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John  Sculley

John Sculley

Former President of PepsiCo & CEO of Apple

John Sculley

Former President of PepsiCo & CEO of Apple


As a boy, John Sculley loved to tinker with electronics; when he was five, he asked Santa for a dry-cell battery, a buzzer, and hookup wire. At ten, he was dismantling radios and converting them into intercoms. As a teen, he invented a color cathode-ray tube that, if someone hadn’t beaten him to the patent, would have been the prototype for the Triniton color TV tube. It should be no surprise, then, that Sculley is a recognized expert and popular speaker about high-tech tools for tackling such challenges as corporate revitalization and the high cost of healthcare. What may be surprising is the path that led him here.

Sculley started his career in market research for a New York advertising agency and later joined the Pepsi-Cola Company as a trainee. After a whirlwind of different jobs in different cities where he learned the rules of corporate culture and the ropes of the soft-drink industry, Sculley became the company’s youngest vice president of marketing at age 30, managing a staff of 75. He later headed the company’s International Foods division then served as senior vice president of US sales and marketing before being named the youngest-ever president of Pepsi-Cola.

Sculley credits his years at Pepsi for the evolution of his marketing approach. He says, “My ideas about marketing revolved around building the best possible consumer experiences and then helping find the most creative ways to tease a consumer’s curiosity to become our loyal user.” He launched the highly successful Pepsi Generation and Pepsi Challenge campaigns, both of which tapped into consumer experience and helped Pepsi become the largest-selling consumer packaged goods brand in America, surpassing Coca-Cola in market share.

In 1993, Sculley went on to become the CEO for Apple where he was recruited by Steve Jobs. Sculley and Jobs’s partnership is documented in the 2011 biography of Steve Jobs written by Walter Isaacson.

Today, John Sculley is focused on sharing his considerable experience with corporate executives, “serial entrepreneurs,” and third-wave companies that are not afraid to take risks, to adapt to change, or to use technological advances to achieve their goals.

Sculley has a lot to say about the emergence of third-wave companies—not only high-tech companies, but others with the ability to transform their products and organization in response to changes in the economy, social habits, and customer interests.

Speaker Videos

TEDx: Innovation With A Noble Cause

TEDx: How the Cloud will Change Medicine


Speech Topics

The Adaptive Corporation

How Companies Create Innovation

The Reinvention of Work

Consumer-Driven Healthcare Services

The Future of the Global Economy

Beyond Social Media: The Social Next Big Thing

Big Brand Marketing Meets Big Data Analytics