TIME Executives

Here’s Roughly Every Controversial Thing Donald Trump Has Ever Said Out Loud

There're decades and decades of material to pull from

Donald Trump dominated airtime during the first GOP debate on the night of August 6, to no one’s surprise. And Americans were listening: the unprecedented 16 percent of households with televisions that tuned into the Fox News program exposed themselves to a cumulative 11 minutes and 14 seconds of Trump talk.

The current GOP frontrunner thundered his political agenda and his own feelings on just about every topic any of the 10 candidates touched. It certainly was not the first time the real estate tycoon has expressed himself with little, if any, filter. Here’s a look back at some of his most consequential statements:

On the death penalty and policing

Trump: “I hate seeing this country go to hell. We’re laughed at by the rest of the world. In order to bring law and order back into our cities, we need the death penalty and authority given back to the police. I got fifteen thousand positive letters on the death-penalty ad. I got ten negative or slightly negative ones.”

Playboy: “You believe in an eye for an eye?”

Trump: “When a man or woman cold-bloodedly murders, he or she should pay. It sets an example. Nobody can make the argument that the death penalty isn’t a deterrent. Either it will be brought back swiftly or our society will rot away. It is rotting away.”

(Playboy Interview, March 1990)

On Obama and Baltimore:

“Our great African American President hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore!”

(@realDonaldTrump, April 2015)

On estimating his own self-worth

“I’m a private company, so nobody knows what I’m worth. And the one thing is that when you run, you have to announce and certify to all sorts of governmental authorities your net worth…So I have a total net worth, and now with the increase, it’ll be well-over $10 billion. But here, a total net worth of—net worth, not assets—a net worth, after all debt, after all expenses, the greatest assets…So the total is $8,737,540,000.”

(Presidential campaign announcement speech, June 2015)

“‘Who the f— knows? I mean, really, who knows how much the Japs will pay for Manhattan property these days?”

(TIME Cover Story about Trump, January 1989)

On taxes

“I’d throw a tax on every Mercedes-Benz rolling into this country and on all Japanese products, and we’d have wonderful allies again.”

(When asked what his first action as President would be, Playboy Interview, March 1990)

 

On touching, while first considering a presidential campaign

“I think the handshake is barbaric… Shaking hands, you catch the flu, you catch this, you catch all sorts of things.”

(TIME, “Searching for an alternative to the classic grip-and-grin,” November 1999)

On love

“I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”

(On The View, March 2006)

On the number of Representatives in the House

“Well, I don’t want to answer your questions because this isn’t a history class…You could get some stiff that knows every one of those answers but is incapable of governing.”

(TIME, “Welcome to the Big Show,” April 2011)

 

On hiring working mothers

“She’s not giving me 100%. She’s giving me 84%, and 16% is going towards taking care of children.”

(Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You’re Worth by Mika Brzezinski, quoted in a May 2011 TIME article)

On treating aid workers with Ebola

“Ebola patient will be brought to the U.S. in a few days — Now I know for sure that our leaders are incompetent. KEEP THEM OUT OF HERE!”

(@realDonald Trump, July 2014)

On his party affiliation

“Well, if I ever ran for office, I’d do better as a Democrat than as a Republican — and that’s not because I’d be more liberal, because I’m conservative. But the working guy would elect me. He likes me. When I walk down the street, those cabbies start yelling out their windows.”

(Playboy Interview, March 1990)

On his political ambitions:

“I have no intention of running for President.”

(TIME, September 1987)

Playboy: “Wait. If you believe that the public shares these views, and that you could do the job, why not consider running for President?”

Trump: “I’d do the job as well as or better than anyone else. It’s my hope that George Bush can do a great job.”

Playboy: “You categorically don’t want to be President?”

TRUMP: I don’t want to be President. I’m one hundred percent sure. I’d change my mind only if I saw this country continue to go down the tubes.

(Playboy)

“I am officially running for President of the United States, and we are going to make our country great again.”

(Presidential campaign announcement speech, June 2015)

TIME Executives

Donald Trump’s 16 Biggest Business Failures and Successes

<> on July 30, 2015 in Ayr, Scotland.
Jeff J Mitchell—2015 Getty Images Donald Trump on July 30, 2015 in Ayr, Scotland.

Ventures that went belly-up and plenty that made it big

Donald Trump promised to “take the brand of the United States and make it great again” when he threw his hat into a crowded ring of 2016 GOP presidential candidates. Trump has since consistently cited his credentials as businessman, as well as his (disputed) $10 billion fortune, when asked how, exactly, he would “Make America Great Again.” But it’s not just Trump’s immigration comments that are landing him in hot water; even his business deals have come under scrutiny, most recently in the August 7 GOP debate. The candidate deflected questions about how he plans to run America’s economy when his own companies have filed for bankruptcy multiple times. Here’s a closer look at some of his biggest success and failures in business.

Not-so-Succesful

Trump Airlines

In 1988, Trump bought Eastern Air Shuttle, an airline service that ran hourly flights between Boston, NYC and DC for 27 years prior, for $365 million. He turned the airline, once a no frills operation, into a luxury experience, adding maple-wood veneer to the floor and gold-colored bathroom fixtures. The company never turned a profit and the high debt forced him to default on his loans. Ownership of the company was turned over to creditors. It ceased to exist in 1992.

Trump Vodka

Trump unveiled his own vodka line in 2006 paired with the characteristic slogan “Success Distilled.” Advertising for the product claimed that the vodka would “demand the same respect and inspire the same awe as the international legacy and brand of Donald Trump himself.” Trump had high hopes for his liquor brand, predicting that the T&T (Trump and Tonic) would become the most ordered drink in the country and stating on Larry King Live that he got into the vodka business to outdo “his friends” at Grey Goose. The company stopped production in 2011, reportedly due to a lack of interest.

Trump Casinos

Trump Entertainment Resorts, which is composed of three Trump-owned casinos, all in Atlantic City, filed for bankruptcy for the fourth time in 2014. Trump has distanced himself from the company, saying that besides the company having his name, he has “nothing to do with it,” despite the fact that he owned 28% of its stock.

Trump: The Game

Trump launched a Monopoly-like board game in 1989, which was discontinued a year later due to lack of interest. He tried his hand at game making once again in 2005, when he launched an updated version tied to The Apprentice. It was also discontinued.

Trump Magazine

Trump launched an eponymous magazine in 2007 that, in a press release announcing the publication’s arrival, was described as “[reflecting] the passions of its affluent readership by tapping into a rich cultural tapestry.” A year and a half after the launch, the magazine ceased publication.

Trump Steaks

Donald Trump was featured on the June 2007 cover of the Sharper Image catalogue hunched over a platter of meat to kick off his line of premium steaks that he dubbed the “world’s greatest.” The company has since been discontinued—maybe it had something to do with the Trump Steakhouse in Las Vegas being closed down in 2012 for 51 health code violations, including serving five-month old duck.

GoTrump.com

Trump launched this luxury travel search engine in 2006, only to shut it down a year later, despite being powered by booking giant Travelocity.

Trump University

In 2005, Trump opened the non-accredited, for-profit Trump University. In 2010, four students sued the university for “offering classes that amounted to extended ‘infomercials.’” Following the suit, the “university” changed its name to “The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative,” before ending operations one year later. In 2013, the New York Attorney General sued Trump and the “university” for $40 million for allegedly defrauding students.

Trump Mortgage

In 2006, Trump forayed further into the real estate industry, launching a mortgage company. The Donald had high hopes for the company, asking CNBC, “Who knows more about financing than me?” Trump Mortgage shut down within a year and a half, in part because Trump selected E.J. Ridings, a man who claimed to be a top executive at a prestigious investment bank but had actually only worked on Wall Street as a registered broker for six days, to run the company.

Successful

Grand Hyatt Hotel

Trump bought the former Commodore Hotel, which had fallen into relative disrepair, from Penn Central Railroad in 1974 and after six years of construction, the Grand Hyatt Hotel debuted. Smack dab in the heart of New York City, with the image of Grand Central reflected off its glass façade, the 34-story hotel is still booming business today.

Trump Tower

Trump broke ground on his now-famous 48-story Trump Tower in 1980. The luxury high-rise opened in 1983 and, with upscale restaurants and stores located in the mostly residential building, is still highly sought after real estate.

Wollman Rink

Trump renovated Wollman Rink in 1986 after contacting Mayor Ed Koch and offering to complete the renovation for $3 million. He finished the project on time and $750,000 under budget. Wollman Rink remains a Central Park fixture with more than 5 million annual visitors.

40 Wall Street

Trump purchased the building in 1995 for $1 million and renovated it for $35 million. Today, 40 Wall Street, one of the tallest office buildings in downtown New York, is worth over $500 million.

Trump Place

After years of negotiations, Trump finally broke ground on Trump Place, the gargantuan housing development along the Hudson River. The development includes 25 acres of open space and 5,700 apartments housed in 18 residential buildings.

The Apprentice

The Apprentice premiered on NBC in 2004 to great ratings. Trump served as not only the host but also the executive producer, raking in $1 million per episode. The show was successful enough that it inspired a spinoff, The Celebrity Apprentice.

Trump International Tower Chicago

Trump bought the former Chicago Sun-Times headquarters in 2005 for $73 million and converted it into the second tallest building in Chicago. It houses a hotel, condos, restaurants and shops, and was named Travel+Leisure’s best large city hotel in North America in 2010.

TIME Opinion

Ellen Pao Was One More ‘Difficult’ Female Executive

Ellen Pao
Eric Risberg—AP Ellen Pao, the interim chief of Reddit, has alleged she faced gender discrimination from former employer Silicon Valley venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers

She may have not been the right person to lead Reddit. But that doesn’t mean the deck wasn’t stacked from the start

Take a woman in the middle of an intensely polarizing Silicon Valley gender-discrimination lawsuit and put her in charge of cleaning up a tech company known for its mostly male, highly vocal and often controversial user base. What could go wrong?

You could say it’s no surprise that Ellen Pao is stepping down as interim CEO of the message-board site Reddit. Her short and brutal tenure began last fall and slammed into a wall in May when she announced that the site would begin enforcing antiharassment policies that some of the site’s 164 million, mainly anonymous users believe to be antithetical to the community’s free-speech ideals. (Though a for-profit enterprise, Reddit has grown into a powerhouse because it is largely self-governed.)

The company’s decision in early June to ban of five of the site’s notoriously virulent and abusive forums, many of which have been condemned by civil rights watch organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center and various women’s groups for glorifying everything from racism to rape, was not Pao’s alone. The site’s executives, board and high-profile investors realize that the company has to modernize, i.e. become more commercial. Doing that means shining light on the darker corners of the site so the socially enriching part can thrive.

But Pao became the face of change. The controversial, “difficult” female face of unwelcome, unholy change. The resulting clash of an anonymous online army and a perceived lady enforcer is worthy of an HBO epic series.

The announcement about the renewed antiharassment rules, designed to protect individuals from attack, came just few months after Pao lost her high-profile suit against venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In the suit — she is currently appealing the ruling against her — she alleged the company retaliated against her for calling executives out on endemic corporate sexism. The firm, in turn, alleged that she was not promoted because she was “difficult” and not a “team player.”

Sure, Kleiner Perkins didn’t come out looking particularly good either, especially when partner John Doerr was quoted as saying that the most successful tech entrepreneurs are “white, male nerds.” But Pao’s reputation took the biggest hit. So when she told Reddit’s users that they were going to have to shut down five threads accused of fat shaming individuals among other nefarious deeds, she might has well have been wielding a flamethrower. Even if Reddit management was united about the rules, it sure looked like mom was coming in to make everyone behave. That did not go over well.

A Change.org petition sprung up in June accusing Pao of ushering in an age of “censorship” and calling her “manipulative.” The document — and the flood of anti-Pao threads on Reddit — argued she had attempted to “sue her way to the top.” Never mind that she has better on-paper credentials than most executives. (She is Princeton-educated engineer with a Harvard law degree and an MBA.) Nor was she the most controversial, or abrasive or difficult boss in an industry known for CEOs that sometimes lack, to put it gently, interpersonal skills.

But the rules are so often different for women at the top. Personality matters and the margin of misinformation is tiny. Be very good at your job. And also, play nice. When Jill Abramson was fired as editor of the New York Times she was described with many of the same adjectives used to vilify Pao at trial. Abramson made a fuss over gender inequities, she was “difficult,” she “challenged the top brass.”

By July 2 when Pao made the mistake of firing a popular female staffer who served as an intermediary with the volunteer moderators, the site’s users were already primed to grab their virtual pitchforks. The petition to get rid of her racked up thousands more signatures and moderators started shutting down pieces of the site and writing editorials in the New York Times. Pao apologized, not just for the abrupt firing, but also for a general lack of communication with volunteer-forum moderators, a problem that even many of her critics admit predated her tenure.

Then on July 10 she announced she would be stepping down and that co-founder Steve Huffman would return as permanent CEO. She is planning to stay on as an adviser, though in an interview with TIME, the company’s chairman Alexis Ohanian did not clearly define what that actually means. However, in his statement board member Sam Altman did acknowledge some of the toxic abuse aimed at Pao saying: “It was sickening to see some of the things Redditors wrote about Ellen. The reduction in compassion that happens when we’re all behind computer screens is not good for the world. People are still people even if there is Internet between you.”

Finding a way to curb those baser impulses without crushing the vibrancy and goodness that exists on the 10-year old site will now be Huffman’s challenge. It won’t be easy. In reality, the censorship that some users were so furious about barely nicked at the not-so-subtle undercurrents of hate and misogyny. Sure, the repulsive “creepshots” thread is no more, but “CoonTown,” Reddit’s 10,000-subscriber racist community, rife with the N word is still there. And at a moment when Southern Republicans are calling for the removal of Confederate flags, fighting to preserve those kinds of forums looks as outdated as it does insensitive.

TIME Executives

Reddit Chairman Alexis Ohanian: ‘We Need to Do a Better Job’

reddit-reboots
Mark Mahaney for TIME Reddit co-founder and executive chairman Alexis Ohanian and interim CEO Ellen Pao in the company’s San Francisco headquarters.

Why Steve Huffman is the right person to replace Ellen Pao as CEO

Reddit announced Friday that its interim CEO Ellen Pao would be stepping down from her post. After several months of uproar in the popular message board’s community over policy changes spearheaded by Pao, co-founder Steve Huffman is returning as chief executive. Alexis Ohanian, also a Reddit co-founder who returned last year as executive chairman, is staying on in his role but will move permanently to San Francisco where the firm is headquartered.

Ohanian spoke to TIME exclusively after the announcement. A slightly edited transcript of the conversation follows.

How did this decision finally come about?

This was all a pretty new development. When I first came back eight or nine months ago to the executive chair role, Steve was one of the first people I called. He ruled it out pretty immediately because he was pretty focused on Hipmunk. In the last eight months they’ve been pretty successful and, when we needed him, the stars aligned. Ellen has been great at transitioning and handing the role off.

How much of this move is a response to the turmoil of the last few months?

It’s a pretty special thing when the two founders who have left can come back. All along, the board was focused on finding someone who can excel at community and product. Steve excels at both. That opportunity’s a pretty special one.

Given how much gender has been an issue over the past few months, what do have to say about the fact that you are firing a prominent female CEO?

More than anything else, this is about having someone skilled with product. If you take a look at the record of the company that Steve has at Hipmunk, you’ll see they’ve done extremely well. You’ll see that about half of Hipmunk’s team is women. At Reddit we’re going to hire the best people we can, and I expect many of them to be women.

What is Steve Huffman’s relationship with the community like?

Judging from the responses right now many people are welcoming him back and happy to have him back. I don’t know how much “Huffman hype” there was because I don’t know how many people knew. What matters to me now is getting back to work.

You said Ellen Pao would be staying on in advisory role, what will that entail?

[We want to find] as big an advisory role as we can for her. The big period we’ve had under her has been really formative for Reddit. Her leadership got us through a lot of the changes we made. I hope she’ll continue to be an accurate advisor. It’ll be a pretty traditional advisory role.

Is you role changing?

As executive chair, I was between San Francisco and New York. Now as chairman, I’m working in California full time. I hate giving up the pizza but this is one of those opportunities.

Many of the issues over the past months have been community issues. How is bringing in a product person going to fix that?

Reddit is a platform for communities. Our users have created something that effectively sets the agenda. We need to do a better job from a product standpoint. That was at the core of last week. For years we’d been talking about making changes to improve basic tools and not doing anything. It’s just something we haven’t been doing. Having someone like Steve helps us tremendously ship great products.

How will you and Steve Huffman work together?

Steve is the person I was closest to for almost a decade. For the last few years, he’s been largely out of my life. It wasn’t until recently that we came back into each other’s lives. It was a friendship that mattered a lot to me. We reconnected over the past few months. I feel all warm on the inside and I’m grateful for that.

TIME Uber

Two Uber Executives Arrested in France

Photo illustration of logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone over a reserved lane for taxis in a street in Madrid
© Sergio Perez / Reuters—REUTERS

Arrests come just days after fierce anti-Uber protests

Uber has encountered roadblocks in cities not keen on unregulated taxi services, but it might finally have met its match in the streets of Paris.

Two Uber executives were arrested in Paris Monday for running an illegal taxi company and concealing illegal documents, according to TechCrunch.

The arrested executives — Uber France’s CEO Thibaud Simphal and Uber Europe GM Peirre-Dimitri Gore-Coty — have previously said that Uber would continue operations in the country until a court rules against their service, UberPOP. Although UberPOP has been illegal since late last year, the country has had trouble enforcing the ban since Uber reportedly pays off drivers’ fines and encourages them to continue working.

The arrests come just days after fierce protests plugged up major traffic intersections in Paris. At one point, police in riot gear deployed tear gas on the taxi driver protestors, who say that Uber represents unfair competition.

But even arresting Uber’s executives won’t do much to stop the irreverent service: Simphal and Gore-Coty will probably be released within days, the report said, and France will have to let the case wind through the country’s courts.

TIME Executives

These Are the Top 5 Female CEOs, According to Their Employees

GERMANY-GM-OPEL
Daniel Roland—AFP/Getty Images Mary Barra, a new CEO of U.S. carmaker General Motors GM addresses the media during a news conference at the headquarters of the company's German subsidiary Opel in Ruesselsheim, on January 27, 2014.

A new annual ranking is out

This week, Glassdoor.com — a site popular for people searching for jobs, who can get the inside scoop from anonymous reviews from former and current employees — posted its annual list of the CEOs most popular with their employees.

The company also broke out a list of the five top rated woman CEOs. They are, as follows:

  1. Mary Barra, General Motors (86% approval)
  2. Pam Nicholson, Enterprise Rent-A-Car (84% approval)
  3. Kay Krill, Ann Taylor (84% approval)
  4. Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin (83% approval)
  5. Sharen Turney, Victoria’s Secret Stores (83% approval)

It should come as no surprise that Barra tops this list. She’s earned praise from all angles for her handling of GM’s ignition switch recall crisis. Barra is a GM lifer who has respect throughout the organization.

TIME leadership

This Is How Much It Costs to Lunch With Warren Buffett

150529_INV_Buffett
Rick Wilking—Reuters Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett

If it's part of a charity auction that is

For a little more than $1 million, you too could dine with Warren Buffett. The annual auction of a “power lunch” with the Oracle of Omaha opened on Sunday night at $25,000, and the bidding is already up to $1,000,100.

The eBay auction benefits the Glide Foundation, a charitable organization that assists the poor and homeless, which Buffett has chosen to receive the proceeds of the lunch fundraiser each year. Bidding goes until Friday, June 5, at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

Still, by the time the auction closes, the winning bidder—so far only four are in the race—will likely have to pay much more than $1 million to eat steak with Buffett.

Last year, a Singapore man, Andy Chua, paid $2.2 million for the lunch date, which is often held at the Smith & Wollensky restaurant in New York. The record price for the meal, however, was in 2012, when an anonymous winner paid nearly $3.5 million.

At the current pace of bidding, this year’s auction stands to beat the 2012 record. The bidding was only at $500,000 with two days to go before the close of the auction that year; the current auction has already double that amount and there are still more than four days left to bid.

After all, dining with Buffett has already yielded much more than bragging rights to at least one lucky winner. Ted Weschler outbid his competitors to win the Glide auction in both 2010 and 2011, paying more than $2.6 million each time. Then a hedge fund manager, Weschler spent the meals discussing his own investment strategy and success—and impressed Buffett so much that the Oracle hired Weschler to run part of his legendary investment portfolio at Berkshire Hathaway.

Now considered one of Buffett’s protégés who will eventually take charge of Berkshire’s investments when Buffett eventually retires, Weschler had remained anonymous during both of the Glide auctions. His identity was first revealed by longtime Fortune writer Carol J. Loomis when his hiring was officially announced.

Perhaps it’s Weschler’s kind of prize—the chance to work directly for Buffett—that is inflating the cost of the charity lunch. In 2008, investor Guy Spier paid just $650,000 to lunch with Buffett.

As is typical, Buffett ordered a cherry coke with his medium-rare steak.

TIME Executives

Watch: Proof Bill And Melinda Gates Are Ice Cold Under Pressure

 

Red nose day—a U.K. campaign launched this year in the U.S. by NBC to “[raise] money for children and young people living in poverty by simply having fun and making people laugh,” culminated Thursday night in a three-hour television special that featured celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Will Ferrell.

But it wasn’t just walkers of red carpets that got in on the action. Microsoft co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates and his wife Melinda also filmed a video pitch in support of red nose day and it’s poverty-fighting mission, though things didn’t quite goes as they planned.

TIME Turnarounds

How Sony Got Up and Out of Its Death Bed

President and CEO of Sony Corporation Hirai speaks at a Sony news conference during the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas
Steve Marcus—Reuters President and CEO of Sony Corporation Kazuo Hirai speaks at a Sony news conference during the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Jan. 5, 2015.

For the first time in a decade, the electronics company has a shot

In the annals of consumer electronics companies that have slipped from great heights, none has taken a bigger fall far from its glory days than Sony. But after years of struggling to right itself, the company is finally making real progress on a turnaround.

Just as Apple helped revive itself in the early 2000s with the iPod, Sony built much of its success on the idea of helping people carry music around in their pocket–first with the transistor radio in the 50s and 60s and later with the Walkman portable cassette player. Those products, coupled with smart engineering, made the Sony brand synonymous with peerless quality.

In the early 2000s, Sony began to lose its competitive edge. Rivals like Samsung had emerged to undercut its higher-priced TVs and stereos. Sony couldn’t get a foothold in new markets like mp3 players. Its earlier expansion into new areas like insurance and its overspending on film and music studios left it with a structure that was at once bloated and siloed.

Sony named Howard Stringer as CEO in 2005 to turn things around. Stringer cut a charismatic figure, but couldn’t speak Japanese and, as a lifelong media executive, lacked an engineering background. Stringer tried to conjure a convergence of electronics and media properties that never quite gelled. (Stringer is on the board of Time Inc.) Meanwhile, further setbacks struck: the global recession in 2009, the Fukushima earthquake in 2011 and a stronger yen that hurt Japanese exports.

MORE: How Apple Just Save Best Buy

Sony has posted net losses for six of the past seven years. As a result, the price of its ADRs traded on the NYSE fell from $55 in early 2008 to below $10 in late 2012. (An ADR is a stock that trades in the U.S. but represents a specific number of shares in a foreign corporation.) Its credit ratings eventually fell to near junk levels. But then things began to look up: After bottoming out below $10 in 2012, its ADRs have risen back near $33 this month, a rally of 238% in the last two and a half years.

The change came after Sony replaced Stringer with Kazuo Hirai in early 2012. Hirai was a Sony veteran known for wringing profits from troubled businesses like the PlayStation gaming division. And like Stringer, Hirai didn’t fit the mold of the Japanese salaryman. Hirai grew up in Japan and North America, giving him a fluency in English and also a gift for being plainspoken, like when he told the Wall Street Journal on taking the job, “It’s one issue after another. I feel like, “Holy shit, now what?”

Hirai began an ambitious restructuring of Sony over the three years that followed. He quickly announced a “One Sony” structure that built on Stringer’s convergence with an emphasis on communication and joint decisions among siloed divisions. He focused the electronics business on mobile, gaming and imaging products. Over time, he cut thousands of jobs, sold off the Vaio PC unit, separated the ailing TV business into its own company and overhauled the smartphone lineup.

All of this added to financial losses with restructuring charges and made for a tumultuous 2014. But the low point came last November, with the infamous hack that left sensitive documents from Sony Pictures Entertainment in public view. But it was just around this time when some analysts began voicing their conviction in a Sony turnaround. The turnaround painstakingly plotted by Stringer and Hirai was finally bearing fruit.

That became more evident when Sony reported its most recent earnings. There were encouraging signs in the past year’s finances, like revenue rising 6% and the TV business posting its first profit in 11 years. But the better news was in the cautious forecast for the coming year.

MORE: These Are the Fastest Growing Cities in America

The bulk of the restructuring was behind Sony, CFO Kenichiro Yoshida said, and while revenue may decline 4% this fiscal year, operating profit would rise fourfold to $2.6 billion, its highest profit since 2008. Hirai had earlier projected net income to rise above $4 billion by 2018, which would be its biggest profit since 1998, before the great fall began.

There’s still some restructuring to do. The revenue decrease this year will come largely from Sony’s move away from mid-range mobile phones to focus on the high end of the market. While camera sales continue to decline, Sony is seeing strong growth in imaging sensors used in smartphones. Overall, Sony will be a smaller company in terms of revenue but with bigger sales and slow, steady move from aging markets into growing ones.

A turnaround needs more than cost cutting and restructuring. Sony has a long road ahead to go from playing catch-up in technology markets to playing a leading role in new ones. That step requires a lot more work, but Sony’s return to profitability makes a major turnaround as feasible as it’s been in more than a decade.

TIME Executives

Here’s What’s on Bill Gates’ Summer Reading List

Bill Gates
John Keatley/Redux—John Keatley/Redux Founder and Chairman of Microsoft Bill Gates holding a copy of Business Adventures by John Brooks.

The world's richest man just assigned the world some summer homework

The richest man in the world still makes time to squeeze in a good book now and then.

Bill Gates—he of the $79 billion net worth, per Forbes—released his annual summer reading list on Tuesday. In between running one of the world’s largest charities and serving as technological advisor to the company he co-founded, Microsoft [fortune-stock symbol=”MSFT”], Gates has made a habit in recent years of letting the world know what he’s reading.

Gates unveiled his new 7-book summer reading list in a post titled “Beach Reading (and more)” on his personal blog, Gates Notes. Included in this year’s list is The Magic of Reality, by Oxford University evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. There’s also On Immunity, by Eula Biss, which fits in well with one of the goals of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation by tackling the issue of childhood vaccinations.

The billionaire techie also noted that he’s trying to lighten the mood a little bit this year. “This year I tried to pick a few more things that are on the lighter side. Each of these books made me think or laugh or, in some cases, do both,” Gates wrote in the blog post.

In that vein, Gates includes a book adapted from Allie Brosh’s popular comic blog, Hyperbole and a Half, which Gates calls “funny and smart as hell.” Another item with a more graphic option is Randall Munroe’s XKCD, which draws from Munroe’s webcomic of the same name, which features a lot of mathematical and scientific humor. “It’s that kind of humor, which not everybody loves, but I do,” Gates writes.

The rest of the books Gates recommends reading this summer are: What If?, also by Munroe; How to Lie With Statistics, by Darrell Huff; and, Should We Eat Meat?, by Vaclav Smil.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com