Ross Perot Dies: Tech Pioneer Sold Two Firms For Billions to Dell, GM

Dallas—Ross Perot, the Texan billionaire businessman who twice ran for president in the 1990s, died Tuesday, five months after being diagnosed with leukemia, according to news reports. He was 89.

Perot sold his first company, Plano, TX-based computer services business Electronic Data Systems, to General Motors (NYSE: GM) in 1984 for $2.5 billion. In 1988, he founded IT services provider Perot Systems, also based in Plano.

Four years later, Perot made his first run for US president as an independent candidate, earning 19 percent of the popular vote, according to his Biography profile. In 1996, Perot made a second unsuccessful bid.

Perot Systems received international attention in 2009 when Round Rock, TX-based computer giant Dell announced it would acquire the business for $3.9 billion. From that acquisition, Dell (NYSE: DELL) created an IT services business, Dell Services, that provided infrastructure, cloud, and application services, among other IT help, to enterprise customers in fields such as healthcare, life sciences, banking, insurance, and other financial services businesses.

In 2016, Dell sold the IT services business for more than $3 billion to NTT Data Corp., a publicly traded company that was spun out from Japanese telecom Nippon Telegraph and Telephone in 1988.

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at dholley@xconomy.com Follow @xconholley

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