FORTUNE -- Dell Inc. today made its first major management change since being going private late last year, announcing that chief financial officer Brian Gladden is leaving the company. His replacement will be Thomas Sweet, who had been serving as the computer-maker's corporate controller and chief accounting officer.
Michael Dell lauded Gladden's "many contributions" in a prepared statement, while Gladden said that "as Dell turns the page to start its next chapter, I have decided it is the right time for me to do the same."
It is entirely possible that Gladden does indeed feel that his job at Dell is done, and he's excited about some new opportunity (a Dell spokesman notes that Gladden once was a CEO, and aspires to be one again). And it's equally possible that Michael Dell is saddened by Gladden's departure, and tried to convince him to stay.
But let me propose a more cynical scenario: Gladden was pushed, either explicitly or implicitly.
Gladden was the company's chief financial officer, but Dell's financial performance consistently came up short of its internal projections. In fact, things got so bad during the buyout process that Dell's special committee paid The Boston Consulting Group to provide an independent financial analysis of the company's prospects. In other words, Dell could no longer trust the numbers they were getting from Gladden and his team.
At the time, I wrote that "it's kind of a wonder that CFO Brian Gladden still has his job."
Well, now he doesn't.
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Michael Dell gives "interview," after getting shareholder approval for his $25 billion buyout of Dell Inc.
FORTUNE -- Dell Inc. shareholders last Thursday approved a $25 billion buyout of the company by founder and CEO Michael Dell, working in partnership with private equity firm Silver Lake.
The vote came more than 14 months after Dell and Silver Lake first discussed the possibility of such a transaction, and seven months after the agreement MOREDan Primack - Sep 16, 2013 12:11 PM ET
The long Dell saga nears its conclusion.
FORTUNE -- Dell Inc. shareholders today are expected to approve a $24.5 billion buyout of the company by CEO Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake, more than seven months after the agreement was first announced.
Since then there has been a go-shop process that included serious interest from The Blackstone Group, Carl Icahn's entry into the fray, crumbling PC industry data, numerous vote MOREDan Primack - Sep 12, 2013 6:30 AM ET
Michael Dell nears knockout of Carl Icahn.
FORTUNE -- Carl Icahn today acknowledged that he will be unable to thwart Michael Dell's attempts to take Dell Inc. (DELL) private, with Dell shareholders expected to approve the $25 billion deal this Thursday.
Icahn has been fighting the PC maker's founder and CEO for months, and has become its largest outside shareholder with nearly a 9% stake. But he recently lost a key legal MOREDan Primack - Sep 9, 2013 10:55 AM ET
Not all management buyouts are necessarily bad for shareholders.
FORTUNE -- Ever since Michael Dell first offered to take Dell Inc. (DELL) private, certain people have come out in knee-jerk opposition. "He must know something the rest of us don't," they argue, leading to accusations that Dell is trying to "steal" the company he founded nearly 30 years ago.
First we heard this complaint from longtime Dell stockholders. Then from relative newcomer MOREDan Primack - Aug 16, 2013 1:24 PM ET
Putting the Dell sale in timeline context.
FORTUNE -- The Dell (DELL) buyout seems to have been dragging on forever, but it has a long ways to go before calling the folks at Guinness.
From what I can tell, the longest formal buyout process of all time belongs to Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners' pursuit of Clear Channel Communications.
In that case, Clear Channel announced on Nov. 14, 2006 that it MOREDan Primack - Aug 5, 2013 1:27 PM ET
Dell makes its founder an offer he probably can't refuse.
FORTUNE -- Michael Dell and Carl Icahn finally have something in common: They are annoyed with Dell Inc.'s special committee.
Dell's (DELL) special committee this morning rejected a new buyout proposal from Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake, which would have raised their offer from $13.65 per share to $13.75 per share in exchange for a voting rules change that MOREDan Primack - Jul 31, 2013 9:34 AM ET
Don't expect Michael Dell to raise his price.
FORTUNE -- There are multiple reports out this afternoon that Dell Inc.'s (DELL) special committee may delay Thursday's scheduled shareholder vote on the $24.4 billion buyout proposal from Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake.
Here is how Bloomberg explained the situation:
Adjourning the vote would give buyers Dell and Silver Lake Management LLC time to boost the bid or declare the current offer of MOREDan Primack - Jul 16, 2013 4:44 PM ET
Shareholder advisory firm ISS favors Michael Dell's buyout offer.
FORTUNE -- Dell Inc. (DELL) shareholders should accept a $13.65 per share buyout offer from company founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, according to a statement released this morning by Institutional Shareholder Services.
It is not unusual for ISS to endorse a large take-private transaction, but there were strong indications last week that the shareholder advisory firm viewed the deal MOREDan Primack - Jul 8, 2013 7:37 AM ET
Even if Michael Dell loses in the short-term, he could win in the long-term.
FORTUNE -- Carl Icahn yesterday laid out the details of his $5.2 billion in debt financing for Dell Inc. tender offer. Turns out Icahn himself had to put up a whopping $3.1 billion, after originally suggesting that he'd be good for $2 billion in a worst-case scenario. In other words, it was a tough sell.
So I wrote a MOREDan Primack - Jul 3, 2013 12:53 PM ET
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