Carmine Di Sibio picks Dutch-Oz electro as EY break-up hype-track

30 June 2023 4 min. read
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You’re the CEO in the middle of trying to dismantle a lucrative $40 billion business, what song do you select on the figurative jukebox to get the juices flowing? Some epic Dutch-Australian electro of course.

Independent economic think tank the Milken Institute has released a fascinating new research study on leadership – or, more specifically, the music that senior business leaders listen to to get into the zone, including the distinctively diverse ‘hype tracks’ of global EY CEO Carmine Di Sibio and Oliver Wyman’s vice chair Huw van Steenis, along with the first choice selection of Deloitte’s US chief marketing officer Margaret Anderson and others.

In terms of Ernst & Young’s outgoing chief Di Sibio, it’s naturally tempting to explore the lyrics of his preferred pre-boardroom aural excitations in an effort to gain further insight into the serious tensions that must’ve surrounded the firm’s failed split-bid, but – “I'm tryna get it poppin’, each and every way / It’s one nation under goons / My goons are strippin’ all these cats down to their Underoos” – doesn’t offer much in the way of any immediate enlightenment.

Supposedly born half a decade after Di Sibio and boasting a celebrated Dutch heritage (both men have their own Wikipedia pages), Oliver Wyman vice president Huw van Steenis apparently opts for the most conceivably British music possible compared to the Dutch electro preferences of his American-raised EY counterpart, choosing as his favoured hype track a ditty from English postwar comedy duo Flanders and Swann, possibly with tongue in cheek.

The managing director and US federal health sector CMO of Deloitte, Margaret Anderson, meanwhile has a penchant for listening to Grateful Dead prior to closing deals, although her chosen title – Shakedown Street, from the band’s 1978 album release of the same name – may perhaps come across as a little too apt.

For the record, Anderson is also a prominent figure in advancing public health through innovation and cross-sector collaboration.

Other leaders with consulting ties also submitted their pre-game go-to’s, including former Bain & Company associate and now Google director Justin Steele, who likes to crank Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg collaboration ‘Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang, and fellow Googlite Yasmin Green, the CEO of subsidiary Jigsaw, who previously consulted for Booz Allen Hamilton and gets herself motivated via the Juno-famous Moldy Peaches song ‘Anyone Else But You’.

Beyond consulting

The Milken list also offers some fascinating insights from beyond the consulting realm, such as Nicholas Kristoff’s choice of ‘Chariots of Fire’, conjuring vivid images of the famed NYT journalist conducting research at his desk and bringing Pornhub to its knees as the final crescendo of the Vangelis epic reverberates around the office.

Leading plastic surgeon Nadine Hachach-Haram’s pick – ‘Don’t Stop me Now’ by Queen – is also a bit unsettling.

Business hype songs: what’s hot and what’s not:

Top four:

Gregory Geiling
Co-Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director, Bayview Asset Management
‘Alphabet Aerobics’ – Blackalicious

Eunice Lin Nichols
Managing Director and Head of Americas Region, CICC
‘Hurricane Season’ – Trombone Shorty

Romaine Bostick
TV Anchor, Bloomberg News
‘I'm Chillin’ – Kurtis Blow

Chidozie Ugwumba
Managing Partner, SymBiosis Capital Management
‘Raid’ – Madvillain, Madlib, & MF DOOM

Bottom four:

Ida Liu
Global Head, Citi Private Bank
‘Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now’ – Starship
(Mannequin soundtrack)

Carolyn Magill
CEO, Aetion
‘Walking on Sunshine’ – Katrina & The Waves

Gary Tsai
Director, Substance Abuse Prevention and Control, LA County Department of Public Health
‘Eye of the Tiger’ – Survivor

Kyle Bass
Founder and CEO, Conservation Equity Management
‘Hey Baby (Uhh, Ahh)’ – Anton, Dj Otzi