Michael Saul Dell (born February 23, 1965) is an American billionaire businessman and investor. He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Dell Technologies, one of the world's largest technology infrastructure companies.[1]

Michael Dell
Dell in 2010
Born
Michael Saul Dell

(1965-02-23) February 23, 1965 (age 59)
Alma materUniversity of Texas (dropped out)
Occupation(s)Businessman, investor, philanthropist
Known forFounder of Dell Technologies Inc.
Founder of MSD Capital
TitleChairman and CEO of Dell Technologies Inc.
Chairman of VMware
Spouse
Susan Lynn Lieberman
(m. 1989)
Children4
RelativesAdam Dell (brother)
Signature

He is the 15th richest person in the world according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with a net worth of $80 billion as of December 2023.[2] As of October 2023, according to Forbes, approximately $50 billion of his net worth was derived from his 50% stake in Dell and 40% stake in VMWare, with the rest being held by his family office DFO Management.[3]

In January 2013 it was announced that he had bid to take Dell Inc. private for $24.4 billion in the biggest management buyout since the Great Recession. Dell Inc. officially went private in October 2013.[4] The company once again went public in December 2018.[5]

Early life and education edit

Dell was born in 1965 in Houston to a Jewish family. His parents were Lorraine Charlotte (née Langfan), a stockbroker,[6] and Alexander Dell, an orthodontist. Michael attended Herod Elementary School in Houston.[7] In a bid to enter business early, he applied to take a high school equivalency exam at age eight.[8] In his early teens, he invested his earnings from part-time jobs in stocks and precious metals.[9]

Dell purchased his first calculator at age seven and encountered an early teletype terminal in junior high. At age 15, after playing with computers at Radio Shack, he got his first computer, an Apple II, which he promptly disassembled to see how it worked.[10] Dell attended Memorial High School in Houston, selling subscriptions to the Houston Post in the summer.[11] Dell's parents wanted him to be a doctor and in order to please them, he took up pre-med at the University of Texas in 1983.[12] Dell continued learning to target specific populations for newspaper subscriptions rather than just making cold calls.[13] He discovered that people who were most likely to get a subscription were newlyweds and people moving to a new home. After collecting the contact information of this population from public records, he sent direct mail appeals and earned $18,000 in one year.[11] He hired several employees, and after earning a gross profit of nearly $200,000 in his first year of business, Dell dropped out of the University of Texas at age 19.[14]

Business career edit

 
A PC's Limited Turbo PC signed by Dell
 
Michael Dell lecturing at the Oracle OpenWorld, San Francisco 2010

While a freshman pre-med student at the University of Texas, Dell started an informal business putting together and selling upgrade kits for personal computers in Room 2713 of the Dobie Center residential building.[15][16] He then applied for a vendor license to bid on contracts for the State of Texas, winning bids by not having the overhead of a computer store.[17][18][19]

In January 1984, Dell believed that the potential cost savings of a manufacturer selling PCs directly had enormous advantages over the conventional indirect retail channel.[20] In January 1984, Dell registered his company as "PC's Limited". Dell’s strategy was to sell directly to customers by manufacturing computers only after they were ordered.[21] Operating out of a condominium, the business sold between $50,000 and $80,000 worth of PC upgrades, kits, and add-on components. In May, Dell incorporated the company as "Dell Computer Corporation" and relocated to a business center in North Austin. The company employed a few people as order takers, a few more to fill the orders, and, as Dell recalled, a manufacturing staff consisting of "three guys with screwdrivers sitting at six-foot tables". The venture's capitalization cost was $1,000.[22][23]

In 1992, aged 27, he became the youngest CEO of a company ranked in Fortune magazine's list of the top 500 corporations.[24] In 1996, Dell started selling computers over the Web, the same year his company launched its first servers. By March 1997, Dell Inc. reported about $1 million in sales per day from dell.com.[25][26] In the first quarter of 2001, Dell Inc. reached a world market share of 12.8 percent, surpassing Compaq to become the world's largest PC maker. The metric marked the first time the rankings had shifted over the previous seven years. The company's combined shipments of desktops, notebooks and servers grew 34.3 percent worldwide and 30.7 percent in the United States at a time when competitors' sales were shrinking.[27]

On March 4, 2004, Dell stepped down as CEO, but stayed as chairman of Dell Inc.'s board, while Kevin Rollins, then president and COO, became president and CEO. On January 31, 2007, Dell returned as CEO at the request of the board, succeeding Rollins.[28]

In 2013, Michael Dell with the help of Silver Lake Partners, Microsoft, and a consortium of lenders took Dell, Inc. private. The deal was reportedly worth $25 billion and faced difficulties during its execution. Notable resistance came from Carl Icahn, but after several months he stepped aside. Michael Dell received a 75% stake in the company.[29]

On October 12, 2015, Dell Inc. announced its intent to acquire the enterprise software and storage company EMC Corporation. At $67 billion, it has been labeled the "highest-valued tech acquisition in history".[30][31] The acquisition was finalized September 7, 2016.[32]

Penalty edit

In July 2010 Dell Inc. agreed to pay a $100 million penalty to settle SEC charges[33] of disclosure and accounting fraud in relation to undisclosed payments from Intel Corporation. Michael Dell and former CEO Kevin Rollins agreed to pay $4 million each and former CFO James Schneider agreed to pay $3 million to settle the charges.[33]

Accolades edit

Accolades for Dell include "Entrepreneur of the Year" (at age 24) from Inc. magazine;[34] "Top CEO in American Business" from Worth magazine; "CEO of the Year" from Financial World, IndustryWeek and Chief Executive magazines. Dell also received the 1998 Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement[35] and the 2013 Franklin Institute's Bower Award for Business Leadership.[36]

Affiliations edit

Dell serves on the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum, the executive committee of the International Business Council, the U.S. Business Council. He previously served as a member of the U.S. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.[37]

In April 2020, Governor Greg Abbott named Dell to the Strike Force to Open Texas – a group "tasked with finding safe and effective ways to slowly reopen the state" during the COVID-19 pandemic.[38] He also serves as an advisor on the COVID-19 Technology Task Force, a technology industry coalition founded in March 2020 collaborating on solutions to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.[39]

Writings edit

Dell's 1999 book, Direct from Dell: Strategies That Revolutionized an Industry (by HarperBusiness), is an account of his early life, his company's founding, growth and missteps, as well as lessons learned. The book was written in collaboration with Catherine Fredman.[40]

Dell's second book, Play Nice But Win: A CEO's Journey from Founder to Leader (by Portfolio), is a story of inside battles that defined him as a leader. The book was written in collaboration with James Kaplan.[41]

Wealth edit

In 1998, Dell founded MSD Capital L.P., later renamed DFO Management, to manage his family's investments.[42]

In February 2018, it was reported that in 2014, Dell had paid $100.5 million for Manhattan's One57 penthouse, which was then a record for the most expensive home ever sold in the city.[43]

In December 2023, Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimated his net worth as $80 billion.[2]

Personal life edit

Dell married Susan Lieberman on October 28, 1989, in Austin, Texas; the couple reside there with their four children.[44]

Philanthropy edit

In 1999, Michael and Susan Dell established the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, which focuses on, among other causes, grants, urban education, childhood health and family economic stability.[citation needed] Dell is also behind the founding of the Dell Jewish Community Campus in the Northwest Hills neighborhood of Austin.[45]

References edit

  1. ^ "Surrounding oneself with the best talent". Industr. Archived from the original on April 26, 2020. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Bloomberg Billionaires Index: Michael Dell". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on October 6, 2021. Retrieved November 5, 2023.
  3. ^ Liu, Phoebe (October 20, 2023). "Michael Dell Just Made His Biggest Ever Donation Of Dell Stock". Forbes. Retrieved February 13, 2024.
  4. ^ Guglielmo, Connie (October 30, 2013). "Dell Officially Goes Private: Inside The Nastiest Tech Buyout Ever". Forbes. Archived from the original on August 5, 2017. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  5. ^ "Dell returns to market with NYSE listing". Reuters. December 28, 2018. Archived from the original on May 5, 2019. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  6. ^ Biography of Michael Dell. businessweek.com (From The Associated Press; 2007-01-31).
  7. ^ Tweedie, Steven (May 9, 2015). "The yearbook photos of 13 famous titans of tech". Business Insider. Retrieved February 13, 2024.
  8. ^ "Michael S. Dell". Academy of Achievement. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  9. ^ "Michael S. Dell Biography and Interview". www.achievement.org. American Academy of Achievement. Archived from the original on February 24, 2019. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  10. ^ Dell, Michael; Catherine Fredman (1999). Direct from Dell: Strategies that Revolutionized an Industry. HarperBusiness. pp. 6–7. ISBN 0-88730-914-3.
  11. ^ a b Carey, Jr., Charles (2020). American Inventors, Entrepreneurs, and Business Visionaries, Revised Edition. New York, NY: Infobase Holdings, Inc. p. 134. ISBN 978-1-4381-8214-8.
  12. ^ "Michael Dell". Entrepreneur. October 9, 2008. Archived from the original on June 29, 2020. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  13. ^ Dell, Michael; Catherine Fredman (1999). Direct from Dell: Strategies that Revolutionized an Industry. HarperBusiness. pp. 4–5. ISBN 0-88730-914-3.
  14. ^ Dell, Michael (March 17, 2018). "First financial statement for @Dell. The one I used to convince my parents that it was OK for me to not go back to collegepic.twitter.com/kKuGDsyvYZ". @MichaelDell. Archived from the original on December 14, 2022. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  15. ^ "Proud Products: Michael Dell". March 15, 2008. Archived from the original on March 15, 2008. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  16. ^ Kirk Ladendorf. "Dell remembers his beginning while looking toward the future" Austin American-Statesman. November 27, 2011, pp. E1, E2.
  17. ^ Dell, Michael; Catherine Fredman (1999). Direct from Dell: Strategies that Revolutionized an Industry. HarperBusiness. pp. 9–10. ISBN 0-88730-914-3.
  18. ^ Larry Faulkner, President, University of Texas at Austin (2003). Michael Dell Remarks Archived March 24, 2004, at the Wayback Machine. dell.com
  19. ^ Buchholz, Jan (April 29, 2014). "UT's famed high-rise dorm where Dell launched to get $4 million makeover". Statesman.com. Archived from the original on June 23, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  20. ^ Biase, Stephen A. Di (2015). Applied Innovation: A Handbook. Chicago, IL: Premier Insights LLC. p. 379. ISBN 978-1-5054-1687-9.
  21. ^ Carbaugh, Robert (2014). Contemporary Economics: An Applications Approach\\\\ (7th ed.). Oxon: Routledge. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-7656-4177-9.
  22. ^ Dell, Michael; Catherine Fredman (1999). Direct from Dell: Strategies that Revolutionized an Industry. HarperBusiness. pp. 12–13. ISBN 0-88730-914-3.
  23. ^ Kessler, Michelle (March 4, 2004). "Dell founder passes torch to new CEO". USA Today. Archived from the original on October 16, 2011. Retrieved January 6, 2010.
  24. ^ "Michael Dell". National Press Club Summary. National Public Radio. June 8, 2008. Archived from the original on April 4, 2019. Retrieved April 16, 2010.
  25. ^ "Dell eyes shipment milestone". CNET. No. 2 January 2002. Retrieved February 13, 2024.
  26. ^ Dell, Michael; Catherine Fredman (1999). Direct from Dell: Strategies that Revolutionized an Industry. HarperBusiness. p. xiv. ISBN 0-88730-914-3.
  27. ^ Kanellos, Michael (April 1, 2001). "Dell beats Compaq for No. 1 ranking". CNET News. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012. Retrieved April 16, 2010.
  28. ^ "Dell Chief Replaced by Founder" Archived November 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, New York Times.
  29. ^ Guglielmo, Connie. "Dell Officially Goes Private: Inside the Nastiest Tech Buyout Ever". Forbes. Archived from the original on August 5, 2017. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  30. ^ "Dell agrees $67bn EMC takeover". BBC News. October 12, 2015. Archived from the original on July 18, 2018. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  31. ^ "Dell to Buy EMC in Deal Worth About $67 Billion". Bloomberg.com. October 12, 2015. Archived from the original on January 13, 2017. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  32. ^ "Historic Dell and EMC Merger Complete; Forms World's Largest Privately-Controlled Tech Company | Business Wire". www.businesswire.com. September 7, 2016. Archived from the original on November 4, 2016. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  33. ^ a b "Dell Inc., Michael S. Dell, Kevin B. Rollins, James M. Schneider, Leslie L. Jackson, Nicholas A.R. Dunning". Sec.gov. July 22, 2010. Archived from the original on July 9, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
  34. ^ Richman, Tom (January 1, 1990). "The Entrepreneur of the Year". Inc. Archived from the original on March 31, 2010. Retrieved April 16, 2010.
  35. ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". www.achievement.org. American Academy of Achievement. Archived from the original on December 15, 2016. Retrieved September 14, 2020.
  36. ^ "MICHAEL S. DELL". Franklin Institute. October 3, 2014. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  37. ^ "Michael Dell". Dell Inc. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  38. ^ "These are the experts, leaders working with Gov. Abbott's strike force to reopen Texas". khou.com. April 17, 2020. Archived from the original on April 25, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  39. ^ Jacox, Madi (February 12, 2021). "Leadership". COVID-19 Technology Task Force. Archived from the original on December 24, 2022. Retrieved December 25, 2022.
  40. ^ Dell, Michael; Catherine Fredman (1999). Direct from Dell: Strategies that Revolutionized an Industry. HarperBusiness. ISBN 0-88730-914-3.
  41. ^ "Reading recommendations: Paul Polman and Michael Dell have new books out". Fortune. Archived from the original on October 6, 2021. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  42. ^ Weiss, Miles (January 31, 2013). "Dell Keeps LBO Financing in the Family With MSD Capital". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved February 13, 2024.
  43. ^ Clarke, Katherine (February 22, 2018). "Michael Dell Paid a Record $100.47 Million for Manhattan's One57 Penthouse". The Wall Street Journal. The New York Times, New York City, United States. Archived from the original on February 22, 2018. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  44. ^ COLLOFF, PAMELA (July 31, 2000). "Suddenly Susan". Texas Monthly. Archived from the original on November 12, 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  45. ^ Gwynne, S.C. (February 7, 2013). "Dell's Great Success Story". Texas Monthly. Archived from the original on September 29, 2017. Retrieved October 1, 2017.

Further reading edit

External links edit