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How CEOs spend their leisure time

business Updated: Jun 03, 2010 17:58 IST
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A round of 18 holes, a quick outing on the yacht, followed by driving a few laps around the racetrack--that's what CEOs do for fun, right? While golf, sailing and driving fast cars remain popular hobbies, some CEOs are turning theirs into day jobs. Others are finding increasingly more interesting ways to spend their leisure time. Blogging, espionage and pot-bellied pig collecting to name but a few.

For a lucky few CEOs, having a hobby has turned out to be rather profitable. Famously, Jerry Yang and David Filo of Yahoo and Michael Dell all turned their passion for computers into successful businesses.

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Colin Grant, the CEO of the fitness and yoga chain Pure Group, turned his love of yoga into his day job. The chain originated in Hong Kong and now has outlets in Singapore, Taiwan and New York.

Luckily, he doesn't believe his hobby has become a job and still uses yoga to relax.

"When I'm in a yoga studio, I can totally shift my mind into a different world, and yoga practice helps greatly to transform both mentally and physically," he says.

Quintessentially is one of the world's leading concierge services. Shevaun Leach, the regional communications director for Quintessentially in Asia, says, "the majority of our members are CEOs, so we're very much in tune with their leisure time."

"Golf is a rather standard CEO pastime," Leach says. "Organizing F1 Grand Prix VIP Hospitality Packages around the globe and center court tickets to Grand Slam tennis tournaments go without saying. We are asked almost daily to arrange access to Manchester United, Arsenal & Chelsea home matches in the UK."

However, Leach is also familiar with some of the more unusual pastimes of CEOs. "Our members are interested in everything from dinosaur bones to meteor parts, rare breed animal pets (labra-poodles, pot bellied pigs, tigers) and Asian antiques. We have also had requests to arrange elephant polo, snow golf, an Aston Martin on ice driving experience, and to organize an Indiana Jones-style adventure in Jordan, including training by ex-MI6 agents," says Leach.

The CEO of AirAsia, Tony Fernandes, found that his day job left him with little time to connect with the people he wanted to. In September 2008 Fernandes joined the rank of CEO bloggers and set up his own blog, The Entrepreneur. His debut post read: "In between meetings, trips and other commitments, it's hard to stop and chat with those around me. Now with this blog, I not only have a space to say what I think and feel but also hear what you guys have to say as well."