Born: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Education: Bachelor of science degree, education, University of Virginia; master of science degree, systems management, University of Southern California
What was your biggest business challenge?
I think the biggest challenge that I had was [when] I left Pepsi and joined Apple. Macintosh had been introduced in January of ’84 and was a fantastic success and in April or May of ’85, after I had only been there for 60 days, we had to reorganize Apple Computer. I had to figure out how to drive Macintosh volume, how to improve costs and how to take an organization and restructure it, all in 60 days, and what had been one of the fastest companies in American business the quickest company to $1 billion and now it was losing money and Mac volume was, in January of ’85, 20 percent of what it had been in January ’84. I really focused it on basic business. It was a very exciting time.
What’s the best business lesson you’ve learned?
Have drive. Anything’s possible if you can visualize it and develop a plan, and then put the effort against it. You can accomplish virtually anything in any industry, but choose wisely and surround yourself with good people, and then work smart.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to replace Mickey Mantle. The Dodgers had moved to L.A. I wanted to replace Mickey Mantle. I grew up in a very humble background. My dad was a clerk for the A&P, so we always worked from the time we were able to deliver papers. It was modest living but great love, and I think I wanted to play baseball. My first job was a paperboy, and then I did everything gas stations, Gimbels in New York, moving companies, painting.