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Apple

The transformation of Apple is one of the most iconic ones. The company did well in the 1980s but experienced a slump afterward, so co-founder Steve Jobs, who had been ousted in 1985, returned in 1997 as an advisor to help it get back on track. As many people now know, he didn't advise for very long.

Apple's board of directors named him interim CEO,, and in 2000 he dropped the "interim" from his title. Under his guidance, Apple was reinvented as a mobile technology company, distinguished by such products as the iPhone and the iPad, products that continue to fly off store shelves. Jobs died in 2011, but the company he left behind had been irrevocably transformed.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC