Dell’s directors get new Adamos…

June 2, 2009

With the end of proxy season came the end of Perkswatch, the temporary blog that was running as part of the NY Times Dealbook. And while the deluge of proxies has ended, there’s still proxies for companies that aren’t on a calendar year, like Dell (DELL) which filed its proxy yesterday.

While most of the stories I’ve seen about Dell’s proxy focus on Michael Dell’s diminished paycheck, I was far more interested in a disclosure about Dell’s directors, who seem to have acquired a new perk in the past year: top-of-the-line Dell laptops and technical support for two directors that we’re guessing is several cuts above what most Dell customers receive.

According to the proxy, each of Dell’s 10 directors, who include former Citigroup (C) executive Sallie Krawcheck and former Senator Sam Nunn, received a laptop worth $2,108. It’s not clear from the filing whether this is the cost of the laptop or the retail price, but we’re betting it’s the former, judging by the Adamo page on Dell’s website. It also appears to be a new perk, or, at the very least, a new disclosure, judging by earlier filings. And, in addition to a cash fee and stock options, it brings the total compensation paid to several directors, including Krawcheck over $500K last year.

While allowing directors to sample the goods is probably a good idea to provide real-life feedback on the items that a company sells, it seems equally important to test out various products — in this case, not just the top-of-the-line laptops, but the $449 models too — and the same customer service that ordinary customers get too.

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