Michael Dell on His Memoir, Abbott CEO on Health Tech, Duolingo CEO on Growth

Michael Dell of Dell Technologies, Robert Ford of Abbott Laboratories, Luis von Ahn of Duolingo

I don’t remember my first conversation with Michael Dell; it was probably during my time as a senior writer at Fortune Magazine almost 15 years ago. I do know that we’ve talked several times since, many times at length. When I first began engaging with him directly, it was the age of the enterprise superstore, when Dell, HP and IBM were among the companies trying to sell as much tech equipment and software to as many large companies as possible. A few years ago, things looked bad; corporate raider Carl Icahn wanted to take over the company, and Michael engineered an unlikely plan to take Dell private. Long story short — it worked spectacularly. Michael not only rescued Dell from a takeover, he grew it through acquisitions and innovations, and took it public again. That’s the backdrop for Michael Dell’s new book out this week, Play Nice But Win. And he was kind enough to spare me a few minutes for a Fortt Knox interview to talk about it.

This week I also got time with Abbott Laboratories CEO Robert Ford (who I hope will join me for a Fortt Knox 1:1 before long), and presented another Working Lunch, this one featuring Duolingo’s Luis von Ahn. Here we go:

Luis von Ahn, Duolingo CEO: Working Lunch

Can language skills improve the labor market? In the latest Working Lunch on CNBC's Power Lunch, I bring you up close with Duolingo CEO Luis von Ahn, whose penchant for solving puzzles might yield benefits for local economies:

Michael Dell on Play Nice But Win: A Fortt Knox Conversation

You’ll get another look at this next week, because Michael is going to be the subject of Working Lunch. So consider this a sneak peek. I had a 20-minute conversation with him that centered on his new book, which tells the story of how he managed to keep and grow Dell:

Here’s a great moment from the longer conversation about his relationship with Steve Jobs; this week, by the way, marked 10 years since Jobs died:

Abbott Labs CEO to Keynote at 2022 Consumer Electronics Show

Abbott CEO Robert Ford joined me on TechCheck to talk about the company’s place in the healthtech revolution that’s seen Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft launching new services and making acquisitions. Ford also gave an update on COVID test supply and demand:

Should the Government Force Facebook to Change? On the Other Hand

Now that we've heard from whistleblower Frances Haugen, should the government force Facebook to change? I argued both sides in the latest edition of On the Other Hand, on CNBC's Squawk Box:

Check out The Black Experience in America: The Course, an online educational resource I researched, designed and built. A free PDF download is available to bring the material to kids, and the online interactive experience is made for adults.