John Sculley is an American businessman. John Sculley was the President (1977–1983) and Vice president (1970–1977) of Pepsi and CEO of Apple Computer (1983-1993). John Sculley grew up in Bermuda, Brazil, and Europe. He graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Architectural Design and then earned his MBA from the Wharton School of Business in Pennsylvania.
Sculley was the name of the CEO and president of Pepsi in 1977. He was the youngest-ever person to hold the positions at the company. Starting as a trainee, he was also the youngest person to become the marketing vice president in 1970. At Pepsi, he was the one to introduce a revolutionary marketing campaign that allowed the company to gain significant market share from its rival company, Coca-Cola.
Sculley was employed at Pepsi-Cola for 15 years from 1967, rising to be the youngest ever CEO and president in 1977. 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, including the two-liter bottle Sculley worked with DuPont to develop. In 1970, Pepsi set out to dethrone Coca-Cola as the market leader of the industry, in what eventually became known as the Cola Wars. Sculley became president of PepsiCo’s International Food Operations division, shortly after he visited a failing potato chip factory in Paris.
He moved on to Apple, eventually becoming chairman and CEO, but his reign was characterized by a division of the market into many sub-markets, and each sub-market into many segments to cover each with a different model. This vision of the market has produced an explosion of Macintosh models; there were many computer models, but many had almost identical features, and there were different models that had only the name. This marketing strategy has proved unsuccessful, significantly increasing costs without any real benefits, and forced to produce up to four different packages when in fact the computer was always the same, but requiring different advertising that dispersed the forces of marketing and increased costs. More, it created confusion to users who were unable to extricate themselves from the flood of models available; the strategy was clearly losing. In 1993 the board of directors forced Sculley to step down and his place was taken by Michael Spindler initially and later Gilbert Amelio, who has been chosen for its ability to generate profits. Following his departure from Apple, Sculley served as a partner for his company Sculley Brothers LLC from 1995 to 2005. He co-founded Zeta Global in 2007 and Obi Worldphone in 2014.
The business mogul currently owns a net worth of $20 million. John Sculley III, the former Apple CEO responsible for helping mass-market the personal computer, and for driving $8 billion in sales during his 10 years at the company, doesn’t seem to want to be remembered for his successes in Cupertino. And, although he’s proud of helping to develop the wildly successful Pepsi Challenge advertising campaign, and turning a regional soft drink company into a globally recognized brand, he doesn’t seem to want to be remembered as a veteran of the Cola Wars, either. During his time as CEO, there were two camps at Apple—those who were trying to get the company to focus on selling software (a la Microsoft) and those who wanted to continue to deliver and expand the company’s premium hardware offerings—the way Steve Jobs intended when he founded Apple in 1976. This was in the early nineties, several years before the dot-com era erupted. As Sculley tells it, he was intent on delivering handheld computers to the market, devices that could be used without keyboards, based on gestures and movement. The two devices on which Sculley staked his reputation, Apple Newton, and General Magic, never materialized into the iPhone, or even the BlackBerry, both of which owe their success to Sculley and his team’s exploration.
Although his career at Apple was not very successful, John Sculley added huge sums to his net worth while working there. Later, he increased his wealth by investments, while working at Sculley Brother LLC, and founding customer life-cycle marketing company Zeta interactive and a Silicon Valley smartphone manufacturer Obi Worldphone.