Thursday, 16 February 2012

10 CEOs and Their Favourite Books

A good book is indeed the best friend of a person. The same goes for high-profiled CEOs of world recognized companies as well. Though most believe that if one wants to read a good book, then one needs to write it oneself. Still, a dizzying number of books have already been fantastically written by many talented authors. Gus Lubin, Kim Bhasin and Melanie Hicken of the Business Insider have deftly dug up the favourite books of some of the renowned CEOs of the globe. A few on the list are as follows -

1) Apple CEO - Tim Cook

Tim Cook is the present CEO of Apple. His favourite book is ‘Competing Against Time’ by George Stalk Jr. and Thomas M. Hout. This book is based on 10 years of precious research done by the authors. It talks about how newer concepts of managing time in new product development, production and sales and distribution provide companies with the edge to succeed in this highly competitive world. Cook loves this book so much that he often gives out copies of the same to his colleagues.

2) Facebook CEO - Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg is the present CEO of Facebook. According to his Facebook profile, his favourite book is ‘Ender's Game’ by Orson Scott Card. This novel talks about the coming of age of the youngest billionaire of the world. However, Zuckerberg corrected this and called ‘The Aeneid’ by Virgil as his favourite book. This is actually a Latin epic poem, which talks about a Trojan named, Aeneas, how he traveled to Italy and became an ancestral Roman.

3) Microsoft CEO (Former) - Bill Gates

Bill Gates is the former CEO of Microsoft. His favourite book is ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D. Salinger. A few themes explored in the novel are rebellion, alienation, angst and confusion. Gates quotes, "I didn't actually read Catcher in the Rye until I was 13, and ever since then I've said that's my favorite book." He further said, "It's very clever. It acknowledges that young people are a little confused, but can be smart about things and see things that adults don't really see. So I've always loved it."

4) Berkshire Hathaway CEO - Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is the present CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. His A-list of most beloved books include – ‘In an Uncertain World: Tough Choices from Wall Street to Washington’ by Robert E. Rubin and Jacob Weisberg, ‘The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron’ by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind and ‘Bull!’ by Maggie Mahar. His choice of favourite books is centered more on the world of business. The first book talks about the ups and down faced by Robert Rubin, 70th U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. The second talks about the majestic rise and shameful fall of Enron. The third talks about the Great Bull Market of 1982–1999 in the U.S.

5) Oracle CEO - Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison is the present CEO of Oracle. Though a number of books are among his ‘like’ list but he absolutely loved reading ‘Napoleon’ by Vincent Cronin. This book is deemed by far the best biography ever written on the great general, Napoleon Bonaparte. This book is so eloquently written that it seems almost like a novel. Ellison quotes, "It's interesting to read about him for a couple of reasons: to see what one man of modest birth can do with his life, and to see how history can distort the truth entirely."

6) Amazon CEO - Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos is the present CEO of Amazon. He cites 2 books as among his most favourites, namely – ‘The Remains of the Day’ by Kazuo Ishiguro and ‘Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies’ by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras. The latter talks about breaking free from business myths and delving into new thoughts and ideas to create mega companies, which stand the test of time. Bezos quotes, "If you read The Remains of the Day, which is one of my favorite books, you can't help but come away and think, I just spent 10 hours living an alternate life and I learned something about life and about regret."

7) OWN CEO - Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey heads OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network). Her all-time favourite book is ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee. This book talks about how a little girl views the people around her. Winfrey quotes, "I remember reading this book and then going to class and not being able to shut up about it." She further says, "I read it in eighth or ninth grade, and I was trying to push the book off on other kids. So it makes sense to me that now I have a book club, because I have been doing that since probably this book."

8) Bloomberg L.P. CEO (Former) - Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg is the former CEO of Bloomberg L.P. Bloomberg is a fan of the spy novels by John le Carre. Le Carre is the pseudonym of David John Moore Cornwell. His novels revolve around espionage and spies. As he had worked for the British intelligence services MI5 and MI6, his background helped him a lot while writing spy stories. When asked about ‘The Honourable Schoolboy’ by Le Carre, Bloomberg quotes, “It’s 600 pages, it’s mostly description, there is almost nothing that happens. But it’s fascinating.”

9) Virgin Group CEO - Richard Branson

Richard Branson is the Chairman of Virgin Group. He like a host of ifferent books, namely – ‘Swallows and Amazons’ series byArthur Ransome, ‘Wild Swans’ by Jung Chang and Stalingrad’ by Antony Beevor. ‘Swallows and Amazons' is among the favourite books of ranson’s childhood. He quotes these books as "a lovely kids' adventure book." The second book talks about how 3 generations of women in a family are faced with political turmoil during 20th century China. The third speaks of the turning point of the 2nd World War and how the Soviet Union fought it. 

10) Coca Cola CEO - Muhtar Kent

Muhtar Kent is the present CEO of Coca Cola. His favourite book is ‘The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World’ by Niall Ferguson. This book talks about the “human story behind the evolution of finance.” It talks about how money has originated from Mesopotamia and how it has changed over the centuries. He quotes, “I love books on economic observations." He further says, "This is one of the best.”

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