The world of business is full of stories of triumph and disaster, and everyday decisions can determine whether a start-up hits the big time or a corporate behemoth completely collapses. While some of the biggest companies out there might seem all-conquering now, they, too, had times in their history where it all could have gone so differently.

Here are the stories of how 8 huge companies found themselves on the brink, yet made it back. (From Headway Capital)

Part 2. Check back tomorrow for two more companies.


With several blockbuster movies emerging from its Cinematic Universe each year, it’s hard to ignore Marvel these days. But in the late 1980s and early 90s, things were very different for the home of Iron Man, Captain America and the rest of the crew. Rival DC once again overtook Marvel in comic book sales and, in 1996, Marvel shares fell to just $2.37 – a drop of more than 90% from its 1993 price. Years of decline under owner Ron Perelman spelled trouble for the brand. But it all changed in 2005, when new management made a seven year deal with investment giant Merrill Lynch to finance Marvel movies. The Marvel Cinematic Universe was created in 2007, and, thirteen years later, Avengers: Infinity War – the 19th MCU production – made an incredible $2 billion in cinemas.



Having begun life as a crop-dusting company in the 1920s, Delta’s story was one of seemingly endless growth – until the post-9/11 slowdown for the aviation industry suddenly left it struggling to balance the books. Big job cuts were necessary, and Delta ran into real problems when it started negotiations with its pilots. The process took years and saw the business file for bankruptcy in 2005 after posting losses of $2.2 billion. The company used the bankruptcy to re-invent itself by cutting labor costs, improving customer service, boosting its presence in New York and expanding its network to include more international destinations and secure revenue premiums. In 2015, Delta closed the year with a $5.9 billion income. In 2017, they overtook Alaska Airlines as the number one carrier in the US for performance.