"Musk is literally inventing entirely new industries," said Sculley. "He's taking on ambitious projects that most of us wouldn't even think about as possible, and he's turning them into incredibly valuable businesses with products that people love.'"
Sculley said look no further than Tesla Motors. "Can you imagine if Tesla had been started as a joint venture between General Motors (GM) and Tesla?" asked Sculley. "What it might look today? It might look like the Chevy Volt. And what did he to? He took on a project that almost bankrupted him, he made his money with PayPal, yet he created a company today that has half the market cap as General Motors."
Sculley said Musk then went on to create Space-X, and he's having terrific success, and followed that by launching Tesla Energy. "This is a man of just incredible talent, he's a 360 executive, one who can manage every aspect of what it takes to build a successful business," he added. Sculley also mentioned that within large corporations, it's difficult to change directions. "There's some talented executives in places like General Motors and IBM (IBM), some of these companies that have been going through really challenging times, and even with talented CEOs, it's very, very hard to change a culture," he said.
Sculley pointed out that while Facebook (FB) was able to pivot strategies in three years and move into mobile, the company is young and the founder is still there, which is an advantage for a company that needs to innovate. "But what do you do when you are inside of IBM, and the founders aren't there, and you're trying to pivot from a decade where IBM had continually taken big stock buybacks, and cash dividends and built the market value of the company, but they missed the cloud," noted Sculley.
The first to the cloud, Sculley pointed out, was Amazon (AMZN), a company that wasn't even in the cloud business. "They are now the largest public cloud company, and Microsoft (MSFT) has followed them, and Google (GOOG) has followed them, and now dragging up from behind is IBM." Sculley says IBM is making the right decisions today, but they are decisions that should have been made six or seven years ago. Sculley is the author of the book Moonshot!, which examines strategies executives can use to create transformational businesses.