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Michael Saul Dell (born February 23, 1965, in Houston, Texasmarker) is an Americanmarker multibillionaire businessman and the founder and CEO of Dell, Inc.


Early life and education

Dell was born into a family which liberally practiced Judaism. The son of an orthodontist and a stockbroker, Dell attended Herod Elementary School in Houston, Texasmarker. Dell had his first encounter with a computer at the age of 15 when he broke down a brand new Apple II computer and rebuilt it, just to see if he could. Dell attended Memorial High School in Houston where he did not excel academically. During that time he did however exhibit formidable business instincts selling subscriptions for the Houston Post. Selling to newlyweds Dell made $18,000 and bought a car and three computers with it.


While at the University of Texas at Austinmarker, he started a computer company called PC's Limited in room 2713 of twenty-seven story residence hall Dobie Centermarker.. The company became successful enough that, with the help of an additional loan from his grandparents, Dell dropped out of the university at the age of 19 to run PC's Limited, which later became Dell Computer Corporation, then ultimately Dell, Inc.

Over time, and despite a number of setbacks (including laptops that caught on fire in 1993, temporarily losing the consumer market to Gateway in the mid 1990s, and others), Dell survived the race to become the most profitable PC manufacturer in the world, with sales of $49 billion and profits of $3 billion in 2004. As Dell expanded its product line to more than computers, shareholders voted to rename the corporation Dell, Inc. in 2003.

On March 4, 2004, he stepped down as CEO of Dell but stayed as chairman of the board, while Kevin B. Rollins, then president and COO, became president and CEO. On January 31, 2007, Dell returned as CEO, succeeding Kevin Rollins (who resigned earlier in the day).

Accolades for Dell include: "Entrepreneur of the Year" from Inc. magazine; "Man of the Year" from PC magazine; "Top CEO in American Business" from Worth magazine; "CEO of the Year" from Financial World, Industry Week and Chief Executive magazine. At a speech before the Detroit Economic Club in November, 1999, Dell defined the "3 C's" of e-commerce (content, commerce, and community) while articulating his strategy for offering a superior customer experience online.

Wealth and personal life

As of 2009, Forbes estimates Dell's net worth at $12.3 billion.

Dell currently resides in Austin, Texasmarker with his wife, Susan, and their children, Kira, Alexa, and fraternal twins Zachary and Juliette.


On May 15, 2006, The University of Texas at Austinmarker announced a $50 million grant from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation to "bring excellence in children's health and education to Austin". The grant will enable the construction of three new facilities at the university. The first is the Dell Pediatric Research Institute which is expected to complement the new Dell Children's Medical Center nearby. The second is a new computer science building on the UT campus named Dell Computer Science Hall. The third is the Michael and Susan Dell Center for Advancement of Healthy Living, which is intended to address issues that affect healthy childhood development.

In 2002, he received an Honorary Doctorate in Economic Science from the University of Limerickmarker, in honor of his investment in Irelandmarker and the local community along with his support for educational initiatives.

Political lobbying and contributions

In 2005, Susan and Michael Dell were among 53 entities that each contributed $250,000 (the maximum legal donation) to the second inauguration of President George W. Bush.

MSD Capital

In 1998, Michael Dell founded MSD Capital LP, a private investment firm, to invest in various small companies on Dell's behalf. According to reports, the firm tends to invest in "late stage" investments rather than early in a company's startup.

Feud with Steve Jobs and Apple

Michael Dell had a public war of words with Apple, Inc.marker CEO Steve Jobs, starting when Jobs first criticized Dell for making "un-innovative beige boxes". On October 6, 1997, when Michael Dell was asked what he would do if he owned then-troubled Apple Computer, he said "I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." In the 2001 Apple special Media conference Jobs said "Michael Dell has said some discouraging things about us lately in public, but we're not going to engage in that sort of thing". In 2002, Dell's online store started selling Apple's iPod music players. They stopped selling iPods in 2003, due to contract issues between Dell and Apple. On January 13, 2006, Apple's market capitalization surpassed that of Dell.


Michael Dell expressed his desire to expand Dell's market share in various countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC). To this, Vladmir Putin responded by saying, "We don't need help. We are not invalids."


Dell has often been accused of a failure to innovate, but he insists the commercialisation of new technology is still high on the company's agenda. "Our global consumer business introduced double the number of products in 2008 than in 2007," he said. But Dell refuses to be drawn on questions relating to the company's entry into the smartphone market. "Ask me again in six months", he told Director magazine in April, 2009.


  1. William J. Holstein, Dell: one company, two CEO's, The Chief Executive, November 2003.
  2. Biography of Michael Dell
  3. History of Our School
  4. Direct From Dell 1999
  7. Dell Chief Is Replaced by Founder, New York Times.
  8. Biographical details and interview
  9. A Focus on Efficiency, The Chronicle, 4/6/2006.
  10. University of Limerick Press Release, 29 May 2002
  11. CNet
  12. CNet
  13. Video
  14. Director magazine, April 2009


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