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Profiles of Legends

Bill Gates 

Bill Gates was born in 1955 at Seattle, USA. Being an entrepreneur and the renowned owner of Microsoft, Gates is one of the richest men in the world. His passion towards computer programming at 13 and his passionate college studies inspired him to build the world’s largest software business, Microsoft with his friend Paul Allen. In 1985, Bill Gates and Microsoft launched Windows. Microsoft was supplying Microsoft-compatible software for Apple Macintosh users. Later he created a software format for his own company.

Bill Gates made his college friend Steve Ballmer the CEO of Microsoft in 2000. He concentrated by being the chief software architect which remained the more passionate side of the business, though he remained chairman of the board.  Then Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation started in 2006 became his centre of attraction from 2008.

Bill Gates has also received numerous awards for philanthropic work, holds several honorary doctorates from universities, an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II in 2005.Time magazine named Gates one of the most influential people of the 20th century.

Brad Smith

Chairman and CEO of Intuit

Brad D Smith, born in 1964, earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Marshall University in West Virginia and Master’s degree in Management from Aquinas College in Michigan

Within a short span of 5 years after joining Intuit, financial software Company, Smith was named Intuit’s president and CEO. And in another 8 years he became chairman of the board of directors.

He began his Intuit career leading the Accountant Central community, cultivating relationships and delivering services for accounting professionals. Building on Intuit’s strong foundation and enduring mission, Smith has cultivated an agile, innovative culture and led initiatives to reinvent Intuit to harness emerging technology and trends, continuing to improve the financial lives of customers around the world. He made Intuit as an innovative and most-admired public company with nearly $4B in total revenue and ranked as one of the top 100 best places to work.

Intuit’s Small Business Division in which smith worked earlier included the portfolio of QuickBooks, Quicken and Payroll products. Company’s Consumer Tax Group produces TurboTax, the nation’s leading consumer tax preparation software.

 

 

Howard Schultz

CEO and Chairman of Starbucks

Howard Schultz was born in 19-Jul-1953 at Brooklyn, USA. With a Bachelor’s degree in communication, Schultz began his career as an Appliance salesman and gradually elevated himself to the post of the Director of sales for Hammarplast, a company that sold European coffee makers in the United States which operated in Seattle. Schultz met the founders of Starbucks and really heard for the first time the story of great coffee.

A year after meeting with Starbucks’ founders, Howard Schultz was hired as Director of retail operations and marketing for the growing coffee company, which, at the time, only sold coffee beans, not coffee drinks. Schultz was struck with an idea of selling coffee drinks by opening coffee bars in Starbucks stores. Due to difference of opinions with the Founders, he left Starbucks and established a coffee bar in a new store in Seattle. It was an instant success as hundreds of people flocked in per day. After founding his own coffee company Il Giornale. He later purchased Starbucks and became CEO and Chairman of the company. Today Starbucks has more than 21,000 stores worldwide and a market cap of $60 billion.

 

 

Indra Nooyi,

CEO of Pepsico

Indra Nooyi was born in Chennai, India in 1955 and later became the naturalised citizen of USA. Amidst a lot of criticism, a 23 year young Indra Nooyi did her MBA from Yales University. As money was of greater importance, she worked as a dorm receptionist—opting for the graveyard shift because it paid an extra 50 cents per hour.

Nooyi worked in Johnson & Johnson, Motorola and ABB while in India. She joined PepsiCo when it was owned by KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurant chains. After 3 years, Nooyi got these restaurants divested and it resulted in the creation of Tricon Global Restuarants, Inc now renamed as Yum! Brands, Inc

Pepsico primarily focused on soft drinks and Nooyi had been instrumental in expansion of more healthful snack options. She further led Pepsico’s acquisition of Tropicana, merger with Quaker Oats Company, etc.

Recognizing her impressive work, Pepsico made her the President and CEO. Nooyi was the fifth CEO in Pepsico’s 44-year history. Today Indra Nooyi presides over 185,000 employees in nearly 200 countries as the chief executive of PepsiCo.

Nooyi  is identified as one among ‘world’s 100 most powerful women’ by Forbes magazine. She was honoured with Padmabhushan by the President of India in 2007.

 

 

Irene Rosenfeld

Chairwoman and CEO of Mondelez International

Born in 1953 at New York, Irene got degrees in psychology, business, marketing and statistics (PhD) from Cornell University, Rosenfeld started her career at an advertising agency. She later joined General Foods Corporation, a company of packaged and frozen products, ranging from Kool-Aid fruit-flavoured beverages to Maxwell House coffee to Oscar Mayer meats.

The company was bought by Philip Morris (now the Altria Group), and over the following decade it was merged with another of Philip Morris’s acquisitions, Kraft Foods, a manufacturer of processed cheese. Subsequently Rosenfeld took charge of Kraft’s entire Canadian division which broadened her experience beyond marketing a single brand. She worked on integrating the biscuit products of Nabisco, that was purchased by Kraft Foods.

Rosenfeld left Kraft for Frito-Lay, a maker of snack products that was owned by beverage company PepsiCo Inc. She served as Frito-Lay’s CEO and Chairman for two years, during which time the company introduced a number of low-salt, low-fat snacks.

Rosenfeld returned to Kraft as CEO after Philip Morris separated himself from it. She restructured the company by introducing new products, entering markets abroad, and reorganizing the selling of mature American brands. Eventually the company acquired the biscuit operations of the French company Groupe Danone, and succeeded in an aggressive takeover of British confectioner Cadbury. In 2011, the $31 billion global snacking company Kraft was renamed as Mondelez International with Irene as the Chairperson.

 

 

Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

CO-FOUNDER, APPLE INC
Steve Jobs, born in San Francisco, co-founded Apple Computers with Steve Wozniak. Under Jobs’ guidance, the company pioneered a series of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone and iPad. He started his career as a video game designer. When he was  21 Jobs and Wozniak started Apple Computer in his family garage, funding their entrepreneurial venture by selling his Volkswagen bus and Wozniak selling his beloved scientific calculator.

The duos revolutionized the computer industry by democratizing the technology and making machines smaller, cheaper, intuitive and accessible to everyday consumers. Wozniak conceived of a series of user-friendly personal computers, and Jobs took marketing initiatives. Apple began marketing the computers for $666.66 each. The Apple Inc earned the corporation around $774,000. Three years after the release of Apple’s second model, the Apple II, the company’s sales increased by 700 percent to $139 million. In 1980, Apple Computer became a publicly traded company, with a market value of $1.2 billion on the very first day of trading. Jobs named John Sculley of Pepsi-Cola the CEO for Apple INC.

 

 

Wilbur Wright (1867-1912)       Orville Wright (1871-1948)
               

The Wright Brothers

Wilbur and Orville together called Wright Brothers, being fascinated by a toy helicopter brought by their father in their childhood, later became the fathers of aviation by developing the first successful airplane. They shared intellectual curiosity and an aptitude for science.

Orville was rather interested in hobbies than studies and thus became a drop out during the senior grade.. He started a printing press and later became the Editor of West Side News.

A curiosity for Aeronautics made the brothers watchful on latest flying news. German aviator Otto Lilienthal died in a glider crash. The brothers studied his research and believed that, human flight would be possible with better designs. They began experimenting, observing how birds balanced and controlled their bodies using angled wings for flight. They designed their first power-driven airplane using the flying mechanism of birds in 1903and succeeded. Of four flights they made, the longest was 59 seconds, over a distance of 852 feet.

                 Ursula Burns

Chairman and CEO of Xerox Corporation

 Ursula Burns was born in 1958 at New York City, US. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. After doing her summer intern in Xerox, she permanently joined after completing her Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University a year later. She worked in various roles in product development and planning.

To become the Vice President of Xerox Corporation, she had to climb the ladder holding different positions from Senior Executive to the CEO,.

Burns has served on numerous professional and community boards, including Exxon Mobil Corporation, American Express, Boston Scientific, FIRST, National Association of Manufacturers, University of Rochester, the MIT Corporation, the Rochester Business Alliance, and the RUMP Group. She served as Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of The Business Council in 2013 and 2014.

She received an honorary degree, one of the institution’s highest honors of the University of Louisiana during  its 12th Commencement ceremony.

Warren Buffett

Warren Edward Buffett, the “Oracle of Omaha”

An investment guru and one of the richest and most respected businessmen Buffett, was born in 1930 in Nebraska. This young mathematical prodigy got inspired by his father’s stockbrokerage, made his first investment of $38 at the age of 11 and made a small profit. This early experience taught a lesson of patience in investing

Warren became an investment salesman and later started a partnership with his close friends and family to minimize the potential of having enraged clients. By 1959, Warren had opened seven [partnerships and had a 9.5% stake in more than a million dollars of partnership assets. Three years later, Warren merged all of his partnerships into a single entity.

Though it was successful, he dissolved at a point where he had to focus on the development of Berkshire Hathaway that he had purchased. He phased out its textile manufacturing division, instead expanding the company by buying assets in media, insurance, and oil.

In June 2006, Buffett made an announcement that he would be giving his entire fortune away to charity, committing 85% of it to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest act of charitable giving in United States history.

Most recently, Warren has partnered up with 3G Capital to merge J.H. Heinz Company and Kraft Foods to create the Kraft Heinz Food Company (KHC). the third largest food and beverage company in North America and fifth largest in the world.

 

 

Jeff Bezos

Founder of Amazon.com

Jeff Bezos, born in 1964 at New Mexico, is one of the founding fathers of e-commerce and Amazon.com. He has been the brain behind the comfort of shopping from home. Everything from books to laptops to gift baskets are made available online

Bezos tested his creation of e commerce in books with 300 friends and acquaintances and made them explore the live site. Within a month, the company had sold books in all 50 states and in 45 countries. Within two months, sales topped $20,000 a week. As Amazon’s growth accelerated, its revenue reached $4 billion.

The company further succeeded as it embraced e-commerce innovations that improved its customer experience. The standard operating procedures- one-click shopping, e-mail verification of orders, and customer product reviews were not on the radar until Amazon adopted them.

Bezos has joked modestly that the success of Amazon was due half to luck, half to timing, and the rest was attributable to brains. In truth, the passion he brings to his business is what sets him apart

Most recently, the company has acquired Zappos, the online shoe retailer, and unveiled the Kindle, the first e-reader to become a breakout hit. This risky move into consumer electronics shows that Jeff Bezos, having pioneered online retail, is not yet ready to give up the pursuit of innovation.

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