Executive Education

Books top CEOs and successful business leaders thinks you should read

Book recommendations

From Jeff Bezos to Bill Gates, it’s no secret that many successful executives and entrepreneurs are avid readers, these are a few recommendations by some of the world’s top CEOs and successful business leaders to kick off your reading list.

Larry Page, the Co-founder of Google Inc. and the current CEO of Alphabet Inc.

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman – Richard P. Feynman and Ralph Leighton (W. W. Norton & Company, 1985; nonfiction)

Sergey Brin, President of Alphabet Inc.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (Bantam Books , 1992; Science fiction)

Dominic Barton, McKinsey

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)

Carlos Ghosn, Nissan CEO

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, a novel set in post-war Germany about a young boy’s affair with a woman twice his age.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Carl Bass, Autodesk

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)

Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO

Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organizationby Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright
Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow by Chip Conley
The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdomby Jonathan Haidt

Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil CEO

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Hakeem Belo-Osagie, Etisalat Nigeria

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)

Howard Lutnick, Cantor Fitzgerald CEO

The Tender Bar: A Memoir by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist J.R. Moehringer

James Gorman, Morgan Stanley CEO

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John le Carre

Warren Buffett, Berkshire-Hathaway CEO

Bull! by Maggie Mahar
The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind
In an Uncertain World: Tough Choices from Wall Street to Washington by Robert Rubin and Jacob Weisberg.

Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase

The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman
The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America—Arthur C. Brooks (Broadside Books, 2015; nonfiction)
Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America by Gary Wills
Ronald Reagan—Jacob Weisberg (Times Books, 2016; nonfiction)
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer of The Coca-Cola Company

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson

Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn

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)
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)

Donald Trump, Trump Organization CEO

The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

Gail Kelly, former CEO, Westpac

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)

Larry Ellison, Oracle CEO

Napoleon by Vincent Cronin

Andrew N. Liveris, Dow

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)

Tim Cook, Apple CEO

Competing Against Time by George Stalk

Winston Ma, managing director, China Investment Corporation

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)

Richard Branson, Virgin CEO

Stalingrad by Antony Beevor
Wild Swans by Jung Chang.”

Carlo Messina, Intesa Sanpaolo

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

Phuthuma Nhleko, Mobile Telephone Networks

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

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

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

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

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, Chair of the Board of Directors of Nokia Corporation. Board member since 2008.

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)

Dr. Amarendra Bhushan Dhiraj, CEO and editorial director at the CEOWORLD Magazine.

This Brave New World: India, China, and the United States by Anja Manuel (Simon & Schuster, 2016; nonfiction)
Screw It, Let’s Do It: Lessons in Life and Business by Richard Branson (2010; nonfiction)

Bob Diamond, Barclays CEO
Brown at 10 by Anthony Seldon and Guy Lodge

Wendell P. Weeks, chairman and chief executive officer of Corning Incorporated

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)

Bill Gates, Former Microsoft CEO

The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

Oprah Winfrey

To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition by Harper Lee

Randall L. Stephenson, Chief Executive Officer of AT&T

The Brothers Karamazov, the final novel by 19th Century Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

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Megan Batchelor
Executive features editor at The CEOWORLD magazine and lover of reality TV. I eat cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner.