Family background Michael Saul Dell was born February 23, 1965 in Houston, Texas. From an early age, Michael Dell was fascinated by both business and electronics, and couldn't wait to combine his two passions. At age 15, he bought one of the first Apple computers and immediately disassembled it, to see if he could put it back together.
In high school he took a job selling newspaper subscriptions and used his data research skills to identify an untapped customer base, earning $18,000 in a single year. He rewarded himself with a new computer and a BMW, and was soon planning a business venture of his own.
Education/Work experience In his first year at the University of Texas, he started a small business, selling computer disk drives out of his dorm room. With an initial investment of $1,000, he registered the business with the State of Texas. Minimal advertising quickly brought him a large customer base on campus, and outside contracts followed quickly. Within months he moved off campus, filling a large apartment with computer parts and assembling new computers from scratch at a fraction of the cost of the traditional retailers.
Career ladder Although he had promised his parents to curtail his business activities and concentrate on his studies, by spring vacation he had to break the news: his venture was writing sales of $80,000 a month. He was ready to quit school and run his business full-time. He incorporated the company – initially called PC's Limited – and pioneered selling personal computers by telephone order.
In 1988, Michael Dell changed the firm's name to Dell Computer Corporation and took the company public. Soon the business went global, with manufacturing facilities, partnerships and subsidiaries in Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America. By 1992, Dell Computer had entered the Fortune 500 list of the world's largest companies, and at age 27, Michael Dell was the youngest CEO ever to lead one of the 500.
Management style "I wouldn't say I'm big on command and control," he says, "I believe in rules and having some order to things, but my natural proclivity is not to control everything myself. I am more inclined to provide frameworks and guidelines."
Qualities: creative decisive efficient inspiring interested organised charismatic motivating adventurousdynamic energetic passionate impulsivehard-working
Conclusion: Dell has found a business that struggles to innovate, instead relying on supply chain efficiencies to sell established technologies at low prices. Dell insists innovation and risk are at the heart of the firm. Product inspiration now comes courtesy of ideastorm.com, a website that allows customers to identify and vote on new lines. User comments reflect adulation and harsh criticism equally. Like all effective leaders, Michael Dell is good at listening.