This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Dell's Founder Strikes Deal To Turn It Around

By BARBARA ORTUTAY

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ It's easy to forget now, but Michael Dell was the Mark Zuckerberg of his day.

Hailed as a young genius, he created the inexpensive, made-to-order personal computer in his University of Texas dorm room and sold it straight to the public. In the 1980s and '90s, his face appeared on magazine covers, and well before he turned 40, he was a college dropout-turned-billionaire CEO, ranked alongside Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

But that was a long time ago in the fast-moving world of high technology. Now the PC is getting eclipsed by smartphones and tablet computers, and Dell is struggling to save his company â¿¿ and his legacy.

Tuesday's announcement that Michael Dell and the investment firm Silver Lake have struck a $24.4 billion deal to buy publicly traded Dell Inc. and take it private may well be the founder's last chance to recapture his former glory. The agreement will allow the company to attempt a turnaround without having to worry about pleasing Wall Street with its earnings.

For Michael Dell, 47, the attempt to retool the company he built is personal, said technology analyst Patrick Moorhead, who runs Moor Insights & Strategy.

"His name is on the logo and all the buildings. So he takes all of this very personally," Moorhead said. "This is a way for him to solidify the way people will look at him and remember him."

Analysts said Dell Inc. will have to mine more profitable areas such as technology consulting and business software.

In a statement, Dell himself said little more than that the transformation will "take more time, investment and patience."

The company he founded some 29 years ago rose to the top of the world's PC market more than a decade ago. In its heyday, its turn-of-the-millennium ad slogan, "Dude, you're getting a Dell," became a pop-culture catchphrase. Dell took orders straight from customers, first by phone and then by Internet, cutting out stores and passing the savings along.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,383.68 -295.02 -1.67%
S&P 500 2,035.42 -21.67 -1.05%
NASDAQ 4,701.7520 -70.0110 -1.47%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs