Michael Saul Dell (born
February 23, 1965, in Houston, Texas) is an American
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, Texas.
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
in Houston where he did not excel academically. During
that time he did however exhibit formidable business instincts
selling subscriptions for the Houston
. Selling to newlyweds Dell made $18,000 and bought a
car and three computers with it.
the University of
Texas at Austin, he started a computer company called PC's
Limited in room 2713 of twenty-seven story residence hall
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,
Over time, and despite a number of setbacks (including laptops that
caught on fire in 1993, temporarily losing the consumer market to
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.
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
magazine; "Man of the
Year" from PC
CEO in American Business" from Worth
magazine; "CEO of the Year" from
magazine. At a speech before the Detroit Economic Club
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.
currently resides in Austin, Texas with his wife, Susan, and their children, Kira,
Alexa, and fraternal twins Zachary and Juliette.
On May 15,
2006, The University of Texas at Austin 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
which is expected to complement the new
Dell Children's Medical
nearby. The second is a new computer science building on
the UT campus named Dell Computer Science Hall. The third is the
and Susan Dell Center for Advancement of Healthy Living
is intended to address issues that affect healthy childhood
he received an Honorary Doctorate in Economic Science from the University of
Limerick, in honor of his investment in Ireland and the local community along with his support for
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.
In 1998, Michael Dell founded MSD Capital
, 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
Feud with Steve Jobs and Apple
Dell had a public war of words with Apple, Inc.
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
players. They stopped selling iPods in 2003, due to contract issues
between Dell and Apple. On January 13, 2006, Apple's market capitalization
Michael Dell expressed his desire to expand Dell's market share in
various countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China
). 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
in April, 2009.
- William J. Holstein, Dell: one company, two CEO's,
The Chief Executive, November 2003.
- Biography of Michael Dell
- History of Our School
- Direct From Dell
- Dell Chief Is Replaced by Founder,
- Biographical details and interview
- A Focus on Efficiency, The Chronicle,
- http://www.ul.ie/main/news/dell.doc University of Limerick
Press Release, 29 May 2002
- http://ru.youtube.com/watch?v=qWwcVckT2Io Video
- Director magazine, April 2009