Position: Founder/Former CEO, Best Buy
Market Cap: $10.1 billion
Richard Schultz, the former CEO and founder of Best Buy, started working as a paperboy at age 11 and had a series of jobs throughout high school. He had planned to go to the University of St. Thomas, but military service in the Minnesota Air National Guard stopped him from fulfilling his college-bound dream.
After his service in the military, Schultz worked for his father selling electronic components. A few years later, he founded his own company, The Sound of Music, which sold audio components, sheet music, records, tapes, and instruments.
In the 1980s, Schultz realized that a small business was not going to survive in a widely evolving industry, so he changed the name of his company to Best Buy and expanded his product line. Schultz felt that consumers would be drawn to his stores if they could see the products they were buying on shelves, instead of keeping them in the back room. This technique helped create a new experience for shoppers.
Although Schultz relinquished his duties as CEO, he still serves as chairman of the board for Best Buy. Shultz may not have attended the College of St. Thomas, but he was awarded with an honorary doctorate of law degree.