Michael Dell

Michael Dell is an American entrepreneur and business magnate who is widely recognized as the founder and CEO of Dell Technologies, one of the world’s largest technology companies. With his visionary leadership and innovative approach, Dell revolutionized the computer industry and became one of the most influential figures in the technology sector.

Early life

Michael Dell was born in Houston in 1965 to Alexander Dell, an orthodontist, and Lorraine Charlotte Dell, a stockbroker. Growing up, he attended Herod Elementary School and later Memorial High School, where he developed a passion for business and technology. Demonstrating his entrepreneurial drive, Dell took a high school equivalency exam at the young age of eight and began investing his earnings from part-time jobs in stocks and precious metals during his early teens.

During his junior high years, Dell’s interest in technology was sparked when he acquired his first calculator at the age of seven and later encountered a teletype terminal. His curiosity led him to purchase his first computer, an Apple II, at the age of 15, which he dismantled to gain a deeper understanding of its workings. While attending Memorial High School, Dell spent his summers selling subscriptions to the Houston Post. Despite his parents’ wishes for him to pursue a medical career, he enrolled in pre-med at the University of Texas in 1983 to appease them.

During his time at the university, Dell honed his business skills by refining his approach to target specific populations for newspaper subscriptions instead of relying solely on cold calls. This strategy proved successful, as he earned an impressive $18,000 that summer. Encouraged by his early business achievements, Dell made the bold decision to drop out of the University of Texas at the age of 19. By the end of his first year in business, he had generated a gross profit of nearly $200,000.

Dell married Susan Lieberman on October 28, 1989, in Austin, Texas and the couple had four children.


In 1984, while studying at the University of Texas at Austin, Michael Dell founded PC’s Limited with a mere $1,000. Recognizing the untapped potential in the personal computer market, he began customizing computers and selling them directly to customers, bypassing traditional retail channels. This direct-to-consumer model allowed him to offer lower-priced, customizable computers with superior customer support.

Under Dell’s leadership, the company experienced rapid growth. In 1988, PC’s Limited became Dell Computer Corporation, and within a year, it had already reached $160 million in sales. In the 1990s, Dell expanded its product line, introducing servers, storage devices, and computer peripherals. By focusing on cost-efficiency and customer satisfaction, Dell gained a competitive edge over its rivals.

In 1992, at the age of 27, Michael Dell achieved a significant milestone by becoming the youngest CEO of a company listed in Fortune magazine’s prestigious top 500 corporations. Four years later, in 1996, Dell made a strategic move into online computer sales, marking the beginning of the company’s foray into e-commerce. This was also the year when Dell Inc. introduced its first servers, expanding its product offerings.

The decision to embrace online sales proved to be a game-changer for Dell Inc. As the company’s website, dell.com, gained traction, it quickly became a thriving platform, generating an impressive daily sales figure of approximately $1 million. This demonstrated the power of direct-to-consumer sales and showcased Dell’s ability to adapt and leverage emerging technologies.

Dell’s relentless pursuit of growth and innovation led to remarkable achievements. By the first quarter of 2001, Dell Inc. achieved a remarkable feat, surpassing Compaq to become the world’s largest PC manufacturer. This shift in rankings, after seven years, was a testament to Dell’s successful business strategy and the increasing demand for its products. Notably, Dell’s combined shipments of desktops, notebooks, and servers experienced robust worldwide growth of 34.3% and 30.7% in the United States, outperforming competitors who were grappling with declining sales.

Beyond Dell Inc., Michael Dell expanded his entrepreneurial endeavors. In 1998, he founded MSD Capital L.P., a firm tasked with managing his family’s investments. MSD Capital focuses on a diverse range of investment activities, including publicly traded securities, private equity ventures, and real estate. With offices located in New York, Santa Monica, and London, the firm employs a team of 80 professionals, although Dell himself does not engage in day-to-day operations.

In 2003, Dell stepped down as CEO but remained chairman of the board. However, as the company faced challenges and declining market share, Dell returned as CEO in 2007 to lead a turnaround. He shifted the company’s focus from hardware to enterprise solutions and services, aiming to provide end-to-end technology solutions for businesses.

Dell orchestrated several significant acquisitions to bolster the company’s portfolio. In 2009, Dell acquired Perot Systems, a global IT services provider. Later, in 2016, Dell acquired EMC Corporation, a leading provider of data storage, enabling Dell Technologies to become a powerhouse in the IT industry.

Net Worth

As of 2023, Michael Dell’s net worth was estimated to be around $52 billion, according to Forbes.


Michael Dell’s entrepreneurial journey and business acumen have earned him numerous accolades and recognition. In 1992, he became the youngest CEO to have his company ranked in Fortune magazine’s list of the top 500 corporations. Dell has also received several honorary degrees for his contributions to the technology industry and philanthropic efforts.

Furthermore, Dell has been actively involved in philanthropy. In 1999, he and his wife, Susan, established the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, focusing on children’s health, education, and poverty alleviation. The foundation has made significant contributions to educational initiatives, including improving access to quality education and supporting underserved communities.

He also:

Received the "Entrepreneur of the Year" award from Inc. magazine at the age of 24.
Recognized as the "Top CEO in American Business" by Worth magazine.
Named "CEO of the Year" by Financial World, Industry Week, and Chief Executive magazines.
Honored with the 1998 Golden Plate Award by the American Academy of Achievement.
Received the 2013 Franklin Institute's Bower Award for Business Leadership.