John Sculley
John Sculley is an American businessman. Sculley was vice-president (1970–1977) and president of PepsiCo
PepsiCo Inc. is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Purchase, New York, United States, with interests in the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of grain-based snack foods, beverages, and other products. PepsiCo was formed in 1965 with the merger of the Pepsi-Cola Company...

 (1977–1983), until he became CEO of Apple on April 8, 1983, a position he held until leaving in 1993. In May 1987, Sculley was named Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley is a term which refers to the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California in the United States. The region is home to many of the world's largest technology corporations...

's top-paid executive, with an annual salary of US$2.2M.

Sales at Apple increased from $800 million to $8 billion under his management. However, his stint at Apple remains controversial due to his departure from founder Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
Steven Paul Jobs was an American businessman and inventor widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution. He was co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc...

's sales structure, particularly regarding Sculley's decision to compete with IBM
International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...

 in selling computers to the same types of customers. He was ultimately forced out of Apple in 1993 as the company's margins eroded, sales diminished and stock declined.

Sculley is currently a partner in Sculley Brothers, a private investment firm formed in 1995. He is best known for his marketing skills, particularly in his introduction of 'the Pepsi Challenge
Pepsi Challenge
The Pepsi Challenge has been an ongoing marketing promotion run by PepsiCo since 1975. It is also the name of a cross country ski race at Giant's Ridge Ski Area in Biwabik, Minnesota, an event sponsored by Pepsi.-Method:...

' at PepsiCo, which allowed the company to gain market share from primary rival Coca Cola, having used similar marketing strategies throughout the 1980s and 1990s at Apple to mass market Macintosh
The Macintosh , or Mac, is a series of several lines of personal computers designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. The first Macintosh was introduced by Apple's then-chairman Steve Jobs on January 24, 1984; it was the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a...

 personal computers.

Background and personal life

Sculley was born in the United States, but within a week of his birth, he and his family were relocated to Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

, and subsequently to Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 and Europe.

Sculley attended high school at St. Mark's School
St. Mark's School (Massachusetts)
St. Mark’s School is a coeducational, Episcopal, preparatory school, situated on in Southborough, Massachusetts, from Boston. It was founded in 1865 as an all-boys' school by Joseph Burnett, a wealthy native of Southborough who developed and marketed the world-famous Burnett Vanilla Extract . ...

 in Southborough, Massachusetts
Southborough, Massachusetts
Southborough is an affluent town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. It incorporates the smaller villages of Cordaville, Fayville, and Southville. Its name is often informally shortened to Southboro, a usage seen on many area signs and maps. Its population was 9,767 at the 2010...

. He ultimately received a bachelor's degree
Bachelor's degree
A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

 in architectural design from Brown University
Brown University
Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...

 and an MBA
Master of Business Administration
The Master of Business Administration is a :master's degree in business administration, which attracts people from a wide range of academic disciplines. The MBA designation originated in the United States, emerging from the late 19th century as the country industrialized and companies sought out...

 from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...


Sculley overcame a stutter early in his life.

1967–82 : Pepsi-Cola

Sculley joined the Pepsi-Cola division of PepsiCo in 1967 as a trainee, where he participated in a six-month training program at a bottling plant in Pittsburgh. In 1970, at the age of 30, Sculley became the company's youngest marketing vice-president.

As vice-president of marketing at Pepsi, Sculley initiated one of the company's first consumer-research studies, an extended in-home product test in which 350 families participated. As a result of the research, Pepsi decided to launch new, larger and more varied packages of their soft drinks. In 1970, Pepsi set out to dethrone Coca Cola as the market leader of the industry, in what would eventually become known as the Cola Wars
Cola wars
The Cola Wars are a campaign of mutually-targeted television advertisements and marketing campaigns since the 1980s between soft drink manufacturers Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo Incorporated.- Competition :...


Pepsi began spending more on marketing and advertising, typically paying between US$200,000 and $300,000 for each television spot, while most companies spent between $15,000 and $75,000. With the Pepsi Generation campaign, Pepsi aimed to overturn Coca Cola's classic marketing.

At Pepsi, Sculley also took the position of managing PepsiCo's International Food Operations division, shortly after he visited a failing potato-chip factory in Paris. PepsiCo's Food division was their only money-losing division, with revenues of US$83 million and losses of $16 million. To make the food division profitable, Sculley hired new managers from Frito-Lay
Frito-Lay North America is the division of PepsiCo that manufactures, markets and sells corn chips, potato chips and other snack foods. The primary snack food brands produced under the Frito-Lay name include Fritos corn chips, Cheetos cheese-flavored snacks, Doritos and Tostitos tortilla chips,...

 and improved product quality, as well as improving accounts and establishing financial controls. Within three years, the food division was making US$300 million in revenues and $40 million in profit.

Sculley is best known at Pepsi for the Pepsi Challenge, an advertising campaign he started in 1975 to compete against Coca Cola to gain market share, using heavily-advertised taste tests. It claimed based on Sculley's own research that Pepsi-Cola tasted better than Coca-Cola. The Pepsi Challenge included a series of television advertisements that first aired in the early 1970s, featuring lifelong Coca-Cola drinkers participating in blind taste test
Blind taste test
In marketing, a blind taste test is often used as a tool for companies to compare their brand to another brand. For example, the Pepsi Challenge is a famous taste test that has been run by Pepsi since 1975 as a method to show their superiority to Coca-Cola. Taste tests are also a tool sometimes...

s. Pepsi's soft drink was always chosen as the preferred product by the participant; however, these tests have been criticized as being biased. The Pepsi Challenge was mostly targeted at the Texas market, because Pepsi had a significantly low market share
Market share
Market share is the percentage of a market accounted for by a specific entity. In a survey of nearly 200 senior marketing managers, 67 percent responded that they found the "dollar market share" metric very useful, while 61% found "unit market share" very useful.Marketers need to be able to...

 there at the time. The campaign was successful, significantly increasing Pepsi's market share in that state. At the time the Pepsi Challenge was started, Sculley was senior vice-president of United States sales and marketing operations at Pepsi. Sculley himself took the taste test and picked Coke instead of Pepsi.

In 1977, Sculley was named Pepsi's youngest-ever president.

1983–93 : Apple

Apple lured Sculley away from Pepsi because Apple wanted Sculley to apply his marketing skills to the personal computer market. Steve Jobs successfully sealed the deal with his legendary pitch to Sculley, asking him whether he preferred to "sell sugar water for the rest of your life or come with me and change the world?". Also, Apple's president, Mike Markkula
Mike Markkula
Armas Clifford "Mike" Markkula, Jr. is an American entrepreneur who was an angel investor and second CEO of Apple Computer, Inc., providing early critical funding and managerial support...

, wanted to retire and believed that Steve Jobs, who wished to be the company's president, lacked the discipline and temperament needed to run Apple on a daily basis. Sculley, with his conventional business background and considerable recent success, would give Apple an image of greater reliability and stability.

Sculley raised the initial price of the Macintosh to $2,495 from the originally planned $1,995, using the additional money for higher profit margin
Profit margin
Profit margin, net margin, net profit margin or net profit ratio all refer to a measure of profitability. It is calculated by finding the net profit as a percentage of the revenue.Net profit Margin = x100...

s and expensive advertising campaigns.

The Lisa
Apple Lisa
The Apple Lisa—also known as the Lisa—is a :personal computer designed by Apple Computer, Inc. during the early 1980s....

 shipped in January 1983, and had disastrous sales. While the Macintosh shipped in January 1984 and sold well, it did not put the IBM PC
The IBM Personal Computer, commonly known as the IBM PC, is the original version and progenitor of the IBM PC compatible hardware platform. It is IBM model number 5150, and was introduced on August 12, 1981...

 out of business, and some of the privileges of the elite development groups were trimmed, and projects were subject to stricter review for usefulness, marketability, feasibility, and reasonable cost.

A power struggle between Jobs and Sculley had become readily apparent. Jobs became "non-linear": he kept meetings running past midnight, sent out lengthy faxes, then called new meetings at 7 am. The Apple board of directors instructed Sculley to "contain" Jobs and limit his ability to launch expensive forays into untested products. Rather than submit to Sculley's direction, Jobs attempted to oust him from his leadership role at Apple. Sculley found out that Jobs had been attempting to organize a putsch
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

 and called a board meeting at which Apple's board of directors sided with Sculley and removed Jobs from his managerial duties. Jobs resigned from Apple and founded NeXT Inc.
Next, Inc. was an American computer company headquartered in Redwood City, California, that developed and manufactured a series of computer workstations intended for the higher education and business markets...

 the same year.

Under the direction of Sculley, having learned several painful lessons after introducing the bulky Macintosh Portable
Macintosh Portable
The Macintosh Portable was Apple Inc.'s first attempt at making a battery-powered portable Macintosh personal computer that held the power of a desktop Macintosh...

 in 1989, Apple introduced the PowerBook
The PowerBook was a line of Macintosh laptop computers that was designed, manufactured and sold by Apple Computer, Inc. from 1991 to 2006. During its lifetime, the PowerBook went through several major revisions and redesigns, often being the first to incorporate features that would later become...

 in 1991. The Macintosh Portable was designed to be just as powerful as a desktop Macintosh, but weighed 7.5 kilograms (16.5 lb) with a 12-hour battery life. The same year, Apple introduced System 7
System 7
System 7 is the name of a Macintosh operating system introduced in 1991.System 7 may also refer to:* System 7 , a British dance/ambient band* System 7 , 1991 album* IBM System/7, a 1970s computer system...

, a major upgrade to the operating system, which added color to the interface and introduced new networking capabilities. It remained the architectural basis for Mac OS
Mac OS
Mac OS is a series of graphical user interface-based operating systems developed by Apple Inc. for their Macintosh line of computer systems. The Macintosh user experience is credited with popularizing the graphical user interface...

 until 2001. The success of the PowerBook and other products brought increasing revenue. For some time, it appeared that Apple could do no wrong, introducing fresh new products and generating increasing profits in the process. The magazine MacAddict named the period between 1989 and 1991 as the "first golden age" of the Macintosh.

Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

 threatened to discontinue Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office is a non-free commercial office suite of inter-related desktop applications, servers and services for the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems, introduced by Microsoft in August 1, 1989. Initially a marketing term for a bundled set of applications, the first version of...

 for the Macintosh if Apple did not license parts of the Macintosh graphical user interface
Graphical user interface
In computing, a graphical user interface is a type of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices with images rather than text commands. GUIs can be used in computers, hand-held devices such as MP3 players, portable media players or gaming devices, household appliances and...

 to use in the Windows
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

 operating system. Under pressure, Sculley agreed, a decision which later affected the Apple v. Microsoft lawsuit. Also while at Apple, Sculley coined the term personal digital assistant
Personal digital assistant
A personal digital assistant , also known as a palmtop computer, or personal data assistant, is a mobile device that functions as a personal information manager. Current PDAs often have the ability to connect to the Internet...

 (PDA) referring to the Apple Newton
Apple Newton
The MessagePad was the first series of personal digital assistant devices developed by Apple for the Newton platform in 1993. Some electronic engineering and the manufacture of Apple's MessagePad devices was done in Japan by the Sharp Corporation...

, one of the world's first PDAs.

In 1987, Sculley published his autobiography, Odyssey. He gave each Apple employee a copy at Apple's expense, in the hope of inspiring "excellence". Shortly afterwards, Jean-Louis Gassée
Jean-Louis Gassée
Jean-Louis Gassée is a former executive at Apple Computer, where he worked from 1981 to 1990. He is most famous for founding Be Inc., creators of the BeOS computer operating system. After leaving Be, he became Chairman of PalmSource, Inc. in November, 2004.-1980s: Apple Computer:Gassée worked for...

, Vice President of Product Development, gave each employee in his division a copy of Fred Brooks
Fred Brooks
Frederick Phillips Brooks, Jr. is a software engineer and computer scientist, best known for managing the development of IBM's System/360 family of computers and the OS/360 software support package, then later writing candidly about the process in his seminal book The Mythical Man-Month...

's book The Mythical Man Month, in the hope of inspiring good sense in planning and carrying out engineering projects.

Given his apparent inability to effectively manage Apple's product line, Apple's board ultimately forced Sculley out. He was replaced by Michael Spindler
Michael Spindler
Michael Spindler , nicknamed "the Diesel" for his reputed around-the-clock work habits, was president and CEO of Apple from 1993 to 1996....

, who had been Chief Operating Officer.

In the early 1990s, at enormous expense, Sculley led Apple to port
In computer science, porting is the process of adapting software so that an executable program can be created for a computing environment that is different from the one for which it was originally designed...

 its operating system to run on a new microprocessor, the PowerPC
PowerPC is a RISC architecture created by the 1991 Apple–IBM–Motorola alliance, known as AIM...

. Sculley later acknowledged this was his greatest mistake, indicating that he should instead have targeted the dominant Intel architecture.

In 1987, Sculley made several famous predictions in a Playboy
Playboy is an American men's magazine that features photographs of nude women as well as journalism and fiction. It was founded in Chicago in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, and funded in part by a $1,000 loan from Hefner's mother. The magazine has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc., with...

interview. He predicted that the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 would land a man on Mars
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after the Roman god of war, Mars. It is often described as the "Red Planet", as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance...

 within the next 20 years and claimed that optical storage media such as the CD-ROM
A CD-ROM is a pre-pressed compact disc that contains data accessible to, but not writable by, a computer for data storage and music playback. The 1985 “Yellow Book” standard developed by Sony and Philips adapted the format to hold any form of binary data....

 would revolutionize the use of personal computers. Some of his ideas for the Knowledge Navigator
Knowledge Navigator
The Knowledge Navigator is a concept described by former Apple Computer CEO John Sculley in his 1987 book, Odyssey. It describes a device that can access a large networked database of hypertext information, and use software agents to assist searching for information.Apple produced several concept...

 would eventually be fulfilled, not by Apple itself, but by the Internet and the World Wide Web
World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

 during the 1990s.

Condé Nast Portfolio
Condé Nast Portfolio is a website published by American City Business Journals that provides news and information for small to mid-sized businesses. It was formerly the website for the monthly business magazine Condé Nast Portfolio, published by Condé Nast from 2007 to is continually...

 ranked Sculley as the 14th worst American CEO of all time.


Sculley turned his attention to politics in the early 1990s on behalf of Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 Tom Campbell, who in 1992 was running in California for a United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 seat. Sculley hosted a fund-raiser for Campbell at his ranch in Woodside
Woodside, California
Woodside is a small incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, United States, on the San Francisco Peninsula. It uses a council-manager system of government. The U.S. Census estimated the population of the town to be 5,287 in 2010....

. Sculley had become acquainted with Hillary Clinton, serving with her on a national education council. When Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 ran for president, Sculley supported him. Sculley sat next to Hillary Clinton during the President's first State of the Union
State Of The Union
"State Of The Union" is the debut single from British singer-songwriter David Ford. It had previously been featured as a demo on his official website, before appearing as a track on a CD entitled "Apology Demos EP," only on sale at live shows....

 address in January 1993.

Only one business day after leaving Apple in 1994, Sculley signed on with Spectrum Information Technologies, a US$100 million wireless communications company. At the time Sculley joined the company, it was under investigation for fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Four months later, Sculley learned of the fraud investigation and resigned, filing a lawsuit
A lawsuit or "suit in law" is a civil action brought in a court of law in which a plaintiff, a party who claims to have incurred loss as a result of a defendant's actions, demands a legal or equitable remedy. The defendant is required to respond to the plaintiff's complaint...

 against Spectrum president Peter Caserta for damaging his reputation.

In 1995, Sculley became an investment partner of Sculley Brothers LLC, a private investment firm in New York City. Sculley became the chairman of Live Picture, a California-based company, in 1997, to oversee its push into high-quality, low-bandwidth imaging over the Internet. US$22M in venture capital was provided for the company. Sculley later left the company, but remained an investor. In 1999, Live Picture filed for federal bankruptcy protection as part of a plan to be acquired by MGI Software.

In 1997, Sculley co-founded PopTech
PopTech is a nonprofit open innovation laboratory and network of thought leaders who are dedicated to finding, incubating and accelerating ideas, people and projects that change the world...

 with Bob Metcalfe
Robert Metcalfe
Robert Melancton Metcalfe is an electrical engineer from the United States who co-invented Ethernet, founded 3Com and formulated Metcalfe's Law., he is a general partner of Polaris Venture Partners...

 and several other dignitaries from the technology industry.

On July 15, 1998, Sculley joined the board of directors of BuyComp LLC (now, an Internet-only computer store. , Sculley is not listed as an executive at the company.

In 2000, Sculley partnered with Dennis M. Lynch
Dennis M. Lynch
Dennis Michael Lynch is an American entrepreneur and documentary film maker. Currently, he is the Founder and CEO of, a digital media company claiming to operate one of the world's largest network of independent content creators.-Personal life:Lynch was raised in Hicksville, New...

 to launch Signature21. In its first year, the two-man firm provided marketing services to an array of small to medium sized businesses. In 2001, Sculley and Lynch transitioned the company into a learning program for rising entrepreneurs. Months later, Lynch left the company, while Sculley continued to consult and work with small businesses, including InPhonic.

In 2000, Sculley joined the board of directors at InPhonic
InPhonic Inc was an American company which sold wireless services and devices online, both through its own electronic commerce sites and through private labeled websites it created and managed for online retailers. InPhonic was founded by David A. Steinberg who resigned in 2007 due to poor debt...

, an online retailer of cell phones and wireless plans. His early leadership and enthusiasm helped steer InPhonic towards its successful IPO in 2004. Sculley currently serves as the vice chairman of the InPhonic board of directors. InPhonic filed for Chapter 11
Chapter 11, Title 11, United States Code
Chapter 11 is a chapter of the United States Bankruptcy Code, which permits reorganization under the bankruptcy laws of the United States. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is available to every business, whether organized as a corporation or sole proprietorship, and to individuals, although it is most...

 in 2007.

In 2002, Sculley endorsed and invested in the Wine Clip, a wine accessory product, which claims to accelerate the aeration of wine by exposure to magnets.

In 2003, Sculley helped in the founding of Verified Person Inc., an online pre-employment screening company. He currently serves on the board of directors. In 2004, Sculley joined the board of directors at OpenPeak, a maker of software for wireless consumer electronics, digital media, computers, and home systems. In March 2006, Sculley was named Chairman of IdenTrust (formerly Digital Signature Trust Company) a San Francisco based firm focusing on verifying identity and boosting financial security. In the same year, John Sculley became a Venture Partner at Rho Ventures.

Before speaking at the Silicon Valley 4.0 conference, Sculley was interviewed by CNET
CNET is a tech media website that publishes news articles, blogs, and podcasts on technology and consumer electronics. Originally founded in 1994 by Halsey Minor and Shelby Bonnie, it was the flagship brand of CNET Networks and became a brand of CBS Interactive through CNET Networks' acquisition...

 in October 2003, where he explained the mistakes he made at Apple concerning the Apple Newton
Apple Newton
The MessagePad was the first series of personal digital assistant devices developed by Apple for the Newton platform in 1993. Some electronic engineering and the manufacture of Apple's MessagePad devices was done in Japan by the Sharp Corporation...

 and HyperCard
HyperCard is an application program created by Bill Atkinson for Apple Computer, Inc. that was among the first successful hypermedia systems before the World Wide Web. It combines database capabilities with a graphical, flexible, user-modifiable interface. HyperCard also features HyperTalk, written...

. Also in 2003, Sculley was interviewed by the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 for the television documentary The World's Most Powerful episode Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates
Bill Gates
William Henry "Bill" Gates III is an American business magnate, investor, philanthropist, and author. Gates is the former CEO and current chairman of Microsoft, the software company he founded with Paul Allen...

, discussing his time at Apple during the 1980s as CEO. In 2010, he was interviewed for Cult of Mac
Cult of Mac
The Cult of Mac is a book by Leander Kahney. The book discusses fanaticism about the Apple product line.The cover of the book features the Apple logo shaved into the back of a person's head. The design was carved by Josh Ryan, aka "Dr. Fade" at the Broadway Barbershop in Millbrae, California....

on the topics of Steve Jobs and design.

Sculley has spoken at PopTech
PopTech is a nonprofit open innovation laboratory and network of thought leaders who are dedicated to finding, incubating and accelerating ideas, people and projects that change the world...

 since its opening in 1997 every year except for 2005.

Sculley currently resides in Palm Beach, Florida
Palm Beach, Florida
The Town of Palm Beach is an incorporated town in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The Intracoastal Waterway separates it from the neighboring cities of West Palm Beach and Lake Worth...


External links

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