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TheStreet Open House

10 Celebrity 'Fake-Out' Retirements

Michael Dell
The world of technology is filled with second acts and stories of entrepreneurs who turned over control, only to take it back.

Steve Jobs was ousted by Apple (AAPL), only to return, save it and lead the company to its greatest success. Google (GOOG) founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin handed the reins to Eric Schmidt, with Page taking back the role of CEO once "adult supervision" was no longer needed. Rumors still won't die that someday, somehow -- no matter how unlikely it seems -- Bill Gates will return to the helm of Microsoft (MSFT).

In 2004, Dell (DELL) founder Michael Dell stepped down as CEO. Staying away proved difficult -- perhaps all the more so when your name and the company's are the same -- and he returned in 2007.

Dell has always remained chairman of the board, so his involvement with the company never lapsed. But, at the request of the board, he returned to the corner office to replace the man who replaced him, former COO Kevin Rollins.

In an announcement that Dell was returning, the board cited his "vision and leadership" as being crucial to the company's future growth. Unspoken was the fact that in the months since his departure the company was getting trounced in sales by its main competitor, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). Apple and Acer were also steadily chipped away at its consumer sales.

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