John Sculley, American businessman: biography, career
John Scully said that he was always a risk-taker, a curiosity man who likes to juxtapose facts. He likes to be surrounded by talented people and bet on them.
John Sculley: Biography
Scully became the youngest PepsiCo president and CEO in the company's history. After taking office as Apple’s CEO in 1983, he ran into heads with co-founder, Steve Jobs. John lasted at the head of Apple for 10 very profitable years. After leaving the company, Scully continued to advise start-ups, particularly in the healthcare industry.
John Sculley III was born on April 6, 1939 in New York. His mother, Margaret Blackburn, was a gardener, and his father, John Sculley Jr., was a lawyer. Just a few days after the birth of her son, the boy's family moved to Bermuda, where his mother was from.Later, they changed their place of residence several times before returning to the States: they first lived in Europe and then in Brazil.
As a boy, Scully loved to tinker with electronics. When he was five years old, John asked Santa Claus to give him dry batteries, a bell and connecting wires. At the age of ten, he disassembled radios and reassembled intercoms from them. In adolescence, John invented a color cathode ray tube, which, if someone hadn't outpaced him with a patent, could have become a prototype for a Triniton color TV tube.
Scully graduated from Southborough High School in Massachusetts and enrolled at Brown University, where he studied architectural design. He then received an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.
Career at PepsiCo
John Scully began his career in one of the New York advertising companies as a marketer, and later, in 1967, he became an intern at PepsiCo. After three years of a whirlpool of different jobs in different cities, where he studied the rules of corporate culture and the mechanisms of the soft drink industry, Scully became the youngest vice-president of marketing at the company.The 30-year-old John Scully gave instructions to the staff, many of whom were 75 years old. He later headed the international food department, then served as senior vice president of US sales and marketing before becoming the youngest PepsiCo president in the company's history.
Scully believes that it was while working at Pepsi that his marketing approach developed. He said that his ideas about marketing were to achieve the best quality customer service, to find the most creative way to tease his curiosity, to make a regular customer.
During his time at Pepsi, John Scully launched two very successful advertising campaigns: Pepsi Generation and Pepsi Challenge. The second was that consumers were asked to choose between Pepsi and Coca-Cola in a blind taste test. Both campaigns helped PepsiCo become the largest consumer product company in America, beating the Coca-Cola Company in the stock market.
Once Scully called from a recruitment agency in New York and was told that Apple is looking for a CEO. Steve Jobs needed someone to run the company while he focused on product development.Although Scully was intrigued by the company's rapid growth (Apple managed to get to the top of the Fortune 500 in just 6 years of existence), he said that he was not interested in the offer. Then the recruiter asked him to just meet Jobs. Scully was scheduled to go to California at that time, so he agreed, but insisted on paying all expenses on his own so as not to feel obligated.
When he met Jobs, he was amazed how young he was. Steve was only 27, but he and John had a lot in common. Both were absolute perfectionists and loved to organize companies. But Apple's headquarters shocked John. She looked like a branch of an insurance company. John also noticed that he was the only person in the suit, all the company's employees were dressed less formally than the staff at Pepsi.
Jobs said that after some time, Apple will be the most important computer company in the world, because it is going to put all the technological power of the corporation in the hands of the individual. Scully was impressed with Steve. Jobs was fascinated by PepsiCo marketing company. But at the end of the meeting, John again announced that he did not intend to leave PepsiCo.
Two weeks later, Steve Jobs himself flew to New York. John rejected the offer again. Then Jobs began to call him every 3-4 days. Scully was intrigued and flattered, but continued to reject job offers. The company offered a high salary, stock options worth more than $ 50 million, but to no avail.
Steve Jobs flew back to New York and asked Scully to think again. John refused. He worked for Pepsi for too many years, and he had a future here. Then Jobs looked into his eyes and said: "Do you want to sell sweet water for the rest of your life, or do you want to change the whole world?" These words acted on Scully like a cold shower. This phrase haunted him. She did not let him sleep, yet convinced her to leave PepsiCo and join Apple.
In 1983, John Sculley took over as CEO of Apple. Despite the lack of knowledge and experience with technology, Scully and Jobs equally looked at all the issues related to marketing strategy. When sales of the Apple Macintosh line of computers began to fall immediately after the release in 1984, the relationship between John and Steve became tense, and constant quarrels began.The board of directors intervened and asked Jobs to retreat and leave the Macintosh department. The rejected founder left the company in 1985.
Although Scully was later criticized for Jobs’s dismissal and company losses, he enjoyed a successful job at Apple for several years. Sales of Macintosh computers resumed due to improved printing technology, while the color capabilities of Macintosh 2 and Portable PowerBook left much to be desired. A series of punctures proved costly. Scully looked stupid, wasting advertising efforts on the Newton Message Pad - an awkward, intermittent handheld device.
He was criticized by the company for not wanting to cut prices and license Apple software. Although over 10 years the annual sales volume increased from 800 million to 8 billion dollars, in June 1993 Scully was asked to leave the post of general director. After 4 months he left the company.
After leaving Apple, John Sculley served as CEO of Spectrum Technologies for some time, and later played an advisory role at Eastman Kodak. In 1995, together with the brothers Arthur and David, he founded the firm Sculley Brothers. In recent years, Scully has focused on the healthcare industry.He is a member of Watermark Medical's board of directors, the developer of a device for the diagnosis of home apnea and is on the advisory board of Audax Health Solutions, a startup that helps consumers independently develop an individual health plan.