John Sculley is one of America’s best-known business leaders, with one foot in the storied history of Apple technology and the other planted firmly in 21st century innovations that change the way the world does business. Few entrepreneurs have been as successful across so many fields as Sculley. His success stories include telecommunications, financial services, healthcare, high technology, Internet services, consumer marketing, and outsourcing services.
Drawing upon more than 40 years experience as a corporate executive, investor, entrepreneur, mentor, and rainmaker, Sculley has become a sought-after global storyteller for the digital revolution. He is a gifted speaker, sharing his perspectives on topics such as beyond globalization and reinvention of work, how adaptive companies succeed in an era of the commoditization of almost everything, solving healthcare through innovation, and new big brand consumer health services.
Best known today as the former CEO of Apple Computer, Sculley’s corporate career began in 1967 when, armed with a Wharton MBA, he was hired by Pepsi-Cola Company as a trainee. Three years later, he became the company’s youngest vice president for marketing, applying his ideas about “experience based marketing” to the Pepsi Generation campaign. He initiated the Pepsi Challenge taste tests, and oversaw development and launch of the first plastic soft drink bottle, which together dethroned Coca-Cola. By 1977, Sculley was Pepsi-Cola Company’s youngest President & CEO.
In 1983, Apple founder Steve Jobs persuaded Sculley to transfer his consumer marketing talent to personal computers with the now famous question, “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or come with me and change the world?” In April, l983 Sculley joined Steve Jobs and became CEO and President of Apple. Corporate America was shocked that John Sculley would give up a successful career at Pepsi to join a small personal computer company that was outsold by IBM, Atari and Commodore, with only the aging Apple II generating positive cash flow. Sculley was forced to resign in 1993 because he refused to license the Macintosh technology.
When John Sculley left Apple, Apple’s Macintosh was the largest seller of personal computers in the world. During his ten years at Apple, he launched Desktop Publishing and the PowerBook, the most successful notebook computer at that time. Revenue was up 1000% over Sculley’s decade with Apple, and Apple was the most profitable computer company in the world.
Following Sculley’s departure from Apple, the company did decide to license the Macintosh technology, and the company stopped building the beautiful uncompromising hardware that Apple was renowned for with Steve Jobs’s early vision. In the four years after Sculley left Apple, the company went through two new CEOs and was almost bankrupt by the time Jobs returned triumphantly in 1997.
Since leaving Apple, Sculley has earned a reputation for investing in and mentoring early stage entrepreneurs who want to create transformational companies. Past Sculley portfolio companies include NetObjects, Professional Sportscare, NFO Research, HotWire.com, Intralinks, MetroPCS, CreditTrade, Buy.com, PeoplePC, CardioNet, Pinnacor, and Inphonic.
Today, John Sculley’s portfolio companies are 3Cinteractive, Watermark Medical, Openpeak, XL Marketing, and NextSource. His newest investments include Pivot, InflexionPoint Acquisition Partners, X10 Credit, MDLive, Audax Health Solutions, and Misfit Wearables.
John Sculley has delivered keynote speeches to audiences throughout North America, South America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India, China, and the United Arab Emirates. He is a Brown University graduate, and earned a Wharton Business School MBA. He has been awarded ten honorary Ph.D.’s, from such universities as Johns Hopkins, the University of Genoa, and The London College of Arts.
If your company or organization is seeking a keynote speaker for a convention, conference or internal meeting, learn more about John Sculley and speech topics that may be of interest.
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