Dell Says Mergers Head Johnson Has Departed for Blackstone

Dell Inc. said Dave Johnson, who handled mergers and acquisitions, has departed to take a senior position at private-equity firm Blackstone Group LP.

Johnson’s responsibilities will be handled by Chris Kleiman, who will be in charge of corporate development, and Prakash Jothee, who will run the corporate strategy team, Round Rock, Texas-based Dell said in a statement. Both executives will report to Chief Financial Officer Brian Gladden.

Dell hired Johnson from International Business Machines Corp. in 2009, triggering a lawsuit by IBM seeking to block his employment at Dell because it said he violated a noncompetition agreement. Dell prevailed in the suit, and Johnson went on to accelerate Dell’s deal-making.

On his watch, Dell spent about $10 billion on more than 20 acquisitions, David Frink, a spokesman, said in the statement. To diversify beyond its roots as a personal-computer supplier, Dell has been snapping up companies including Quest Software in data-center management, Force10 Networks in computer networking and Compellent Technologies in storage.

The company had $14.2 billion in cash and investments at the end of the fiscal third quarter, Dell said in November. At the company’s DellWorld conference in Austin, Texas, last month, Chief Executive Officer and founder Michael Dell said the company has spent more than $12.7 billion on 18 acquisitions since 2009, and will focus on small and medium-size deals to add tools that complement its PCs and servers.

Johnson’s departure was previously reported by the website IT Voir, and by Reuters.

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