For a lot of people in the media, Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell has been a punching bag these past few months. As one of the hardcores who remained on the White House manufacturing council even after President Donald Trump’s unfortunate comments about white supremacists in Charlottesville, the hardware honcho has been subject to more than couple of disparaging headlines.
But not in Boston. Specifically, not in the Boston Globe, which last week went so far as to salute Dell as a major CEO who “[doesn’t] buy the trickle-down promises of [Trump’s] tax bill.” (Don’t get too excited—his primary concern is hardly about the middle-class burden.)
The Globe of late has been a sort of gift for the computer giant, which acquired the Hopkinton-based EMC last year. Sometimes page one even comes wrapped in a holiday ad for Dell products, as was the case last Monday. Often, the newspaper’s reporters can’t get enough of the chief executive’s wisdom and rarely miss an opportunity to let Globe readers know how well the company is doing now that it’s in Mass. Like this piece from May, which highlighted its generous investments in the local economy:
On Monday, Dell detailed its existing roster of more than 70 investments, including in the Boston-area startups Nantero and Nasuni, and Darling said the company plans to write checks at a quicker pace now that the Dell-EMC merger is finished.
In July, Globe and Red Sox owner John Henry and his wife, Globe Managing Director Linda Pizzuti Henry, attended an exclusive billionaire’s retreat, the Allen & Company conference in Sun Valley, California. Other attendees included Ivanka Trump, her husband, Trump advisor Jared Kushner, and Michael Dell. One can only wonder who ran into whom out by the pool. Or spent quality time eating a meal together…
In September, after so much spite aimed at the holdouts clinging onto Trump’s manufacturing council led to the POTUS dissolving the group, the Globe accelerated its pro-Dell campaign. Check out this first line in a Bloomberg wire piece it ran titled “Dell benefits in first year after EMC merger with sales up”:
On the one-year anniversary of its historic tie-up with EMC, Dell Technologies Inc. is showing that bigger can be better.
Then came this humdinger about the CEO’s considerable giving. The headline is actually “Michael Dell’s latest investment? Boston,” and it begins like this:
One of our newest chief executives has launched a massive Hurricane Harvey relief effort. But he’s also behind a philanthropic initiative quietly taking shape in Boston.
Of course, Dell doesn’t give all his money to the poor. In early November, the Globe told us that he “may be buying Boston’s priciest penthouse ever”:
The three penthouses atop the 61-story Four Seasons tower being built at One Dalton Street are expected to be the most expensive ever sold in Boston, and one might have just found a billionaire buyer … Michael Dell … Sales details were not yet public, but the newspaper said the first two penthouse units at the tower went on the market at $40 million each …
The One Dalton residence wouldn’t be Dell’s first multimillion-dollar condo purchase in Boston. Dell purchased a penthouse condo at Millennium Tower for $10.9 million in December, after his company bought Hopkinton’s EMC Corp. for $60 billion last fall.
Taking things one step beyond written approval, last week the Globe came out in force for Boston College’s Chief Executives Club luncheon at the Boston Harbor Hotel, where Pizzuti Henry interviewed Dell on stage in front of hundreds. Several Globe editors and business writers attended, with some even using the interview to inform coverage in the following days. In addition to the aforementioned article detaching Dell from Trump on taxes, they threw a bone his way titled “Michael Dell says EMC merger working out better than expected.” Hold your nose for this one:
The $60 billion mega-merger of Dell and EMC is now more than a year in the books. But in his first public speaking appearance in Boston since the deal, chief executive Michael Dell on Tuesday discussed how he first set his sights on EMC as far back as 2008.
In the past, Michael Dell has reportedly been hostile toward journalists, even telling his employees to “ignore media reports on [the] EMC deal.” Who knows, though—with its nonstop flattery, the Globe may change the CEO’s opinion of the press after all.