Mark Zuckerberg and the hoodie that sparked a controversy
How do you dress for success? For men, the standard in some quarters remains the suit and tie, especially in the heart of the business and finance worlds. But in Silicon Valley and other outposts of tech, casual is quite often the way to go. Sometimes, those worlds collide. Consider the kerfuffle unleashed this week when Mark Zuckerberg headed to Manhattan for Facebook's IPO road show.
It seems Zuck's dorm room fashion rubbed some folks on Wall Street the wrong way. The CEO of the universe's biggest social network caught flak for wearing his hoodie -- as integral to his public persona as the black turtleneck was to Steve Jobs' -- to a meeting in New York with potential Facebook investors in the company's upcoming IPO, likely to erupt late next week. One Michael Pachter, an analyst for Wedbush Securities harrumphed his disapproval, calling it a sign of Zuckerberg's lack of seriousness and a "mark of immaturity."
Another tech mogul who always seems dressed to the nines, Twitter co-founder -- and more recently, founder and CEO of Square -- Jack Dorsey also cuts a dashing figure when he’s out and about. For Jack D, black is the new black -- and then some.
Time and the accumulated urgings of his handlers have helped smooth some of his sartorial rough edges, but when Bill Gates appears in public wearing a business suit, he looks about as comfortable as a Mac user navigating his way through MS-DOS.
The CEO of Cheezburger (of I Can Has Cheezeburger, among other sites), Ben Huh, has made his name as an Internet entrepreneur in less than five years with a collection of sites that do an estimated 375 million page views each month. But judging from his laid-back dress code, we're glad to see that success hasn’t gone to his head.
Oracle president Safra Catz is routinely referred to as one of the most powerful women in the technology biz -- and for good reason. As president of Oracle since 2004, she's a heavy hitter and in a very strong position to run the joint when -- and if ever -- Larry Ellison calls it a day. And just like her boss, Catz is ever the style maven when it comes to her personal wardrobe.
The guy may be all about databases and back-end software apps, but Larry Ellison's public image is about as far away from the stereotypical geek as you can get. Ellison must have Armani on speed dial, because the founder and CEO of Oracle is the textbook definition of a clothes horse.
Marc Benioff's head might be in the cloud, but who are we to argue? One of the brightest bulbs in the tech firmament –- he was once
described (with only a tad of exaggeration) as "the fresh prince of software" -- Salesforce.com's exceptional founder is another tech billionaire with a unique fashion stamp. In this case, it’s the suit sans tie get-up. That’s a recent style and we're not quite sure about the significance. But it's cool.
Doubtless you've seen countless images of the late, great Steve Jobs in what became his signature uniform of black turtleneck, blue jeans and sneakers. But let's not forget that there was a time when Apple's co-founder would appear in public in quite the dandy get-up. Thought you’d get a kick out of this one.
Like his legendary predecessor as Apple CEO, no suits or ties either for Apple's new boss, Tim Cook. In fact, we're tempted to make a prediction that no Apple CEO will ever go the suit route. It'd be too -- y'know, too 1984ish.
The accompanying photo is Exhibit A in case anyone ever tells you that Dell CEO Michael Dell never appears in anything other than a suit and tie. But for the other 99.999% of his time -- at least when he's out in public -- your interlocutor would win their bet. Dell may be from Texas but when it comes to business, he dresses up for the occasion.
When someone get to the pinnacle of IBM, it's suit and ties, 24x7. So it is that when you're Virginia Rometty and CEO at Big Blue, hoodies are most definitely not going to be part of a very formal wardrobe.
OK, let's split the difference: How does an "executive pinstripe hoodie" sound? This is the creation of the folks at Betabrand, whose limited edition garment is "crafted from 100% superfine merino wool." And all yours for only $148.