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DUDE, HE'S GETTING DELL!
In what’s being called the largest leveraged buyout since the financial crisis (’cause that’s all over now, right?), Michael Dell in February led a group of investors in a $24-billion takeover of the personal-computer maker he founded in 1984 and still bears his name. With hopes of reviving the company, which has suffered due to declining desktop computer sales, Dell plans to take the company private and thus avoid the scrutiny of shareholders and their accursed calls for accountability. His goal is to reinvent Dell as a provider of corporate technology, not unlike the famous makeover that saved IBM. While the majority of the buyout was financed by Dell’s personal fortune and private equity firm Silver Lake Management, an additional $2 billion was invested by Microsoft—not surprising considering Dell is the software maker’s third-largest customer. As a result, Microsoft is expected to have a say in the design of any future Dell products, insuring they will never, ever be as cool as anything Apple produces. In any case, it’s unlikely Dell could be in better hands than Dell’s. This is the man, after all, who when asked in 1997 what he’d do as CEO of Apple, a company then at its low point, said, “What would I do? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders,” because he couldn’t imagine running any company but Dell.