CEO Wisdom: Former Burger King Boss Barry Gibbons

Work isn’t easy.Of course it never has been, but these days it seems harder than ever.

Unreasonable bosses. Rude customers. A minimum wage that hasn’t been raised in 15 years.

And it’s often fast food workers that seem to get the worst of it.

Get your copy of Barry Gibbons’s book

But here’s a conversation I had some 25 years ago with a former CEO of Burger King – see if you agree with what Barry Gibbons told me about being a good business leader.

The book he wrote that we talked about was called If You Want to Make God Really Laugh, Show Him Your Business Plan.

So here now, from 1999. Barry Gibbons.

Since leaving Burger King Barry Gibbons has been a popular and in-demand speaker on business success.

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.