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A CEO reading list for 2019

We have books on the brain, with the recent release of the Financial Times–McKinsey Business Book of the Year long list.


(See coverage of last year’s winner, Bad Blood, on our blog, and check back December 3, when the 2019 award is given.) There’s inspiration aplenty in the selections, which offer compelling insights on topics crucial to business today. But we also wanted to see what CEOs and other business leaders are keeping on their shelves or tucking into their suitcases—consider it food for thought in picking your next read. Read on for selections from leaders at Novartis, PayPal, Walmart, and more.

Doug McMillon, CEO, Walmart

Doug McMillon

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Meg Whitman, CEO, Quibi

Meg Whitman

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Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, executive chairman, LEGO Brand Group

Jørgen Vig Knudstorp

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Jonathan Franzen is one of the great authors of our times. His latest is a nonfiction collection that, among other things, argues for reading and writing essays (in contrast to reading quick messages, social media, and brief news stories).


Salman Khan, founder and CEO, Khan Academy

Salman Khan

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Jacqui Canney, chief people officer, WPP

Jacqui Canney

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Andrew Penn, CEO and managing director, Telstra Corporation

Andrew Penn

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I found Architects of Intelligence incredibly interesting and helpful in understanding AI and its potential, where we are in the development cycle and different perspectives on the good and evil of it.


Dan Schulman, president and CEO, PayPal

Dan Schulman

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Strive Masiyiwa, founder, executive chairman, Econet

Strive Masiyiwa

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Joerg Reinhardt, PhD, chairman, Novartis

Joerg Reinhardt

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Beth Comstock, former vice chair, General Electric; author, Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change

Beth Comstock

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Jesper Jos Olsson, group CEO and founding partner, White Peak Real Estate

Jesper Jos Olsson

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Richard Plepler, founder, RLP & Company; former chairman and CEO, HBO

Richard Plepler

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Sarah Friar, CEO, Nextdoor

Sarah Friar

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I try to read 52 books a year, so the issue is what to choose!


Kevin Sneader, global managing partner, & Company

Kevin Sneader

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