Summary List Placement

Emmy-winning broadcaster Larry King may be known for his interviews with major celebrities and politicians, but the television legend also interviewed top business leaders and CEOs. 

King, who died on Saturday morning in Los Angeles, was best known for hosting the talk show “Larry King Live.” It was reported that King had been in the hospital battling COVID-19 since the start of January. He passed away at the age of 87, his company Ora Media said in a statement.

The talk show was CNN’s most-watched and longest-running show. It ran nightly for over two decades.

Throughout his 63-year career, King conducted 40,000 interviews and spoke with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

King was famous for interviews with politicians and other notable figures. But he also interviewed various notable business leaders, like the cofounder of Microsoft, Bill Gates.

We took a look at some of his most significant interviews with top business leaders. 

The five interviews are listed below by date: 

Bill Gates: 2000

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corporation, has an estimated net worth of $129 billion.

He is the world’s third-richest person, and he spends his billions on charity through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gates spoke with King on January 1, 2000 about the future of computers. He made a second appearance on the show in 2010, alongside his father. 

In his first interview, King asked Gates if there had been a turning point for Microsoft. 

Gates responded: “Well, it’s hard to say. The most important thing we did is figure out how we could take all these computers from different companies, what are now called personal computers, and make them compatible, so you could buy from Dell, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, any of the manufacturer, and run all the same software. And that was a huge risk, because before that, all the computer had made incompatible machines.”

Martha Stewart: 2004

Known for her DIY crafts and home decor tips, Martha Stewart is a businesswoman, writer, and television personality.

She founded the media and merchandising company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

Stewart was sentenced to five months in jail in 2004, after being charged and convicted of a number of financial crimes.

Days after her sentencing, she appeared on the show, and spoke about the verdict. 

King asked Stewart if she was surprised by the sentence.

Stewart responded: “You’re always surprised at something like that, I would think. And you can’t say that you’re happy. You can’t say, I mean, I’m happy that it’s five months in, and five months house arrest. Rather than 16 months in prison. Which — that was the sentencing guidelines. And the judge stayed within the minimum. I’m grateful for that.”

Ken Lay: 2004

Ken Lay was the founder and CEO of the energy company Enron Corporation.

He was found guilty on 10 counts of securities fraud and related charges in 2001. He passed away in 2006 while on vacation before serving time.

Enron’s collapse was among the biggest corporate scandals in United States history.

In 2004, King went to Houston and interviewed Lay days after he pled not guilty. 

“So you still had some faith in the company?” King asked Lay

Lay responded: “I had a lot of faith in the company. Larry, when we went bankrupt, I still had about over a million shares of Enron stock I owned outright, and had about six million options, which up until late 2001 were very valuable.”

Jeffrey Skilling: 2004

Jeffrey Skilling was the former CEO of the energy company Enron Corporation.

He pled not guilty to 36 charges, including multiple counts of insider trading, securities fraud and making false statements stemming from the company’s stunning collapse. 

In 2006, Skillings was sentenced to 24 years in prison. 

The scandal led to several reforms, including making CEO’s personally verify corporate earnings reports.

When asked what he wants to do with his life, Skillings responded:

“I don’t know, Larry. You know, at this point, I think my purpose, right now, in life — what gets me up in the morning, which, some mornings, it’s pretty tough to get up, but my purpose in life right now, getting up in the morning, is I want to be someone that goes out and helps explain what happened.

There are a lot of employees out there that, I imagine, have children that go to them and say, Mom or dad, did you work for a criminal organization — a bad company? We weren’t’ a bad company. We were — we were — we thought we were building a great company. We thought we were building a company that was helping to open and create new competitive markets, give customers choice where choice never existed before. We felt good, all of us, and I think if I can do anything to get the message out so that — so that our employees can look at their children and they can say we were part of a good organization. Something happened. It was — you know, and we will find out what happened, but it was not because of the motives of the people that were involved, either their motives or certainly my motives. We were trying to build a great company.”

Carlos Slim: 2010

Carlos Slim, is an influential Mexican businessman, investor, philanthropist, and is among the world’s wealthiest individuals.

Mexico’s richest man, he has an estimated net worth of $59 billion. 

He was number one on the “Forbes” 2010 list of the wealthiest people.

Slim is the chairman and CEO of telecom giant Telmex and his family controls America Movil, Latin America’s biggest mobile telecom firm.

When asked by King how stays on top of his business, Slim answered

“Well, how can you be on top of the things you do? I think when you are involved in a business, first of all you need to know the business. After that you know the business, you can — the numbers tell you what is happening. You can read with the numbers.

If things are going well, if are not going well. You make cooperation with your competitors. You look at the international references to try to achieve the best reference nationally. And you are following the business not necessarily going to the — go to America to see what is happening and what our thinking. The numbers talk to you.”