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Lesson Transcript

Becky: Hi everyone, and welcome back to EnglishClass101.com. This is Culture Class, Season 3, Lesson 4 - The Top 5 CEOs in Information Technology. I’m Becky.
Eric: And I’m Eric. As we said in lesson 1, this season we’re focusing on business in America.
Becky: That’s right! We’re currently in the information technology series and, in this lesson, we’ll talk about the Top 5 CEOs.
Eric: We’re also reviewing some of the vocabulary that’s relevant to these industries.
Becky: So brush up on what you learned long ago or start learning some new culture and vocabulary today!
Eric: Let’s get to it!
Becky: Okay so, number 5 in our Top 5 Most Famous CEOs in Information Technology is Margaret C. Whitman.
Eric: Whitman is a very successful executive and the only woman to make our list.
Becky: She currently serves as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, but most of her success and what makes her a name to know was the ten years she served as CEO of eBay.
Eric: When she started at eBay, the company had only 30 employees. Now, there are over 15,000 worldwide.
Becky: Probably the most dramatic example of her influence is that eBay went from a roughly 4 million dollar online auction site to a roughly 8 billion dollar international market during her tenure.
Becky: That's a roughly 2000% increase in income. I'd like to have a raise like that.
Eric: Wouldn't we all? (laughs)
Becky: Anyway, even though she left eBay several years ago, she’s still a powerhouse of productivity and currently the CEO of Hewlett-Packard.
Eric: She's also very active politically and has even run for public office.
Becky: That's right. Most notably, she ran for governor of California and spent over a hundred million dollars in her campaign.
Eric: And then she lost.
Becky: That's right. Maybe, if she'd spent 200 million she would have won. (laughs) Okay so, who’s next?
Eric: Number four in our Top 5 CEOs is Eric Schmidt.
Becky: From 2001 to 2011, Schmidt was the CEO and Chairman of Google.
Eric: That’s right. He was one of three CEOs, but the other two were the inventors and owners of Google's search algorithms. Schmidt was hired to be the real CEO. He directed all the corporate administration and structure of the company.
Becky: Cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin ran Google with Eric Schmidt during the fastest growth period Google ever experienced.
Eric: For that matter, very few companies in the history of American businesses have grown as fast as Google did when Schmidt was CEO.
Becky: Good point. This growth was due to two things. First, the fact that Google was the best search website out there thanks to Page and Brin, the other two CEOs.
Eric: And, second, that Google was able to stay organized, improve itself, make money, and go on to create many other products. That was mostly because of Eric Schmidt.
Becky: Because of Schmidt's work, Google is now one of the most well-known and best-reviewed online services in the world. Who do we have next?
Eric: Okay so, number 3 in our Top 5 CEOs is Bill Gates.
Becky: For most of you, Bill Gates being on this list is to be expected. Bill Gates is the founder and chairman of Microsoft and all of its subsidiaries.
Eric: Just in case you're unaware, Microsoft is the richest software company in the world.
Becky: You might think that calling Microsoft a software company is misleading because Microsoft makes other things, like the Xbox, a music player, and a smartphone. However, all of these physical products together make up less than 25% of their total profits, which means that up to 75% comes from the software they sell and the related services.
Eric: Beyond that, you might think there are some software companies with more money than Microsoft, like Apple. Now, Apple does have more money than Microsoft, but it isn't a software company, it's a hardware company. They do make software, but over 75% of Apple's profits come from iPhone, iPad, and iPod sales and less than 3% come from software.
Becky: Microsoft also makes thousands of other programs for personal and business use. Their software is on phones, music players, computers, servers, TVs, and even some cars.
Eric: That’s right. This success made Gates fantastically rich. For many years he was the richest person in the world and is still among the richest.
Becky: Besides being fantastically rich, Bill Gates is also known for his philanthropic activities.
Eric: That's right. He and his wife, Melinda, started the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is one of the largest and most active philanthropic organizations in the world.
Becky: This organization is a major worldwide contributor to many health organizations and programs such as the eradication of polio and global HIV eradication programs. Bill Gates made a public announcement that one of the goals of the Gates Foundation in 2013 is to completely eradicate Polio.
Eric: The only reason this goal is possible is because of the work against Polio the Gates Foundation has done so far. In 2012, there were less than 200 cases of polio in the world.
Becky: For comparison, the total amount the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donates yearly to these various organizations is nearly the same as the entire yearly budget for the United Nation's World Health Organization.
Eric: They're a huge player in making the world a better place. Okay, who's next?
Becky: Number two in our Top 5 CEOs list is John T Chambers. Most of you probably don’t know who John is.
Eric: For that matter, many people have never heard of Cisco either, which is the company where Chambers works.
Becky: Cisco is one of the world’s largest producers of networking equipment.
Eric: They make everything from the yellow cables at the back of your modem to telephones and cable TV boxes.
Becky: Chambers uses his position at Cisco to further social and economic development throughout the world through both personal and corporate philanthropy.
Eric: He has encouraged his company to make better products at cheaper prices to make them more available to developing countries.
Becky: And number one on our Top 5 CEOs is...Steve Jobs!
Eric: We were unsure if we should put Jobs on this list since he's passed away.
Becky: However, we decided his influence and example as a CEO still have impact across the planet and because of this, he certainly deserves this top spot.
Eric: Steve Jobs was a self-made billionaire and brilliant entrepreneur. He was a cofounder of Apple and the founder of Pixar.
Becky: He was also the founder of a small computer company called Next that built high-end professional grade computers. While widely unknown, it is very important to almost everything we do.
Eric: That's right. That's because the first structures of HTML and the first experiments of what we call the Internet were built and run on Next computers.
Becky: Beyond that, Steve Jobs brought the world the Apple II and later the Macintosh computer, which were the world's first true personal computers. Then he brought us the iPod, the iPhone, the iTunes Store, and the iPad, each of which were revolutionary products that changed multiple industries in a very short time.
Eric: Well, there you have it – the Top 5 CEOs in American business. That’s all for this lesson.
Becky: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time! Bye!
Eric: See you!

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