Last Updated: April 9, 2024
Richest BusinessCEOs
Net Worth:
$80 Million
Apr 6, 1939 (85 years old)
New York City
Businessperson, Entrepreneur
United States of America
💰 Compare John Sculley's Net Worth

What is John Sculley's Net Worth and Salary?

John Sculley is an American businessman, entrepreneur and tech investor who has a net worth of $80 million. John Sculley is best known for his involvement with PepsiCo and later Apple. At both companies, his marketing acumen and management skills helped increase sales significantly. As an entrepreneur and investor, Sculley is involved with such high-tech startups as Zeta Global, Mobeam, OpenPeak, and WorldMate.

John Sculley's career at PepsiCo started as an intern in the late 1960s. He became the Vice-President of Marketing in 1970. While at PepsiCo, he turned the company around from a downward spiral, increasing their sales and profits by creating marketing campaigns like the "Pepsi Challenge", and completely overhauling their International Food Operations division. He became president of PepsiCo in 1977, but left the company to take over as CEO at Apple Computers in 1983. He was famously lured away from Pepsi after Jobs asked him: "Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?"

Sculley and Steve Jobs began to disagree about the direction of the company almost immediately, and in 1983 the board fired Jobs, choosing to keep Sculley because of his proven track record. His tenure started out well at Apple, but by the early 90s, things had started to go very awry. He was kicked out of Apple by the board, in 1993.

Early Life and Education

John Sculley III was born on April 6, 1939 in New York City to Wall Street lawyer John Sculley Jr. and horticulturalist Margaret Smith. He and his brothers spent much of their childhoods in Bermuda before returning to the States. As a teenager, Sculley went to St. Mark's School in Southborough, Massachusetts. He went on to attend Brown University, from which he earned his BA in architectural design. Sculley subsequently obtained his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


In 1967, Sculley joined PepsiCo as a trainee in a six-month program at a Pittsburgh bottling plant. A few years later, at the age of 30, he became the company's vice president, making him the youngest person ever to assume that position. In his role, Sculley launched one of PepsiCo's first consumer-research studies, which resulted in the company producing larger and more varied soft-drink packages. He went on to spearhead PepsiCo's battle with Coca-Cola in the Cola Wars, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing campaigns. Sculley's most significant campaign was the Pepsi Challenge, which included a series of television commercials featuring blind taste-testers choosing Pepsi over Coca-Cola. Among his other activities, Sculley helped improve the floundering food division at PepsiCo. Due to his many successes at the company, he was named president in 1977, and remained in that role until 1983.

Steve Jobs and John Sculley in 1984 (Photo by Cap Carpenter/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)


In 1983, Sculley was lured away from PepsiCo to apply his marketing expertise to Apple computers. Joining founder Steve Jobs, he helped give Apple an image of reliability and prestige, and used his marketing prowess in the successful launch of the Macintosh computer. However, Sculley and Jobs soon found themselves at a loggerheads over their respective management styles. The clash culminated in Jobs attempting to oust Sculley from his leadership role, which instead had the opposite result of Jobs losing his managerial duties at the hands of Apple's board of directors. Jobs would subsequently resign from Apple and found NeXT.

Following the departure of Jobs, Sculley was named the new president of Apple. Under his management, he turned the company around significantly, introducing such popular products as the PowerBook and the System 7 operating system. By the end of his tenure in 1993, Sculley had brought Apple's sales from $982 million when he started to nearly $8 billion. However, not all was well, as Sculley caused tensions within the company for refusing to license Macintosh software and negotiating the possibility of splitting Apple into two companies. Consequently, he was ousted by the company's board.

Apple Salary and Stock

During his tenure as CEO of Apple from 1983 to 1993, John Sculley was one of the highest-paid executives in the United States. In 1987, Sculley received a salary of $10.2 million, making him the highest-paid executive in Silicon Valley at that time.

When he joined the company, he was paid a $1 million signing bonus and given an annual base salary of $1 million plus options on 350,000 Apple shares.

Apple's stock split several times in the decades after 1983. Here's what would have happened to 350,000 shares over the decades:

  • 1987 Split: 350,000 * 2 = 700,000 shares
  • 2000 Split: 700,000 * 2 = 1,400,000 shares
  • 2005 Split: 1,400,000 * 2 = 2,800,000 shares
  • 2014 Split: 2,800,000 * 7 = 19,600,000 shares
  • 2020 Split: 19,600,000 * 4 = 78,400,000 shares

So in other words, had Sculley never sold a single share of his original 350,00 share grant, today he would own 78.4 million shares of Apple. At Apple's $2.6 trillion market cap and $164 price per share, that stake would be worth $12.8 billion. Those shares would have also generated hundreds of millions of dollars in dividends.

Sculley is not currently listed as one of Apple's largest individual shareholders so it is presumable that he sold most of his original 1983 grant at some point.

Apple Market Cap

When John Sculley took over as Apple's CEO in April 1983, the company's market capitalization was around $1.2 billion. Over the next decade, Apple's market cap experienced fluctuations, but it generally increased.

Here are some milestones to give you an idea of how Apple's market cap evolved during John Sculley's tenure:

  • 1983 (when Sculley took over): ~$1.2 billion
  • 1987: Apple's market cap reached $5.1 billion.
  • 1990: Apple's market cap hit a high of around $10 billion.
  • 1993 (when Sculley left): Apple's market cap was approximately $7 billion.
  • 1998: $2.5 billion
  • 2003: $6.2 billion
  • 2008: $82.3 billion
  • 2013: $490 billion
  • 2018: $746 billion
  • 2023: $2.6 trillion


Tech Investments

After leaving Apple, Sculley became CEO and chairman of Spectrum Information Technologies. He resigned after just four months and filed a lawsuit against the company's president on account of being misled about SEC inquiries into Spectrum. Sculley went on to become a prolific investor in tech startups. Early on, he was a founding investor in MetroPCS, NFO Research, and, among other companies. In 1997, Sculley became the chairman of Live Picture and co-founded PopTech. A few years later, he became involved with the online mobile phone retailer InPhonic. Sculley subsequently invested in such companies as Wine Clip, Verified Person, and OpenPeak. In 2007, he co-founded the data company Zeta Global with David A. Steinberg, and in 2014 was one of four co-founders of the smartphone manufacturer Obi Mobiles, later renamed Obi Worldphone.

Personal Life

Sculley has been married multiple times. He married his first wife, Ruth, in 1960; they had two children before divorcing in 1965. Sculley was next wed to Carol Lee Adams from 1978 until their divorce in 2011. Two years after that, he married Diane Poli. The couple resides in Palm Beach, Florida.

Real Estate

In 1983 John paid $2 million for a large mansion in Woodside, California. He sold the 10,000 square foot mansion in 1993 for $3.4 million.

In 2009 Sculley and his second wife paid $8 million for a home in Palm Beach, Florida. He relinquished this property to Carol Lee Adams after their separation. She sold the mansion in 2013 for $11 million.

In January 2018 Sculley paid $14.925 million for an oceanfront mansion in Palm Beach, Florida. The property includes a private cabana on the beach across the street. This was a good purchase. Today the property is likely worth north of $30 million.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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