CFOs Share Their Favourite Reads of 2020

Melissa M. Munoz

Main economic officers elevated billions of bucks this calendar year to shore up their companies’ harmony sheets. They slice expenses, revamped earnings forecasts and pivoted strategies to aid their corporations navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

Due to the fact of that, numerous of them did not have a ton of time to go through for enjoyment. When they did, some chose guides that available new perspectives on get the job done and society—and in some scenarios served them rest.

CFO Journal achieved out to finance chiefs throughout industries to question about the most effective publications they study in 2020. Here’s what they reported.


Portfolio/Penguin Random House

Jim Sheehan, CFO of Hormel Foods Corp., an Austin, Minn.-dependent foodstuff company

Thinking in Bets: Earning Smarter Choices When You Really don’t Have All the Facts, by Annie Duke (2018)

“The creator is a experienced poker participant, and in the reserve she presents insight into generating decisions in conditions of uncertainty. With the degree of uncertainty that existed in 2020, the guide was unquestionably on subject. The notion of getting snug with degrees of certainty and the truth that not all great decisions result in a excellent consequence had been vital to me in 2020.”

Scott Settersten, CFO of Ulta Elegance Inc., a Bolingbrook, Unwell.-primarily based natural beauty retailer

Cheaters Usually Gain: The Tale of The united states, by J.M. Fenster (2019)

“I liked this light-weight-hearted, imagined-provoking browse on the background of dishonest in The united states dating to the earliest Indigenous American land swindles to the seemingly unlimited fraudster stories filling our daily news feeds. Cheating and cheaters transcend sports activities, politics, entertainment and finance with a gain-at-all-price mantra. Ms. Fenster delivers insightful point of view on the collective decrease in countrywide morals whereby oddly, and with couple of exceptions, the cheated are the kinds shamed, embarrassed and ostracized, rather than the other way all-around.”

Meghan Frank, CFO of Lululemon Athletica Inc., a Vancouver, British Columbia-centered athletic attire firm

Intimations: 6 Essays, by Zadie Smith (2020)

“I thought this selection of quick essays powerfully captured the human encounter and introspection of 2020. Her tales illuminate what is genuinely vital and exactly where we will need to do much better as a modern society. I was also very motivated to study on the very last page that all of the royalties from the book will go to two charities—The Equal Justice Initiative, and the COVID-19 Unexpected emergency Aid Fund for New York.”


W.W. Norton & Co.

Ann Dennison, controller and incoming CFO of Nasdaq Inc., the New York-primarily based trade

Deep Survival: Who Life, Who Dies, and Why By Laurence Gonzales (2003)

“This riveting compilation of survival tales highlights how critical a person’s outlook on the entire world is as they deal with issues. I cherished the partaking ups and downs of the tales, and whilst I really don’t intend to embark on any loss of life-defying adventures, the information of the significance of remaining present and acquiring a good outlook is good reminder for the challenges of every day life”


Courtesy of Berkley

Jason Park, CFO of DraftKings Inc., a Boston-dependent athletics-betting company

The Gray Man collection, by Mark Greaney (2009-2020)

“2020 has been pretty the year for DraftKings so I have not had substantially time for leisure looking through. Although, each and every evening in advance of bed to loosen up the brain a bit, I do open up the Kindle and go through at the very least a couple of web pages. This year I’ve go through a ton of Mark Greaney—The Grey Gentleman Series. These are actually enjoyment reads, action packed and definitely site turners. I’ve also study some futuristic novels by C. Chase Harwood that I find incredibly funny and assumed provoking.”


Standard Guides

Monthly bill Zerella, CFO of ACV Auctions Inc., a Buffalo, N.Y.-primarily based on line automobile marketplace

Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty, by John B. Boles (2017)

“At a time when lots of folks are exchanging views on the founders of the state I located this e book on the existence of Thomas Jefferson to be exceptionally valuable in knowledge the enormity of his achievements. Whilst most of us know Jefferson as the major creator of the Declaration of Independence, it only scratches the floor of his several contributions to our democracy.”

Manavendra Sial, CFO of SunPower Corp., a San Jose, Calif.-based solar-electricity corporation

The Quest: Power, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern Environment, by Daniel Yergin (2011)

“The e-book is like a record and evolution of strength via the a long time with wonderful insights and stories. In the present-working day context exactly where the world is heading by an electricity transition, it’s a great and exciting read to put matters in perspective of where we have been, and juxtaposing the heritage to the latest working day. It highlights for me the huge development we have manufactured in advancing clean electricity.”


Greenleaf Ebook Team Push

Eric Marchetto, CFO of Trinity Industries Inc., a Dallas-centered railcar maker

Beliefs, Behaviors, and Final results: The Chief Executive’s Guideline to Offering Excellent Shareholder Worth, by Scott Gillis, Lee Mergy and Joe Shalleck (2013)

“What I actually favored about the e book is that it suits with the journey our organization is on to adjust our lifestyle from an earnings-targeted corporation to a lot more a returns-concentrated corporation. Particularly, why an financial financial gain measure will translate to extra sustainable shareholder returns. Our management staff has go through the book and it has supplied us a common language and very good framework to align around this adjust.”

Publish to Kristin Broughton at [email protected]

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