John Sculley and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs got together every weekend for five months as Jobs was trying to convince Sculley to take a job at Apple. Sculley, who was the CEO of Pepsi at the time, first met Jobs after Thanksgiving in 1982.
"We got to know each other very, very well, but at the end of it I said, 'Steve, I've thought about it and I'm not coming to Apple,'" Sculley, now 79, tells CNBC Make It. This was the last Sunday in March, 1983.
"Steve paused and thought for a while, and then he was about 18 inches away from me — and in those days he was in his 20s and he had jet black hair, very dark eyes and he was right in my face — and he said, 'You want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?'"
On April 11, 1983, Sculley joined Apple as the CEO. And from 1983 to 1993, he was the CEO. In that time, Apple went from having revenues of $569 million to $8.3 billion, Sculley tells CNBC Make It.
Remembering Steve, our friend and leader, on his 63rd birthday: "The thing that bound us together at Apple was the ability to make things that were going to change the world." We are forever bound to that goal — and to you, Steve.
One of Jobs' talents was convincing talented people to work with him. "Steve had that ability to put into words exactly a message that would resonate with the people he was trying to recruit," Sculley says.
Indeed, it worked for Sculley. In the years Sculley and Jobs worked together at Apple (Jobs resigned in 1985 before returning to the company again in 1997), Sculley learned numerous lessons from the iconic inventor and entrepreneur.