CEO turns to Bible for life lessons

Krispy Kreme's latest CEO, longtime Charlotte executive Jim Morgan, has less reading time since taking over the struggling doughnut maker in January, but he makes time daily for the Bible.

“For pure enjoyment, the Bible has got some of the greatest mysteries, love stories, soap operas of any book ever written,” he said. “On the life side, it's probably the greatest book on life and leadership ever written.”

Morgan was chief executive of Charlotte brokerage firm Interstate/Johnson Lane from 1994 to 1999, credited with reviving the company. He left not long after completing a $230 million merger with Wachovia. Morgan joined Krispy Kreme's board in 2000. The once high-flying Winston-Salem company closed its last Charlotte store in December but still operates in Matthews and Gastonia.

Recent reads include “Quiet Strength,” Tony Dungy's book on becoming the first black head coach to lead a team to a Super Bowl title. Dungy's message, that faith and family are more important than the job, resonated with Morgan, who has struggled to balance priorities.

A recent vacation choice was “The List,” by Charlotte attorney Robert Whitlow, who writes Christian-themed legal thrillers.

Morgan, 61, reads some news online but he prefers having a newspaper in his hand. Daily choices include the Observer and The Wall Street Journal. He'll likely get an iPod soon because he's running out of room for his music. A heavy contributor is son Jamie, 26, an aspiring songwriter.

Growing up in Greenville, S.C., Morgan recalls both Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme stores.

“Even as a young person, I preferred the Krispy Kreme,” he said. His favorite? “I still love the hot glazed.”

Stella M. Hopkins