Michael Dell

Chairman and CEO

One of the giants of the PC industry, Michael Dell founded his namesake company in 1984 with $1,000 and the brilliant idea of selling a complicated product directly to customers, both businesses and consumers. In 1992, Mr. Dell became the youngest CEO ever to earn a ranking on the Fortune 500, and Dell eventually became the world's largest seller of personal computers. But, after stepping down as CEO a few years ago, Mr. Dell was forced to resume the role in 2007 after changing market conditions caused the company to falter. Average consumers, never Dell's core audience, became more important, as did retail sales. And Dell has been scrambling to compete with the likes of Apple, HP and Sony in areas like design and technical innovation, which have become more important.

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