17 Books the World’s Most Powerful CEOs Are Currently Reading

If these guys have it on their night stands, you probably should too.

By Marcel Schwantes

Principal and founder, Leadership From the Core

Over the summer, global consulting firm McKinsey & Company published a list of world-class executives and the books they are currently reading.

The book choices are intriguing, spanning everything from investment and tech to biographies, politics, world history, and folk tales.

Here are the more notable book titles for the ambitious business and entrepreneurial mindset that caught my attention.

Teresa Clarke, CEO, Africa.com

Clarke is the first black woman to serve as managing director in investment banking at Goldman Sachs, and after stepping down, she founded Africa.com, a news and travel site covering all 54 African countries.

  • The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future–Kevin Kelly (Viking, 2016)
  • Enter Helen: The Invention of Helen Gurley Brown and the Rise of the Modern Single Woman–Brooke Hauser (HarperCollins, 2016)

Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase

Jamie was named CEO and president of JPMorgan Chase in 2005 and chairman of the board the following year.

  • The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America–Arthur C. Brooks (Broadside, 2015)

Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn

Reid was executive vice president of PayPal before co-founding LinkedIn in 2002 and becoming executive chairman in 2009.


  • The Inner Lives of Markets: How People Shape Them–and They Shape Us–Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan (PublicAffairs, 2016)
  • More Human: Designing a World Where People Come First–Steve Hilton with Jason and Scott Bade (WH Allen, 2015)
  • This Brave New World: India, China and the United States–Anja Manuel (Simon & Schuster, 2016)
  • The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks–Joshua Cooper Ramo (Little, Brown & Company, 2016)

Andrew N. Liveris, Dow

Andrew has been with Dow for 40 years. 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)

Phuthuma Nhleko, Mobile Telephone Networks

Phuthuma began his career as a civil engineer and 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, 1981)
  • The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy–Mervyn King (W.W. Norton, 2016)

Walter Robb, Whole Foods Market

Walter joined the grocery group in 1991 as operator of its store in Mill Valley, California. He then progressed through several executive roles and was named co-CEO in 2010.

Chuck Robbins, Cisco

Before assuming the role of Cisco CEO in July 2015, Robbins was senior vice president of worldwide field operations, having also been senior vice president of the Americas, U.S. enterprise, and commercial sales.

David T. Seaton, Fluor

David 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.

Wendell P. Weeks, Corning

Wendell began at the materials-sciences company in 1983 and progressed through several roles before joining its board in 2000, being named CEO in April 2005, and becoming chairman two years later.

 

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