Speaker John Wood
Affiliation CEO and founder, ROOM TO READ
Host Kirsten Wiley and Kim Ricketts
Date recorded 22 September 2006
For nearly a decade, John Wood rode the '90's tech boom to a leadership position at Microsoft where he "had it all": the big paycheck, the corporate apartment and proximity to software giant Bill Gates. All of this changed with an eye opening trip to Nepal that inspired John to make a stunning decision: He would give up his career in order to build desperately needed schools across the developing world. With LEAVING MICROSOFT TO CHANGE THE WORLD Wood tells the remarkable story of his decision to walk away from "success" in order to give children across the globe a chance to have their own. LEAVING MICROSOFT TO CHANGE THE WORLD chronicles John Wood's final months at Microsoft, a fascinating glimpse of the corporate world at its most competitive. Wood's first hand accounts of working with Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer offer insight into what makes a company-or a person-innovative and successful where others fail. It is these lessons that ultimately enable Wood to turn an embryonic idea of donating books to Nepal into the phenomenally successful global nonprofit, Room To Read. In six years, Room to Read has built over 210 schools, established 2500 school libraries throughout the developing world and donated over 1.5 million books. Wood has grown the organization to over 40 full time employees with annual budget nearing 10 million, and operating in eight countries. Wood will discuss his unusual path to a new kind of "success."
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