Keeping the tradition, Gates shared his summer book list last month. The list includes a book that he says he has already suggested to several friends and colleagues, including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
The book is about former Disney CEO Robert Iger, and is titled “The Ride of a Lifetime”. In a blog post on his website GatesNotes, Gates terms it as one of the best business books that he has read in several years.
The book describes Iger’s journey and gives some exciting insights into the company’s past. “Iger does a terrific job explaining what it’s really like to be the CEO of a large company. Whether you’re looking for business insights or just an entertaining read, I think anyone would enjoy his stories about overseeing Disney during one of the most transformative times in its history,” adds Gates in the blog.
“As the person who led Disney’s acquisition of Pixar, Lucasfilm (that is, all the Star Wars stuff), Marvel, and most of 21st Century Fox, Iger is able to take you inside the workings of a massive media company and show how he thought about building on its strengths and shoring up its weaknesses. This is a short, readable book with smart insights, and along the way he crosses paths with some colorful characters,” writes Gates.
Gates’ post also talks about former Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs. Gates talks about the part where Jobs tells Iger about his cancer returning and spreading to his liver right before the Disney-Pixar merger press conference.
“There’s an especially dramatic and poignant moment near the end of the story. Just 30 minutes before the press conference where they will announce this massive merger, Steve takes Iger aside and shares some crushing news that only his wife and doctors know: After years in remission, his pancreatic cancer has returned and spread to his liver,” writes Gates.
“I am about to become your biggest shareholder and a member of your board,” Steve tells him. “And I think I owe you the right, given this knowledge, to back out of the deal.”
Calling this acquisition deal a “brilliant move” Gates goes on to describe how Iger was able to make a big bet that paid off well.
“I think anyone would enjoy this book, whether they’re looking for business insights or just want a good read by a humble guy who rose up the corporate ladder to successfully run one of the biggest companies in the world,” said Gates concluding his note.