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John Sculley discusses time at Apple, Steve Jobs


Retired professional athletes often reflect on the glory days and those moments when they were at the top of their game. For ousted corporate CEOs, apparently your time in the past with a company that is now flying high is cause for reflection. At least that's the case with former Apple CEO John Sculley (at right in the photo above), who waxed nostalgic for the good old days at Apple as part of an executive speaker series at the Hult International Business School in London last night.

Sculley is best known as being hand-picked by Steve Jobs to be the CEO of Apple during the critical years when the Mac was developed and introduced. Formerly the president of PepsiCo, Sculley ran Apple between 1983 and 1993. Although the company's revenues increased from $800 million to $8 billion in those 10 years, Sculley was eventually replaced by the Apple board of directors as margins and stock price declined. Thanks to his awesome leadership at Apple, both Business Insider and Portfolio Magazine would add Sculley to their "Worst American CEO" lists.

But that hasn't tarnished Sculley's fond memories of Apple. At last night's talk, he discussed the differences between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates (mainly the fact that Steve is all about the design excellence, while Bill was "all about landgrab" and "built this entire company Microsoft around shrink wrapped software."), why Jobs hired him in the first place (Sculley wanted to "sell the experience of a lifestyle" as he did at Pepsi), and lauds Steve Jobs as being the "one person" who launched the mobile era.

The last statement is fine praise indeed from Sculley, who was known for spearheading the ill-fated -- but groundbreaking -- Apple Newton MessagePad during his reign. Electricpig UK was in attendance at the talk and has more details of last night's event here.

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