Quest celebrates first day of independence from Dell with layoffs

They were promised cake – that should have been the first warning

'The cake is a lie'

Exclusive Quest, the newly liberated Dell software division, rang in its first day as a standalone company by announcing a restructuring that included significant layoffs.

The Register has now heard from multiple sources that Quest has pink-slipped employees, with top management staff shown the door and deep cuts made to marketing and sales. Among those said to be leaving are president John Swainson, as well as Tom Joyce, general manager of information management, and Curtis Hutcheson, general manager of the network security unit, plus the veep of marketing.

We understand that axed staff were offered two months of severance plus one week for every year worked as well as help in finding new jobs. In an internal "Quest employees only" email, obtained by El Reg, newly installed chairman and CEO Jeff Hawn says the biz will look to make the cuts "fast and fair":

As we are reconfiguring the company to go to market in new ways and increasing investments in a number of new areas, we will be reducing spending in other areas. As such, we are restructuring, and that will result in job losses.

Chopped staff say their IT access credentials have already been revoked and many have already left their offices for good.

A Quest spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.

The shakeup comes as California-based Quest Software officially begins life outside of Dell. The management software house says it has 100,000 customers worldwide, and its products include database tool TOAD and One Identity. Quest was spun off from its parent Dell Software Group with the backing of investment firms Francisco Partners and Elliott Management for a rumored $2bn. Francisco has installed new bosses amid the layoffs. Here's the latest leadership line up:

  • President, Identity and Security Management – John Milburn
  • President, Information Management – Kathleen Owens
  • President, Platform Management – Michael Tweddle
  • President, Data Protection and Endpoint Management – Ronnie Wilson
  • Chief Financial Officer – Carolyn McCarthy
  • Chief Business Operations Officer – Katherine Tate
  • General Counsel – Brad Haque
  • Human Resources – Amy Nelson
  • Sales, Americas – Larry Humphries
  • Sales, EMEA – Ronnie Wilson
  • Sales, APJ – Brenton Smith

In his email to staff, Hawn added:

While the large size of Quest provides terrific advantages for us to better serve our customers, the need for speed and focus is most important. As such, we will be reconfiguring the company into four business units that will provide an uninterrupted line of sight from the products, through sales, and services into the customer base.

These four units will be Identity and Security Management, Information Management (including Performance Management & Advanced Analytics), Platform Management, and Data Protection and Endpoint Management. Each unit will be managed in a way that will be tailored to specific needs of its customers so that we capture the maximum number of market opportunities. Each business unit will be led by its own President & General Manager.

To simplify doing business with our customers and for employees, we will establish a common operating model across the business including Finance, Legal, HR and Operations.

"We were supposed to have cake and celebrations in every office but instead many people were walked out the door,” one source familiar with the matter said told us today.

"This includes individual contributors, directors, whole teams, and product marketing managers among other general managers and vice presidents. It's definitely a gloomy day. Most of the company was hit hard."

The layoffs were not exactly a surprise, as for weeks now we have been hearing that the closing of the deal would bring about a restructuring.

Sure enough, it seems the very first day of Quest Software's existence brought about the feared deep cuts. ®


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