Play Nice but Win: A CEO’s Journey from Founder to Leader

Michael Dell and James Kaplan. Portfolio, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-08774-9
After spending much of the last decade engaged in a pitched battle to hold onto his eponymous computer company, a triumphant but bruised Dell (Direct from Dell) looks back at a lifetime of naysayers and relishes the chance to set the record straight in this intimate, insider portrait of a tech titan under siege. Chapters alternate between Dell narrating the ferocious battle to buy out the company and his transformation from a scrappy, entrepreneurial teen to a college-dorm dwelling CEO, two threads that are linked by his singular faith in the future of personal computing. Dell describes his aggressors: the “trouble-making opportunist” Carl Icahn, who waged a public war against Dell as the founder and CEO sought to take his company private and insulted Dell while he restrained from commenting on anything related to ongoing negotiations; shareholders who “abandoned” him during a spate of poor earnings; and a business media that had “an ax to grind.” While the personal narrative is fast-paced and humorously told, the overwhelmingly one-sided perspective and frequent jargon-laced explanations of the industry will likely turn off those not already familiar with the contours of the industry and Dell itself. Business news nuts who love swashbuckling stories will feel right at home. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 07/27/2021
Release date: 10/05/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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