Big Shots

The Dark Side of popular CEOs

Created on 25 Jun 2022

Wraps up in 5 Min

Read by 4.3k people

Updated on 11 Sep 2022

If you know Ashneer Grover more than Nithin Kamath' we know you are attracted to toxi-CEO-city.

“What is the last thing Jeff Bezos does before going to bed? He puts on his Pajamazon.” Okay, that wasn’t funny, but we have some spicy facts lined up for you in this article, which will stupefy you.

When someone becomes successful, people assume that everything this person does or will do is correct in some way because, ultimately, his actions have made him successful, right?

Especially in business, when we hear of these big personalities who have built millions and millions of dollars worth of business empires, some people who aspire to become like them start to ignore that they are also humans. Unlike gods, all humans have a dark side, known to only a close circle.

Here we are unveiling some of the dark or rather funny things we discovered about the most famous CEOs of the world.

Corporate Culture & Toxicity

We have all seen how some companies like Microsoft provide excellent working opportunities and a nice work environment. But at the same time, the world has often seen passionate business people going off-limits, and their passion becomes toxic for their employees and their companies.

It is believed that people who are good at business or numbers are usually rude and not good with other people, but when you reach a point where you are leading and impacting the lives of thousands of people, don’t you feel there should be some humility?

Since our childhoods, we have been taught about the success of big entrepreneurs; talking about only the good side made us as kids idolise these people.

But before we look up to a human, we must also keep in mind their darker sides.  Here we are revealing that side of some of the most popular CEOs the world has seen. 

The Dark Side of Top CEOs

Larry Page - Former CEO: Alphabet 

“Don’t be evil” was the motto of Google till 2015; now, they have changed it to “Do the right thing”.

Keeping this kind of motto was necessary for a company that holds the power of changing the governments and possibly turning the human race into slaves, the robots. Contrary to the company’s motto is the founder and former CEO Larry Page’s behaviour.

According to an article by a popular media house, many ex-Googlers often consider Page an “ego-maniacal a******”; however, the same people also call him a genius and a visionary.

It seems that he has a problem dealing with his employees. Many times he forgets to pay attention in the meetings when someone else is speaking. He rarely replies to his coworkers when asked for something; when he does, he sounds rude and egoistic. 

One of the employees explains more about Larry and Sergey’s behaviour inside a meeting room by saying that they are like two little kids who are always out of focus but smart and quick enough to get back to what the other person was saying in less than a few seconds.

Geniuses are often found to be arrogant and unfriendly, but no matter how they behave, they never fail to give the world what it deserves through their businesses and solve the world’s problems. 

Steve Jobs - Former CEO: Apple

Ever seen that evil boss character in movies? Well, you might not believe this, but Steve Jobs was exactly the real-life representation of that character for his employees.

Walter Isaacson, the author of Steve Jobs’ biography has mentioned a lot of instances since his childhood days that describe how his arrogance has hurt a lot of very close people in his life, including his parents, who he ignored while they would drop him to the school and wait for him to say goodbye, but he would never do that.

His only daughter Lisa who he didn’t accept for a very long time. There are many other crazy things that he used to do, like not taking showers, not wearing shoes and walking barefoot in the office, and working at the salary of $1 as a CEO!

The craziest thing you might find about Jobs in his biography is that he used to soak his feet in the water. What’s crazy about doing that? Well, if you think he did it inside a bucket, no. He used to soak his legs in the office toilet! It was his unique way of relieving stress while he was at the office. 

Mark Zuckerberg - CEO: Meta

If you think of Zuck as a programmer, wait a minute. He is a hacker. First, he hacked the whole idea of Facebook from some of his seniors who developed a very similar social networking site called ConnectU before Mark.

Then he hacked into Harward’s servers to get photographs and sensitive data of the students to make his site better with recommendations.

Then again, he hacked into ConnectU’s servers and created a lot of trouble for their users, making them switch to Facebook. And, of course, how can we forget the massive global user data that he hacked in the name of in-app permissions! 

Ever wondered why Facebook's logo is coloured Blue? This was done because Mark has red-green colourblindness! You can easily tell that Steve Jobs was his inspiration through his initial business cards, which read, "I'm CEO, bitch." 

Carly Florina - Former CEO: Hewlett-Packard (HP)

She was the first female to lead a Fortune 100 company. She was known as the "anti-Steve Jobs" by several journalists because of operating a huge tech giant company in a way that led to an immense loss for the company.

She once exploited loopholes in export sanctions and indirectly sold $120 million worth of computers in Iran. Subsequently, there were huge layoffs (around 30,000 people). She owned a private jet plane and tripled her own salary while all this was happening. 

She recently received a lot of attention with her becoming a politician. She is now changing her image from being an unsuccessful CEO to a powerful and bold leader. Let’s see how it goes. 

Jeff Bezos - Former CEO: Amazon

Some Amazon employees claim to have been through real prison time under the leadership of Bezos.

He is often referred to as a control freak by his co-workers. Other than not treating the employees nicely, shouting at them, and creating a rough work culture in Amazon, this genius also has a weird side like the others. 

He almost named Amazon “Cadabra” as he wanted the company to sound like something magical, but thanks to his lawyer, the name was later changed to Amazon!

It was a bucket list item for him to star in a Star Trek movie, and he finally got the cameo role of an alien in that movie. The casting indeed was accurate. He explains this as a fun experience. 

The Bottom Line

Whatever dark side these geniuses might have, we cannot deny that they have created revolutions and given solutions to many of our day-to-day problems. They have surely created an impact on the world. But, making gods out of people is a little too much, no matter how successful or popular they may be.

Before looking up or down at anyone, we must see all aspects of them and then do the right thing. As someone has rightly said, “The brighter the image, the darker the negative!”

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Moniq Sharma

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Moniq is a writer, designer, and strategist with a deep understanding of creative marketing. Her curiosity inspires her to learn, write and explain complicated things to people in the most simplified manner. The amount of knowledge present in her surroundings is what drives her the most. She is also building her own content production company, present across major social media platforms

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