Jim Barksdale, a 2001 inductee into The Society of Entrepreneurs, has over 35 years of experience in the business world and is quick to point out that keeping focus is what it’s all about. A favorite phrase, “Always remember…the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!” sums up his views on entrepreneurship and community.
Jim is currently President and CEO of Barksdale Management Corporation, a philanthropic investment company, founded in 1999. Jim served as Presidents and CEO of Netscape Communications Corp. from January 1995 until the company merged with America Online in March of 1999. Jim has also been CEO of AT&T Wireless, as well as Executive VP and COO for Federal Express Corporation. He sits on the board of numerous companies including Time Warner, FedEx, Mayo Foundation and Sun Microsystems. He was also appointed to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board by President George W. Bush.
In January 2000, Jim Barksdale gifted $100 million to the State of Mississippi to create a statewide reading institute, The Barksdale Reading Institute. This is a joint venture with the Mississippi Department of Education and the state’s seven public university schools of education. The Institute is dedicated to improving the reading skills of children pre-K through the third grade.
“Always remember… the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!”
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