Michael Dell, Dell
Dell, 49, is founder, chairman and CEO of now private Dell, but he made much of his $17.5 billion estimated net worth (No. 48 on the list) in the public markets.
Dell revolutionized the computer industry, as he started Round Rock, Texas.-based Dell, selling computers directly to consumers, allowing them to configure them the way they wanted. By 2001, Dell had surpassed Compaq to become the world's largest PC maker, owning 12.8% of the market. Since then, Dell has made a number of gaffes, allowing companies such as Apple (AAPL) to capture the consumer's imagination, putting Dell in the background.Dell returned to being a private company in late 2013, following struggles with activist investor Carl Icahn over the $25 billion leveraged buyout offer for Dell from its CEO as well as private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners.
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