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Michael Bush

 

(1976-1980) Software auditor, Burroughs, Detroit

“They kind of said, ‘Here, sit in front of a PC and start playing. Hack away.’ So I taught myself how to write a program to read data. I got access to the corporate payroll system. They didn’t know whether to throw me in jail or say, ‘Good job.’”

(1980-1983) Data security auditor, Mobil Corporation, Dallas

“I traveled throughout the company. People can see how well you perform, how you conduct yourself. What I didn’t realize at the time is that they were looking at me to be involved in starting a global business for them.”

(1983-1995) Financial management and strategic planning, Mobil Chemical, Brussels

“They flew four of us to Brussels, put us in a hotel, and said, ‘Guess what? You don’t have an office. Create it.’ We set up offices in Europe, Northern Africa, Asia, Latin America, creating a market for the polyethylene production that would eventually be there.”

(1995-1998) President, Domino’s Pizza UK, London

“The Domino’s board shipped me off to the UK to turn their business around. It was about paring away all the sundry stuff—sit-down restaurants, Häagen Dazs ice cream parlors—that had been brought in. Focus on what you do best.”

(1998-1999) CFO, Red Hot Concepts (Chili’s UK), London

“It was a far bigger disaster than Domino’s. It had been in the pub business, diners, a country-style hotel. It was just a group of unrelated stuff. I got it back to the core.”

(2000-2002) COO, Epicurean Life, Sarasota

“Epicurean Life was just getting started. There was Fred’s and Morton’s, the Tasting Room, a bakery and this little kosher deli. I ran that for two years. Start-up and turnaround have similarities. It’s about defining the vision.”

(2003-present) Owner, Home Resource, Sarasota

“During the recession, everyone else was focusing on price points. We invested in our staff, focused on the quality. That created a completely different customer base for us.”

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