Jan Carlzon was born in Nykoping, Sweden, in 1941. After receiving his M.B.A. from the Stockholm School of Economics in 1967, he joined Vingresor, Sweden's largest tour operator, first as product manager and later as head of marketing. In 1974, when the package-tour business was in a tailspin because of the first energy crisis, he was named managing director of Vingresor at the age of 32 and soon reversed that company's economic decline. In 1978 he became managing director of Linjeflyg, Sweden's major domestic airline, and in 1981 he took command as resident and chief executive officer of SAS, the consortium of the national airlines of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. At both Linjeflyg and SAS his leadership turned heavy economic losses into healthy profits within a year. Mr. Carlzon is frequently invited to give talks and interviews worldwide on leadership and customer-oriented business strategies.
Tom Peters, public speaker and author, graduated from Cornell University and received a M.B.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. He has also received honorary doctorates from the University of San Francisco and Rhodes College. He was in the U. S. Navy during Vietnam and later served as a senior White House drug abuse advisor (1973-74). He worked for McKinsey & Company from 1974 to 1981. He holds about seventy-five seminars a year and has created and starred in a series of corporate training films. He is the co-author of In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies, which was a New York Times bestseller for three years. This book and subsequent titles have become bestsellers in Europe, Latin America and Asia. Peters contributes to several newspapers and journals, including writing a bimonthly column for Forbes ASAP.