In the wake of Dell Inc.'s disclosure Monday that it might have to restate recent earnings statements because of discoveries made by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), company founder and chairman Michael Dell has defended his embattled chief executive, Kevin Rollins.
"Kevin has done an outstanding job as chief executive," Dell told a crowd at the company's annual Technology Day meeting in New York Tuesday. "We run the company together, so if you want to blame somebody, you can blame me too."
Dell will delay filing its quarterly Form 10-Q to the SEC until it answers questions raised by an SEC investigation into its accounting and financial reporting practices, the company said Monday. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York has opened a separate investigation, involving documents filed from 2002 to the present. Both offices have raised the possibility of misstatements in prior period financial reports.
Dell has already announced a preliminary earnings report for the second quarter, highlighted by a 51 percent drop in profit from the same period last year. Form 10-Q is the formal quarterly earnings report required of every publicly traded company.
Asked whether he would heed calls from analysts and investors to resign, Rollins said he disagreed with the sentiment, then turned the podium over to his boss.
"Any press speculation on that is completely useless. Feel free to speculate, but it's not going to happen," Dell said. "The CEO is chosen by the board of directors and the shareholders, and I'm the largest shareholder, so you can do the math."
Dell and Rollins declined to give further details on the investigations, saying only that they were cooperating fully.