What CEOs are reading

| Article

The slightly lazier days of summer are upon the northern hemisphere, with beach vacations beckoning. South of the equator, temperatures are dipping and cozy weekends lie ahead. So what books will corporate leaders be reading in the coming months? Here are recommendations from more than a dozen, including McKinsey’s Dominic Barton, JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, and Corning’s Wendell Weeks. It’s an eclectic list of fiction and nonfiction, spanning everything from classics to newcomers, business topics to biographies and folk tales.

Dominic Barton, McKinsey

Dominic Barton
Dominic Barton

In his three decades with the management-consulting firm, Dominic has worked with companies across a range of industries, including banking, consumer goods, and high tech. He led McKinsey’s Korea office from 2000 to 2004 and was the Shanghai-based Asia chairman from 2004 to 2009 before becoming global managing director.

The Black Prince of Florence: The Spectacular Life and Treacherous World of Alessandro de’ Medici—Catherine Fletcher (Bodley Head, 2016; nonfiction)

The European Identity: Historical and Cultural Realities We Cannot Deny—Stephen Green (Haus Publishing, 2016; nonfiction)

China’s Mobile Economy: Opportunities in the Largest and Fastest Information Consumption Boom—Winston Ma (John Wiley & Sons, 2016; nonfiction)

The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks—Joshua Cooper Ramo (Little, Brown and Company, 2016; nonfiction)

Carl Bass, Autodesk

Carl Bass
Carl Bass

Carl joined the 3-D design, engineering, and software company in 1993 when it acquired Ithaca Software, a company he cofounded. He held several executive positions, including chief technology officer and chief operations officer, before becoming CEO in 2006. A graduate of Cornell University, Carl owns a workshop near Autodesk’s California head office where he designs and builds furniture, sculptures, and other objects.

Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon—Kevin Fedarko (Scribner, 2014; nonfiction)

Ordinary Grace—William Kent Krueger (Atria Books, 2014; fiction)

Out Stealing Horses: A Novel—Per Petterson (Picador, 2008; fiction)

Fundamentals of Press Brake Tooling—Ben Rapien (Hanser, 2010; nonfiction)

Hakeem Belo-Osagie, Etisalat Nigeria

Hakeem Belo-Osagie
Hakeem Belo-Osagie

Hakeem began his career working for the Nigerian government in the energy sector. In 1986, he founded CTIC, which became a leading energy consulting firm. He then became chairman of Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services, a mobile-telephone company trading in Nigeria since 2008 under the Etisalat brand. Hakeem holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and degrees from Cambridge University and Oxford University.

Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy—Robert H. Frank (Princeton University Press, 2016; nonfiction)

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike—Phil Knight (Scribner, 2016; nonfiction)

History’s People: Personalities and the Past—Margaret MacMillan (House of Anansi Press, 2015; nonfiction)

The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism—Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson (Oxford University Press, 2013; nonfiction)

Teresa Clarke, Africa.com

As the first black woman to serve as managing director in investment banking at Goldman Sachs, Teresa led corporate-finance transactions for clients in the industrial sector. In 2010, she stepped down from the company and founded Africa.com, a prominent website that features news and travel information about all 54 African countries. Teresa holds a BA from Harvard University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a JD from Harvard Law School.

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces that Will Shape Our Future—Kevin Kelly (Viking Books, 2016; nonfiction)

Between the World and Me—Ta-Nehisi Coates (Spiegel & Grau, 2015; nonfiction)

Enter Helen: The Invention of Helen Gurley Brown and the Rise of the Modern Single Woman—Brooke Hauser (HarperCollins Publishers, 2016; nonfiction)

The Fortunes of Africa: A 5,000-Year History of Wealth, Greed, and Endeavor—Martin Meredith (PublicAffairs Books, 2016; nonfiction)

Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase

Jamie Dimon
Jamie Dimon

Jamie was named CEO and president of JPMorgan Chase in 2005 and chairman of the board the following year. Before joining JPMorgan, he was chairman and CEO of Bank One, which merged with JPMorgan in 2004. He sits on the boards of Harvard Business School and Catalyst, and he is a member of The Business Council.

The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America—Arthur C. Brooks (Broadside Books, 2015; nonfiction)

Ronald Reagan—Jacob Weisberg (Times Books, 2016; nonfiction)

Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn

Reid was executive vice president of PayPal before cofounding LinkedIn in 2002 and becoming executive chairman in 2009. He has been a partner of the venture-capital firm Greylock Partners since 2009, investing in companies such as Airbnb and Facebook.

The Inner Lives of Markets: How People Shape Them—And They Shape Us—Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan (PublicAffairs, 2016; nonfiction)

More Human: Designing a World Where People Come First—Steve Hilton with Jason and Scott Bade (WH Allen, 2015; nonfiction)

The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements—Eric Hoffer (HarperCollins Publishers, 2010; nonfiction)

This Brave New World: India, China and the United States—Anja Manuel (Simon & Schuster, 2016; nonfiction)

The Gene: An Intimate History—Siddhartha Mukherjee (Scribner, 2016; nonfiction)

The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks—Joshua Cooper Ramo (Little, Brown & Company, 2016; nonfiction)

Gail Kelly, former CEO, Westpac

Gail Kelly
Gail Kelly

As CEO of Westpac, Australia’s oldest bank, and one of its largest, Gail pushed for—and succeeded in—having women fill 40 percent of the top managerial positions before she retired from the top job in 2015. She rose from an entry-level position at a South African bank (in her native country) to lead Westpac, where she doubled the company’s market capitalization and struck a major merger deal with St. George Bank in 2008. She is currently serving as ambassador for women’s empowerment at international-aid organization CARE Australia.

H is for Hawk—Helen Macdonald (Grove Press, 2016; nonfiction)

When Breath Becomes Air—Paul Kalanithi (Random House, 2016; nonfiction)

A Meal in Winter: A Novel of World War II—Hubert Mingarelli (The New Press, 2016; fiction)

All That Man Is—David Szalay (Jonathan Cape, 2016; fiction)

Andrew N. Liveris, Dow

Andrew N. Liveris
Andrew N. Liveris

Australian-born Andrew has been with the materials, polymers, chemicals, and biological-sciences company for 40 years, with roles spanning manufacturing, engineering, sales, marketing, and business and general management. He became the company’s CEO in 2004, its chairman in 2006, and recently orchestrated the company’s merger with rival DuPont.

The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing—Benjamin Graham (Harper Business, 2006; nonfiction)

The First Clash: The Miraculous Greek Victory at Marathon and Its Impact on Western Civilization—James Lacey (Bantam, 2013; nonfiction)

Australia’s Second Chance—George Megalogenis (Penguin Books Australia, 2015; nonfiction)

Winston Ma, managing director, China Investment Corporation

Winston joined the China Investment Corporation (CIC), the country’s sovereign-wealth fund, at its inception in 2008. He focuses on long-term investments in large-scale concentrated positions. He was the founding member of CIC’s private equity department and later its special investment department. From 2011 to 2015, he was the managing director for CIC in North America. Winston has also worked as deputy head of equity capital markets at Barclays in New York and as a vice president in investment banking at JPMorgan.

Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human—Harold Bloom (Riverhead Books, 1999; nonfiction)

The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas—G. Richard Shell and Mario Moussa (Penguin Books, 2008; nonfiction)

Alexander Hamilton—Ron Chernow (Penguin Books, 2005; nonfiction)

Carlo Messina, Intesa Sanpaolo

Carlo Messina
Carlo Messina

Carlo began his professional career in the finance department of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro in 1987, rose to the position of manager in charge of corporate finance, and was named CEO and managing director of banking group Intesa Sanpaolo in 2013. He has also served as professor of economics at the Luiss School of Management and professor of corporate finance at the Faculty of Economics and Business of Ancona.

When Breath Becomes Air—Paul Kalanithi (Random House, 2016; nonfiction)

Phuthuma Nhleko, Mobile Telephone Networks

Phuthuma Nhleko
Phuthuma Nhleko

Phuthuma began his career as a civil engineer in the United States and then as a project manager for infrastructure developments in Southern Africa. He was a senior executive of the Standard Corporate and Merchant Bank corporate-finance team from 1991 to 1994. He later became CEO and executive chairman of South Africa’s Mobile Telephone Networks, a multinational mobile-telecommunications company.

The Life of the Mind—Hannah Arendt (Mariner Books, 1981; nonfiction)

The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy—Mervyn King (W.W. Norton & Company, 2016; nonfiction)

Walter Robb, Whole Foods Market

Walter joined the grocery group in 1991 as operator of its store in Mill Valley, California. He became president of the company’s Northern Pacific region in 1993, executive vice president of operations in 2000, and then progressed through the roles of chief operating officer and co-president before being named co-CEO in 2010.

The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time—Arianna Huffington (Harmony, 2016; nonfiction)

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela—Nelson Mandela (Back Bay Books, 1995; nonfiction)

The Politicians and the Egalitarians: The Hidden History of American Politics—Sean Wilentz (W.W. Norton & Company, 2016; nonfiction)

Chuck Robbins, Cisco

Chuck Robbins
Chuck Robbins

Chuck joined the information-technology company in 1997 as an account manager, having held management positions at Bay Networks and Ascend Communications. Before assuming the role of Cisco’s CEO in July 2015, he was senior vice president of worldwide field operations, having also been senior vice president of the Americas, US enterprise, and commercial sales.

Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion—Gregory Boyle (Free Press, 2011; nonfiction)

Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford—Clint Hill and Lisa McCubbin (Gallery Books, 2016; nonfiction)

The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks—Joshua Cooper Ramo (Little, Brown and Company, 2016; nonfiction)

David T. Seaton, Fluor

David T. Seaton
David T. Seaton

David has led the engineering, procurement, construction, and maintenance-services company since 2011. He joined Fluor in 1985 and has held numerous positions in operations and sales. David serves on the board of directors of The Mosaic Company and is a member of the Business Roundtable and the International Business Council.

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World—Tim Marshall (Scribner, 2015; nonfiction)

Dealing with China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower—Henry M. Paulson (Twelve, 2015; nonfiction)

Roberto Setubal, Itaú Unibanco

When Brazil’s Banco Itaú and Unibanco Holdings agreed to a merger in 2008, Roberto was named CEO of Itaú Unibanco Holdings, which, at the time of the merger, became one of the world’s top banks by market capitalization.

The Man Who Loved Dogs: A Novel—Leonardo Padura (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015; fiction)

Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy—Raghuram G. Rajan (Princeton University Press, 2011; nonfiction)

The Spinoza Problem: A Novel—Irvin D. Yalom (Basic Books, 2013; fiction)

Risto Siilasmaa, Nokia

Risto has been on the Nokia board of directors since 2008 and became chairman in 2012. He is also chairman of the board of F-Secure, a cybersecurity company he founded in 1988, and chairman of the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries.

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies—Nick Bostrom (Oxford University Press, 2014; nonfiction)

Who Gets What—and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design—Alvin E. Roth (Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015; nonfiction)

Cryptonomicon—Neal Stephenson (Avon Books, 2002; fiction)

Global Energy Interconnection—Zhenya Liu (Academic Press, 2015; nonfiction)

花木兰—the Chinese folk tale of Mulan (fiction, in Mandarin)

Wendell P. Weeks, Corning

Wendell began at the materials-sciences company in 1983 in its corporate control group. Over the next three decades, he held a variety of financial, business-development, commercial, and general-management roles before joining its board in 2000, being named CEO in April 2005, and becoming chairman two years later.

The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks—Joshua Cooper Ramo (Little, Brown and Company, 2016; nonfiction)

The Gilead trilogy, comprising Gilead, 2006; Home, 2009; and Lila, 2015—Marilynne Robinson (Picador; fiction)

Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace)—Chade-Meng Tan (HarperOne, 2014; nonfiction)

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