Dell founder 'unaware' of company's financial shenanigans

Michael Dell briefly addresses accounting scandal, also answers questions about the company's strategy in retail and consumer PC markets.

For the first time since Dell admitted that some of its accountants had been cooking the books to meet quarterly numbers, company founder Michael Dell spoke publicly about the scandal.

At the Citigroup Technology Conference in New York City on Wednesday, Dell said he had no part in the fudged numbers and no idea what the accounting department was up to between 2003 and 2006.

"I was not involved in or aware of any of the accounting irregularities. And certainly I'm not proud of what occurred at our company, but I'm proud of the company overall," he said.

That's despite the company's acknowledgment that senior executives knew about the financial misdeeds and even encouraged them. But he said he has assumed responsibility for making sure it doesn't happen again.

"I think our company has undertaken a set of extraordinary processes to discover and root this out of our company, whether it's people, resources, systems. What you have now at Dell is really a new team that is addressing all the issues raised in the investigation and moving on and thinking about the future growth of the company," he continued.

In reality, they can't move on quite yet because though Dell's internal audit may be over, the SEC's investigation into the matter is still ongoing.

Next up were Dell's recent woes in the consumer PC market . He said consumer sales accounted for 15 percent of Dell's revenue, which makes the company's presence in consumer markets "massively underrepresented," he said. He said they're completely rethinking how to approach the consumer market, and pointed to products like the new (and very backlogged ) XPS M1330 notebook. He hinted that we'd see " several other products " that fall into that category soon.

Speaking of backlogged product, he also addressed the delays plaguing new XPS and Inspiron notebooks, but curiously there was no mention of paint-related problems . Turns out the company just didn't plan properly, and when Dell projected demand for their new notebooks six months ago, they miscalculated. "I don't like it, and it's frustrating, but it's a problem we know how to solve," he said.

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About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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