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February 2, 2012

Dell hires former CA boss to head new Software Group

Dell looks to step up battle with IBM and HP with industry veteran appointment

By Vinod

Dell has appointed former CA boss John Swainson to head up its new Software Group as it joins IBM and HP in continuing to move away from its hardware roots.

Swainson will report directly to founder and CEO Michael Dell and will be tasked with selling Dell software to larger enterprises. It is part of Dell’s move to sell a combination of hardware, software and services to its customers, in what the company describes as a ‘$3 trillion industry’.

"The addition of software, both within the Software Group and across all of Dell, will help catalyse our transformation," said Michael Dell in a statement. "As software will be a part of all of our products and services, the group’s success will be largely be measured by the success of Dell overall."

The company has expanded its portfolio in recent years to include software and services alongside its traditional hardware products, with acquisitions such as Perot Systems in the services sector and Boomi and MessageOne in the software space.

Rivals IBM and HP have both moved into the software and services space as well, with differing levels of success.

Swainson most recently served as an advisor to private equity firm Silver Lake. Prior to that he had a successful spell as CEO of CA between 2005 and 2009. He also worked at IBM for more than 25 years.

"John is an outstanding leader with an unparalleled record of achievement," added Michael Dell. "He brings to Dell extensive experience in leading and growing software businesses, unique expertise in managing complex software organisations, and a passion for listening to and serving customers. I look forward to working with John as he expands our enterprise solutions and builds on our software capabilities.

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""This is an exciting time to join Dell," said Swainson. "As a leading IT solutions provider, Dell brings key assets and advantages to the software sector, including a strong global brand, a diverse global customer base and customer loyalty that creates opportunities to expand relationships with software."

He will begin his role as President, Software Group on March 5th.

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