MOGULS, MAVERICKS AND EMPIRES…
Series Profiles Remarkable People Who Made Careers Turning the “Unthinkable” into Reality
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., June 16, 2011—On Thursday, June 23rd at 9PM ET/PT, “CNBC Titans” returns to the CNBC primetime line-up for a second season. The series gives viewers the real story behind some of the most famous icons, the greatest companies and the titans of industry who helped build them.
The first episode of the second season will tell the story of Steve Jobs, the undisputed king of Silicon Valley for the better part of three decades. From his parents' California garage he launched the personal computer revolution and built Apple into the most envied, and valuable, technology company in the world. From the Macintosh and the iPod, to iTunes and the iPhone, Jobs has personally presided over the creation of dozens of transformational devices, battling hostile corporate boards, cutthroat competitors, and life-threatening illness while securing his legacy as one of the few visionary who dared to "Think Different."
Upcoming episodes of “CNBC Titans” include:
Jack Welch (Premieres Monday, June 27th at 9PM ET/PT): Maria Bartiromo explores the life of one of the most admired and controversial business titans in history, Jack Welch. When Welch became General Electric's youngest CEO in 1981, he transformed the century old company into a leaner, more flexible, and profitable corporation, increasing it’s market value by $387 billion and making it the most valuable company in the world. But in doing so Welch trimmed GE's workforce by more than 100,000, earning him the nickname he despised, "Neutron Jack," a reference to the bomb designed to remove the people but leave the buildings intact. From growing up in a working class neighborhood in Salem, Massachusetts, to becoming Fortune’s "Manager of the Century" in 1999, CNBC looks at the rise of one of the most influential CEO’s in business.
Procter & Gamble (Premieres Thursday, July 7th at 9PM ET/PT): Only in America could two immigrants—an English candlemaker and an Irish soapmaker—create what would become the most powerful consumer goods company in history. In the 1830’s, when William Procter and James Gamble founded the company that would bear their names, they could never have envisioned that one day their products would touch everything from babies’ bottoms to ladies’ eyebrows. With unprecedented access and intimate interviews with legendary former CEOs John Pepper and A.G. Lafley, as well as with current chief executive, Bob McDonald, this hour pulls back the curtain on a dynamic company whose relentless drive for innovation and improvement led to the creation of some of our most cherished products.
Herb Kelleher (Premieres Thursday, July 14th at 9PM ET/PT): “CNBC Titans” profiles Herb Kelleher, the founder and former CEO of Southwest Airlines, who grew the company from a small regional carrier with just four jets into an industry leader. A straight-talking iconoclast, Kelleher is adored by Southwest employees. And he's respected on Wall Street -- Southwest has had an unprecedented 38 straight years of profitability, a record no other U.S. airline can touch.
Quincy Jones (Premieres Thursday, July 21st): Jazz musician, arranger, the first black executive of a major record company, producer, entrepreneur, and social activist, Quincy Jones is a one person history of the entertainment industry over the past 60 years, going from be-bop to hip-hop. With more Grammy nominations and awards than anyone else alive, he produced the biggest selling album of all time, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and the landmark We Are The World. As a film and TV producer, he introduced the world to Oprah Winfrey in The Color Purple and Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Jones’ life—many of his greatest accomplishments happened after recovering from a near fatal brain aneurism—is one of the great African-American success stories.
Hershey (Premieres Thursday, July 28th): Hershey. Few words sound sweeter. But behind the mouthwatering chocolate is a man, Milton S. Hershey, whose obsessive search for the perfect confectionary turned a pastoral Pennsylvania town into the candy-making capital of the world. From a state-of-the-art medical center, to a sprawling amusement park, Hersey, Pennsylvania, is living proof that a single company can build a utopia built on the foundation of milk and sugar.
Jack Daniel's (Premieres Thursday, August 4th): Jack Daniel is a man revered by rebels and rock stars. In 1866, four years after Jasper “Jack” Daniel became a licensed distiller at the ripe old age of 16, he founded the nation’s oldest distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. For more than 150 years, the distillery’s iconic Jack Daniel’s Whiskey has endured high liquor taxes, prohibition, and even the transformation of its headquarters into a dry county, to become the world’s most popular whiskey with more than $2 billion in sales. Jack Daniel is so beloved that his grave is adorned with two chairs bordering the immense headstone so the many visitors can sit and honor the life of this American titan. But Daniel’s legacy was not just in his whiskey, a favorite of connoisseurs around the world, but also in his numerous philanthropic endeavors.
Lee Iacocca (Premieres Thursday, August 11th): The quintessential brash, bold, imperial CEO of the 1980’s—when this type of chief executive reigned supreme—Lee Iacocca was born to Italian immigrants who owned a hot dog stand in Allentown, Pennsylvania. It’s no surprise then that although he began his career as an engineer for the Ford Motor Company, he quickly gravitated to sales and rose to become president of Ford in 1970. A visionary who had a hand in every aspect of the business, from design to marketing, Iacocca clashed with Henry Ford II and was eventually relieved of his position in 1978, despite Ford posting a $2 billion profit for the year. Ford’s loss was Chrysler’s gain—Iacocca engineered a transformation that brought Chrysler from the brink of bankruptcy to the most envied of the Big Three automakers. Iacocca was so respected as an executive that his autobiography, published in 1984, was the best-selling non-fiction book for the next two years.
Barry Diller (Premieres Thursday, August 18th): Barry Diller's great successes have spanned the media world from movies to television to the Internet. As President of Paramount he oversaw movie blockbusters such as Grease, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Beverly Hills Cop and televisions hits like Laverne and Shirley, Taxi and Cheers. Diller also brought The Simpsons to a then struggling Fox Network. Crossing over to cable, he saw great potential in QVC and other cable programming. Always ready for a challenge and seeing the great possibilities of the Internet, he founded IAC/InterActiveCorp, and acquired websites such as Match.com, Ask.com and Expedia. Along the way, he has had his share of known employees, including Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Don Simpson and Dawn Steel, all who have been powerhouses themselves. Not bad for a guy who dropped out of UCLA and started out in the mailroom at the William Morris Agency.
Leo Burnett (Premieres Thursday, August 25th): He was advertising's original Mad Man. Not to mention creator of the Jolly Green Giant, Tony the Tiger, Toucan Sam, and the Pillsbury Doughboy. Named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, Leo Burnett was a giant in the advertising world. Defying all odds, Leo Burnett founded his company in 1935, during the Great Depression, opening a small office on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. It had one client: the Minnesota Valley Canning Company. And the only reason the company signed with Burnett was because its owner liked “the little guy with dandruff and the rumpled suit.” By the late 1950s, Burnett emerged as a prime mover in advertising's creative revolution, which was now exploding thanks to the rise of television. Burnett was also home to ad man Draper Daniels, creator of the classic Marlboro Man. Daniels was the inspiration for Don Draper, the star of AMC’s hit, Mad Men.
For more information and special web exclusives, log onto titans.cnbc.com.
Each episode of “CNBC Titans” premieres at 9PM ET/ET and re-airs the same night at 10PM ET/PT. The program will also repeat the following Sunday at 10PM ET.
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