Leaving Microsoft to Change the World : An Entrepreneur's Quest to Educate the World's Children, Paperback

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World : An Entrepreneur's Quest to Educate the World's Children Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


In 1998 John Wood was a rising executive at Microsoft .

Then a trip to Nepal inspired him to set up schools and libraries in the developing world.

Fuelled by the same drive that made him a top executive, Wood took his business acumen into the charity sector and created Room to Read, a stunningly effective organisation that has created a network of more than 2,000 schools and libraries throughout Asia and Africa in only six years.

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World chronicles John Wood's incredible journey, his first years at Microsoft, his life-changing decision to leave, and the adventure that followed.

Wood shares the methods he uses to manage Room to Read, taken from the boardroom of one of the world's most influential companies and applied successfully in a very different setting.

His story is an inspirational example of how to create success on your own terms and change your world.

After earning an MBA at the Kellogg School of Management, John Wood joined Microsoft in 1991.

He quickly ascended to become Microsoft's director of business development in China and the surrounding regions. In 1999, he founded Room to Read, a charity that promotes literacy throughout the developing world.

He lives in San Francisco.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288 pages, 16 b/w plates (16pp), With index
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Autobiography: general
  • ISBN: 9780007237036



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Acquired via BookCrossing 27 Nov 2009 - BookringIt was with a little trepidation that I opened this book, given that previous readers had said it was boring, preachy and self-centered. I actually didn't find this. Sure, it was about Wood's life-changing decision to leave Microsoft and set up the Room To Read charity, which builds libraries and schools in places that really need them, and it was maybe more a business biography than a personal one. But I did feel he was honest and open. He talks about working long days but also about the toll that has taken on his personal and emotional life, and he celebrates his teams in a good way. I loved the bits about going running with the redoubtable Steve Ballmer when he was still at Microsoft!One reader had pasted in some pictures of Nepal etc and this made it very special.Room to Read is a fantastic charity and I'll be looking at making a donation to them. The Birmingham BookCrossers have sponsored the building of a library in India through Good Gifts and it's certainly a lovely feeling to do such a thing.Anyway - a good, interesting and celebratory read.