Michael Dell is founder and chief executive of Dell Technologies. The Round Rock, Texas-based company had revenue of $102 billion in the year to Feb. 3, 2023. He’s also a shareholder of VMWAre Inc., which was spun off from Dell in 2021. The billionaire’s family office, MSD Capital, has offices in New York, Santa Monica and West Palm Beach.
The majority of Dell’s fortune is derived from his stake in Dell Technologies, a publicly traded computer products maker. Dell owns about half of the company, according to the company’s 2023 proxy statement, including 32 million shares held by a trust for his wife.
In November 2021, Dell Technologies completed the spin-off of VMWare through a special dividend. Dell owns about 170 million VMWare shares after the spinoff, according to its 2023 proxy statement.
The value of his cash investments is based on dividends from Dell Technologies as well as insider transactions, taxes, market performance and donations. The investments of his family office MSD Capital are included with cash and other assets.
Todd Fogarty, a spokesman for Dell, declined to comment on the net worth calculation.
Education: University of Texas System/The
The Houston-born technology titan enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin in 1983 intending to study biology and pursue a career as a doctor. He was soon sidetracked selling computers. Armed with $1,000 in start-up money, Dell began selling upgraded personal computers and components to customers on and off campus from his freshman dorm.
He sold shares in a 1988 initial public offering, and eight years later his stake was valued at more than $1 billion. He created the investment firm MSD Capital in 1998 to oversee his family’s growing fortune. He stepped down as CEO of Dell in 2004 but returned to the top spot three years later, after shrinking sales and an accounting scandal prompted the company’s board to request his return. Since then, Dell has been expanding the company’s product lines beyond PCs and laptops into servers, computer storage and networking products.
The billionaire took the business private in 2013. He agreed to buy EMC Corp. for about $67 billion in the largest technology acquisition ever in October 2015. Dell was relisted on the New York Stock Exchange at the end of 2018.
Most of his charitable giving is done through the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, which aims to improve the lives of children living in poverty around the world.
- 1965 Michael Dell is born in Houston to Alexander and Lorraine Dell.
- 1983 Enrolls at the University of Texas. Assembles computers in his dorm room.
- 1984 Changes company name to Dell Computer. Drops out of college.
- 1988 Following an initial public offering, Dell begins trading on NASDAQ.
- 1999 Establishes the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
- 2004 Steps down as Dell CEO.
- 2007 Returns as Dell CEO following an accounting scandal.
- 2015 Agrees to buy EMC Corp. for $67 billion.