fortunes by concentrating on higher-margin corporate IT and services - borrowing a page from IBM. He will do so free from the distractions of running a publicly traded company.
That's still no small task for a company that built its name on customized computers but whose star has waned, and now wants to go up against larger rivals like HP and IBM.
Dell, who has quietly built a highly successful investment firm even as the fortunes of his namesake company have waned, is upping the ante. He will put up more of his own money, contributing his 16 percent share of Dell's equity to the deal along with cash from his private investment firm MSD Capital.
"This is an opportunity for Michael Dell to be a little more flexible managing the company. That doesn't take away from the fact they will have challenges in the PC market like they did before," said FBN Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi.
DUDE, WHERE'S MY DELL?
Michael Dell started the company in 1984 out of his college dorm room with $1,000, and led it to the top of the PC industry. The TV advertising slogan "Dude, you're getting a Dell" become one of the best-known catch-phrases of the early 2000s.
The company's early successes made him wealthy enough to start MSD Capital, which employs 80 people in three cities who invest his money in everything from stocks to real estate. Forbes ranks him among the world's 50 richest, with an estimated fortune of nearly $16 billion.
But much of his success is still tied to the company he founded, and from which he has not been able to step away.
The first time he handed over the reins was in 2004, when long-time lieutenant Kevin Rollins took over as CEO. The company was on top of its game when Rollins stepped in, but sales and customer service slipped in the ensuing three years, and there was a general sense of relief among investors when Dell reasserted control in January 2007.
"There's been no turnaround and the bottom line is Michael was the one who built the company," Needham & Co analyst Charles Wolf said