One of the world’s wealthiest tech CEOs is gearing up to make a major philanthropic donation. Michael Dell (DELL), founder of computing giant Dell Technologies, has pledged to give away up to $1.7 billion in company shares.
Earlier this month, the billionaire converted 25 million Dell shares from Class A to Class C stock “in connection with the anticipated future charitable donation of some or all of the shares,” according to a recent company filing. As first reported by Bloomberg, 249,000 of these shares have already been donated to his family foundation.
This marks the second significant donation of Dell shares from the CEO in just two months—in October, he gifted $350 million worth of stock. Around 40 percent went to the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. The remaining stocks were given to donor-advised funds, a form of giving accounts with flexible transparency requirements that are administered by third parties. The contributions marked Dell’s first donation of company shares since 2006.
Dell, 58, is the 17th wealthiest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $66.2 billion. Much of his fortune stems from his 50 percent stake in Dell, which he started as a 19-year-old student while attending the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). He took the company private in 2013 and three years later merged Dell with computer storage company EMC in a $60 million merger that stands as one of the largest-ever tech acquisitions.
The billionaire’s earliest significant donation took place in 1994 when he gifted 40 acres of land valued at $2.5 million to the Jewish Federation of Austin for a community center. He’s since continued to give away much of his wealth and in 1999 founded the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. The organization, which aids educational, health and economic stability-focused initiatives in the U.S., India and South America, has donated more than $2.4 billion over the years.
Michael Dell’s philanthropic track record
Some of Dell’s most significant donations have included a $100 million gift for small businesses and Covid-19 relief initiatives in 2020 and a $36 million pledge to aid disaster relief efforts in the wake of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February of 2022, the tech entrepreneur made $15 million in grants to Ukrainian groups—a donation that earned Dell and his wife Susan a spot on Forbes’ list of the top 25 U.S. philanthropists in 2023.
Much of the Austin-based billionaire’s financial activity has beeen focused on his home state. In 2004, he gave $25 million towards a new children’s hospital subsequently renamed the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. More than a decade later, he donated an additional $25 million for a teaching hospital in Austin. Three local nonprofits focused on easing homelessness in the city received $38 million from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation in 2021. Dell has additionally been a significant supporter of his alma mater, having given UT Austin $50 million in 2013 to establish the Dell Medical School and another $100 million in 2020 for programs aiding low-income students.