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9 business icons who turned a career calamity into billions

Fired let go

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Back from the professional abyss

Losing a job can be a bummer, but not the end of the world if you take the right lessons from it.

Indeed, a surprising number of business icons survived bad job experiences and went on to billionaire successes.

Lululemon founder Chip Wilson had a very high-profile "bad" job experience when comments he made in response to complaints from women that his company's yoga pants were see-through became infamous. Billions were shaved off the company's value. Wilson ultimately resigned. "I feel like I've kind of been in prison," Wilson recently told The New York Times as he attempts a comeback with a new clothing company, Kit and Ace.

Alastair Campbell, author of "Winners: And How They Succeed," told CNBC, "Everyone doesn't need to be fired at least once to succeed, but it is important to have a mind-set that tries to get good out of bad. ... Many of the people I interviewed were very clear that they learned more from failure than from success."

Here are nine icons who had bad job experiences before going on to even bigger successes.

By Tim Mullaney, special to CNBC.com
Posted 15 June 2016

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