Gil Amelio

Given Apple’s dominance in the high-tech world, it’s hard to imagine that it was once a company that had cash flow problems, poor quality products, a bloated workforce, and a total lack of strategy.

But that’s essentially the kind of company that Gill Amelio said he took over as CEO in early 1996.

By his own telling, Amelio cut costs, slashed staff, and tried to put the company back on a strategic course.

But less than a year and a half later, in summer of 1997, Apple was still struggling and Amelio was forced out.

The following spring he wrote a book about his 500 days at Apple, called On the Firing Line. And that’s when I met him.

So here now, from 1998, Gil Amleio.

Gil Amelio is 79 now. He’s been a venture capitalist for the last 24 years.

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Tami Longaberger

For a generation, a handcrafted Longaberger basket is something of a home decor showpiece.

Dave Longaberger founded the company in 1973, and by 1975 had hired his daughter Tammy to work there. When Dave died in 1999, Tami took over as president and CEO.

In 2001, a book that Dave Longaberger had written was finally published, and Tammy went on tour to promote it. That’s when I met her.

At the time, the Longaberger company was at its peak, with thousands of employees making all kinds of home decor products,

They even built a company headquarters building in Ohio that looks like a giant Longaberger Basket.

So here now, from 2001, Tami Longaberger.

Some time after our interview in 2001, the Longaberger Company’s fortunes began to slide. Tami stepped down as CEO in 2015, and Longaberger ceased operations in 2018. The company’s brand was revived a year later by another comp[any.

As for the distinctive basket shape headquarters building, Longaberger moved out of it in 2016, and it was sold to developers in They’ve tried to turn it into a luxury hotel, but at present those plans are still on hold.

Tami Longaberger is 60 now, and works with a venture capital firm based in Washington, DC.

Anita Roddick

In 1976 a British business woman started a small business to sell skin and hair care products.

But she also wanted it to reflect her ethics and values, including human rights, animal rights, and the environment.

Anita Roddick called her business The Body Shop.

Today The Body Shop has over 3,000 stores in 65 countries. But it is still loyal to Anita Roddick’s ethics and values.

In 2001 Roddick wrote a book called Business As Unusual, a look back at the sometimes-turbulent ‘90s for The Body Shop.

So here now from 2001, Anita Roddick.

Anita Roddick died in 2007. She was 64.

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John Sculley

Photo: Judae1

Doing a 13-year career at PepsiCo, including six years as its president, John Scully prove to be something of a marketing genius.

If you’ve ever seen The Pepsi Challenge, well .. that was John Sculley’s idea.

Then he made the switch from selling flavored sugar carbonated water to selling personal computers.

In 1983 Scully became CEO of Apple. And soon, behind his marketing skills, Apple had rival i b m on the run.

In 1987, in the middle of his 10-year run at Apple, Scully wrote a book about his transition from Pepsi. And that’s when I met him.

Two things to note about this interview. No, three things.

First, John Sculley apparently had had the services of a consultant who told him to be sure and mention his book in every answer. So you’ll hear lots of references to the title of his book, Odyssey.

The second thing you need to know is that I learned a very important lesson in this interview. And that is, always check your microphone. It turns out that mine was basically turned off for the entire interview, and I didn’t realize it. That’s why it sounds a little strange.

But the third thing, the most intriguing thing, this is 1987. Very few people had personal computers, yet Scully is talking about things that today seem commonplace. It’s like we went back to the future.

So here now, from 1987, John Sculloey.

John Sculley is 82 now. He remains active in high-tech startups, as well as disruptive marketing strategies.

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Al Neuharth

Photo: John Mathew Smith

Do you have to be kind of an SOB to be a success?

What kind of connotation does that term even have anymore?

Those were two of the key questions that Al Neuharth tried to address in his bestselling memoir “Confessions Of An S.O.B.”

Al Neuharth was the founder of USA Today, as well as The Freedom Forum, and the Newseum. So apparently being an SOB helped him.

So here now, from 1990, Al Neuharth:

Al Neuharth died in 2013, at the age of 89.

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Howard Schultz

Photo: Gage Skidmore

When three guys from San Francisco started Starbucks 50 years ago, in 1971, they probably had little idea of what the future would bring for their little coffee bean business.

By 1986 there were still only six Starbucks locations. But in 1987, they sold the company to Howard Schultz. And under his leadershipp, Starbucks grew to 46 stores by 1989, and in1992 the company went public,

Howard Schultz was CEO of Starbucks from 1986 to 2000, and again from 2008 to 2017.

In 1997, Schultz wrote a book called “Pour Your Heart Into It,” and that’s when I met him.

Now, a couple of times in this interview, you will hear us refer to “the tragedy in Georgetown.” Just weeks before this interview, there was a vicious crime at a Starbucks in the Georgetown section of Washington DC, in which 3 store employees were murdered.

So here now, from 1997, Howard Schultz…

Today Starbucks has over 32-thousand stories in over 80 countries.

Howard Schultz will be 68 in July. He and his family live in Seattle.

Gene Klein

In the early 1960s, the San Diego Chargers were a powerhouse in the American Football League.

In 1966, the franchise was purchased by a very successful California businessman named Gene Klein. He paid the them-princely sum of 10 million dollars.

But after running the team for 18 years, Klein solded in 1984.

And a couple of years later he wrote a book about his experience, which he called First Down And a Billion. And that’s when I met him.

I interviewed him just five days before Super Bowl XXI, so be sure and listen to the end to find out what his prediction was. And how accurate he was.

So here now, from January 1987, Gene Klein.

Gene Klein died in 1990, at the age of 69.

Barbara Corcoran

Photo: Jacqueline Zacco

She’s been a top New York City real estate broker for many years, but you may know Barbara Corcoran best for her role that’s one of the investors pitched by entrepreneurs each week on the TV series Shark Tank.

What you may not know is that Barbara Corcoran is one of 10 children, and that her very strong mother inspired her to become a business success.

I met Barbara Corcoran in 2003, when she wrote a book about the wisdom her mother had passed along to her.

So here now, from 2003, Barbara Corcoran:

Barbara Corcoran is 72. She is still very active as a public speakler consulant and columnist.