So Jobs and Markkula enlisted Gerry Roche, a gregarious corporate headhunter, to find someone else. They decided not to focus on technology executives; what they needed was a consumer marketer who knew
advertising and had the corporate polish that would play well on Wall Street. Roche set his sights on the hottest consumer marketing wizard of the moment, John Sculley, president of the Pepsi-Cola division of PepsiCo, whose Pepsi Challenge campaign had been an advertising and publicity triumph.
When Jobs gave a talk to Stanford business students, he heard good things about Sculley, who had spoken to the class earlier. So he told Roche he would be happy to meet him.
Sculley’s background was very different from Jobs’s. His mother was an Upper East Side Manhattan matron who wore white gloves when she went out, and his father was a proper Wall Street lawyer. Sculley was sent off to St.
Mark’s School, then got his undergraduate degree from Brown and a business degree from Wharton. He had risen through the ranks at PepsiCo as an innovative marketer and advertiser, with little passion for product development or information technology.
Sculley flew to Los Angeles to spend Christmas with his two teenage children from a previous marriage. He took them to visit a computer store, where he was struck by how poorly the products were marketed. When his kids asked
why he was so interested, he said he was planning to go up to Cupertino to meet Steve Jobs. They were totally blown away. They had grown up among movie stars, but to them Jobs was a true celebrity.
It made Sculley take
more seriously the
prospect of being
hired as his boss.
Mike Markkula had never wanted to be Apple’s president. He liked designing his new houses, flying his private plane, and living high off his stock options;
he did not relish adjudicating conflict or curating high-maintenance egos. He had stepped into the role reluctantly, after he felt compelled to ease out Mike Scott, and he promised his wife the gig would be temporary. By the end of
1982, after almost two years, she gave him an order: Find a replacement right away.
Jobs knew that he was not ready to run the company himself, even though there was a part of him that wanted to try. Despite his arrogance, he could be self-aware. Markkula agreed; he told Jobs that he was still a bit too rough-edged and immature to be Apple’s president. So they launched a search for someone from the outside.
The person they most wanted was Don Estridge, who had built IBM’s personal computer division from scratch and launched a PC that, even though Jobs and his team disparaged it, was now outselling Apple’s. Estridge had sheltered his division in Boca Raton, Florida, safely removed from the corporate
mentality of Armonk, New York. Like Jobs, he was driven and inspiring, but unlike Jobs, he had the ability to allow others to think that his brilliant ideas were their own. Jobs flew to Boca Raton with the offer of a $1 million salary
and a $1 million signing bonus, but Estridge turned him down. He was not the type who would jump ship to join the enemy. He also enjoyed being part of the establishment, a member of the Navy rather than a pirate. He was discomforted by Jobs’s tales of ripping off the
phone company. When
asked where he worked,
he loved to be able to