Dell looks to be heading toward staff layoffs of 20 to 30 percent

As PC shipments plummet for the seventh consecutive quarter, it's said that Dell is having to tighten its belt.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
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Dell headquarters in Round Rock, Texas. Dell

Dell appears to be feeling the effects of the PC market's downward slide. According to The Register, the company is said to be laying off a large portion of its staff from offices around the world.

Reportedly, Dell is looking to cut 20 percent of its US-based sales staff and 30 percent of its sales and marketing staff from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The company wouldn't say how many people this totaled up to.

Sources familiar with the matter told The Register that along with laying off employees that work in the PC department, Dell is also cutting staff from other departments like enterprise software and storage.

One source told The Register it was "[as if Dell were saying] let's shrink everything."

Worldwide PC shipments, including desktops and laptops, suffered their seventh consecutive quarter of decline last quarter, according to stats released Thursday by Gartner. Over the last two years, tablets and smartphones have replaced PCs -- contributing to the decline.

Global PC shipments for 2013 totaled 315.9 million units, declining 10 percent from 2012. Lenovo overtook Hewlett-Packard as the leading vendor in 2013, while Dell held steady in the third spot.

Dell spokesman David Frink said The Register's report on the layoffs was inaccurate. "The report is inaccurate," he said. "Dell has taken steps to optimize its business, streamline operations and improve its efficiency over the past few years. As always, we'll continue to review our operations in an effort to remain competitive and determine how we can add the most value to customers. Meanwhile, we're also continuing to invest in growing our engineering development, technology solutions and enterprise sales capabilities. We'll continue to make prudent business decisions over time."

Updated January 13 at 6:45 p.m. PT with comment from Dell spokesman David Frink.