Genius owners like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are massive assets to companies, but sometimes it takes even more than a visionary leader to bring firms back from the brink.

You need brilliant products, smart marketing, talented employees, and, in some cases, a little help from the government, always helps. 

Lucky for them, all the companies on this list had those things, allowing them to stage some of the most dramatic corporate comebacks in history.



Lego has accumulated high praise for its toys, which promote creative play for kids.

But just over 10 years ago, the Danish company’s foundation was shaky.

It was found out it was unwittingly selling some products for less than they cost to manufacture, while new toy sets fell to impress fans.

So, the company simplified operations and set about recruiting designers who were passionate about all things Lego. 

This new approach was hugely sucessful.

New sets, particularly those linked to films like Harry Potter, proved popular (especially those tied to big franchises like Harry Potter), and a movie also helped.

Lego became the world’s biggest toy company two years ago and is now reported to be so successful it struggles with demand. 


The 2008 financial crash hit a lot of businesses hard – and coffee giant Starbucks was one of them.

It managed to avoid a bailout from the government though, instead bringing back former CEO Howard Schultz to bring back the company back to its former glory.

Schultz justified his no-doubt giant salary and presided over a quick turnaround.

He asked customers to email him with suggestions to improve the stores, retrained staff, introduced a new advertising campaign and took social media very seriously.

Hundreds of underperforming stores did close during the period, but now Starbucks is stronger than ever and Mr Schultz’s latest role seems to be fighting with his staff who have decided to unionize. 


Jack in the Box

An E. coli outbreak at Jack in the Box restaurants started a major crisis for the fast-food chain back in 1993. 

More than 175 people were left in hospital (some with permanent kidney and brain damage) -and four children even died – after eating contaminated hamburgers. 

The company had been planning an expansion, but this was put on hold, and the bad publicity around the incident led to job losses in the company.

However, a focus on enforcing strict food safety standards, along with a clever marketing campaign, helped the chain recover.

Today, Americans can’t get enough of Jack in the Box’s food, including its “vile and amazing” tacos, of which it sells 554 million every year, according to the Wall Street Journal.


When it comes to corporate turnaround stories, there may be none more famous than Apple’s.

Incredibly, there was a time when the tech giant was reeling on the edge of bankruptcy.

Twenty years ago, the company was losing $1 billion a year and it was widely predicted it was about to go under.

The solution? Bring back founder Steve Jobs.

Products like the iMac and, crucially, the iPod, were launched.

This started the turnaround which saw Apple become the world’s richest company – a crown it recently lost.


Not a summer goes by without another Marvel blockbuster hitting the screens.

More than two decades ago though Marvel was on the verge of bankruptcy and in desperate need of something new.

It owned a huge portfolio of world-famous comic book characters, but didn’t quite know what to do with them.

It seems strange no-one could envisage the potential of making brilliant films with the likes of Spider-Man and the X-Men at the time

Rival DC Comics had cottoned to the how to make millions from characters like Batman and Superman, while Marvel’s previous efforts featured the dreadful flop Howard the Duck.

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The late 90s finally saw some success in the movie world, but it wasn’t until Marvel decided to launch its own studios.

This was eventually bought by Disney and now we’ve got a seemingly endless churn of multi-multi million Marvel titles that no doubt make huge amounts of cash for the company.

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