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Press Release

Facebook Director of Design Maria Giudice and Startup Mentor Christopher Ireland Write Book on Leadership by Design

Peachpit Publishes Rise of the DEO

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF— September 30, 2013 —Facebook Director of Design Maria Giudice and Startup mentor Christopher Ireland have co-authored a new book, Rise of the DEO: Leadership by Design, that explores the intersection of creativity and business acumen, explaining how and why this unlikely coupling produces leaders most capable of solving our increasingly complex problems.

"DEO" is short for Design Executive Officer and a play on "CEO." A hybrid of strategic business executive and creative problem-solver, DEOs are able to lead with a mix of imagination and metrics. Giudice and Ireland explain–graphically and through example– why this form of leadership is essential to the success of modern organizations and what characteristics are best suited to this role. Through intimate conversations with leading DEOs, they reveal the mindsets, communities, processes and practices common to creative business leaders. At the end of each chapter, they provide simple "workouts" aspiring DEOs can use to hone their skills.

Written by two women with over 30 years collective experience as creative business leaders, Rise of the DEO is a playbook designed to unlock creativity in a traditional executive or teach a creative professional how to lead.

"We wrote Rise of the DEO to show how leadership is evolving, not just in tech companies and startups, but everywhere," said Giudice. "Today's most effective leaders, including those we profiled in the book, are not "command and control" types. Instead, they possess characteristics, behaviors and mindsets that help them excel in the unpredictable, fast-moving and value-charged conditions that surround us.

With these traits, DEOs attract and coalesce stakeholders who share their vision, goals and values. They build corporate cultures that nurture and retain talented employees. They lead teams who learn from one another and collaborate easily and effectively. With these traits, DEOs create resilient organizations that value expertise but make room for failure—organizations able to iterate and evolve with the changes taking place all around them."

Ireland adds, "We wrote this book because we believe the world needs DEOs to solve the growing list of wicked and intractable problems we face. We want to do our part to help build the next generation of creative business leaders."

"Businesses and governments have discovered the power of a creative mind to effect change and produce value," said Richard Grefé, Executive Director, AIGA. "Experts note that CEOs who possess a design sensibility—or trust others who do—are best suited to thrive in a changing world. Yet not until Rise of the DEO has anyone captured the true potential of a design-oriented thinker at the highest level of an organization. Maria Giudice and Christopher Ireland have written a seminal work that will transform the role of the designer and the pace of innovation. This book is a must read."

Rise of the DEO: Leadership by Design is now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Peachpit, and other retailers worldwide. For more information, visit or

About Maria Giudice
Innovator, artist, protagonist, and positive provocateur, Maria has pursued a vision of intelligent, elegant, people-centered design throughout her professional life. Her grasp of the pragmatic, the authentic, and the essential have kept her at the forefront of design and business for over 20 years. Under Maria's leadership, Hot Studio, the experience design firm she founded in 1997, grew into a full-service creative agency with an impressive list of Fortune 500 clients. In March 2013, Facebook acquired the talent behind Hot Studio in one of their largest "acqui-hires" to date, where Maria now works as Director of Product Design. She has spoken at conferences all over the world and co-teaches a Business and Design course at the California College of the Arts with Christopher Ireland.

About Christopher Ireland
Researcher, strategist, idea generator and alliance builder, Christopher started her career with the notion that businesses could benefit from a better understanding of people and culture. Her ability to create simple explanations of complex human behavior and to translate those insights into effective design strategies attracted a wide range of clients including Microsoft, HP, Pepsi, Levis, Gap and more. As CEO of Cheskin, a firm that pioneered design research in Silicon Valley, Christopher had a ring-side seat to unrivaled feats of creation, innovation and reinvention. She and her partners sold Cheskin in 2007. Since then she has taught at California College of the Arts with Maria Giudice and co-founded Mix & Stir Studio, a firm devoted to supporting design-driven startups and entrepreneurs.

About Peachpit
Peachpit is part of Pearson (NYSE: PSO), the international media company. Pearson's primary operations also include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. Learn more at and


Media Contact:
Laura Ross, Communications Manager and Senior Publicist