Michael Dell biography: Salary and career history of Dell's CEO

The lowdown on Michael Dell's salary, net worth, education and career history

Michael Dell

Michael Dell made his first $1,000 at the age of 12 selling stamps. He helped spark the personal computer revolution when he formed Dell Computers, which started life in his dorm room at university.

He built his company selling direct to the customers, cutting out the middleman. This strategy made him one of the wealthiest men on the planet. Here we look at the life and career of Dell's eponymous founder.

Full name: Michael Saul Dell

Date of birth: 23 February 1965

Nationality: American

Net worth: $15.3 billion

Salary: $13.9 million (2013)

Education: Dell attended the University of Texas as a pre-med student but dropped out in 1984 to concentrate on his growing computer business.

Best Known for: Founder of one of the largest computer companies in the world.

Current role: Founder, chairman and chief executive of Dell

Career history: Very keen on computers from an early age, Dell bought his first computer, an Apple II, and took it apart and put it back together to see how it worked. He also bought an IBM PC and took that apart too. He decided that these computers would become the choice for businesses.

Aged 14, he sold subscriptions for the Houston Post and made $18,000 in a year, more than one of his school teachers.

At university in 1983, Dell started an informal business selling upgrade kits for PCs. He realised that he could make the computers himself and sell direct cutting out the middlemen and undercutting the competition.

With his monthly earnings exceeding $25,000, he decided to drop out of college to focus on his business. By 1984, his company had earned $6 million.

It was 1987 when the his computer company, previously known as PCs Unlimited, changed its name to Dell Computer Corporation.

At the age of 27, Dell became the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company. But in 1993, trouble struck as the PC industry suffered a downturn and Dell's stock price plummeted. This was compounded by the firm scrapping all new lines of laptops.

Dell then brought in seasoned executives to help turn the company around and within 12 months, fortunes returned with profits of $149 million.

In 1996, the firm began to sell computers on the internet and was soon racking up $1 million a day from online sales.

In 2001, Dell became the world's largest computer company, beating Compaq by gaining a market share of 12.8 per cent.

Dell stepped down as CEO in March 2004, handing the reins over to Kevin Rollins. However, Rollins' tenure was short lived and in 2007, the board requested that Dell return as CEO in 2007.

Fortunes for the firm have been mixed since. In July 2010 Dell. was forced to pay $100 million in penalties to settle charges of accounting fraud that had been filed by the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC alleged that the firm did not disclose large payments from Intel to ensure that Dell did not to use AMD processors in its computers. These payments inflated its earnings.

Following 25 years as a publicly traded company, Michael Dell decided to take the firm private in a $24.4 billion leveraged buyout, leaving Michael Dell with a 16 per cent stake in the company.

Interesting fact: Dell's career started at age 12, selling stamps and baseball cards, making $2,000 in the process.

This article was originally published on 13/10/2014 and has been updated multiple times (most recently on 13/11/14).

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