and improve efficiency over the past few years."
"And we [have] been consistent in saying that a critical element of our strategy has been, and always will be, about improving our cost structure and freeing up capital to make the investments in growth areas that matter to our customers," the statement adds.
There's speculation that Dell is feeling pressured to trim expenses, thus freeing up some needed cash. Founder Michael Dell and investment firm Silver Lake Partners completed a $24.9 billion buyout of the company back in October, making it a privately-held company. As part of the deal, the two borrowed $5.5 billion and another $2 billion from Microsoft. That said, it's no surprise that Dell is looking to free up some cash.
"Like any prudent company, we'll continue to evaluate and implement opportunities to enhance our operational effectiveness on an ongoing basis," the statement reads. "We won't have additional comment about the program, the number of Dell team members taking advantage of it or the cost involved."
The Dell spokesperson confirmed that this volunteer exit is not an early retirement plan, and is open to all global employees. Other companies have provided similar programs for long term employees soon eligible for retirement benefits, but this program has nothing to do with retirement.