Then and now: What tech CEOs and founders looked like when they first launched their companies versus today

Then and now: What tech CEOs and founders looked like when they first launched their companies versus today
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side-by-side of Elon Musk in PayPal's early days in 1999 and then in 2024
Elon Musk today runs several more companies than he did in 1999, when the photo on the left was taken.

  • Some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names are in their tech bro era.
  • It wasn’t always like this — many Big Tech CEOs have shed more nerdy personas from their startup days.
  • Here’s a look at tech’s most influential executives then and now.

Mark Zuckerberg isn’t the only tech CEO whose style has noticeably evolved over the years.

Other Big Tech leaders have significantly changed up their looks since starting their companies; some are nearly unrecognizable (we’re looking at you, Jeff Bezos.)

Here’s a look at the style transformations of some of tech’s biggest names:

Mark Zuckerberg
side-by-side of Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 and 2024
Zuckerberg is currently in the T shirt-and-chain era of his fashion evolution.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook from his dorm room at Harvard in 2004.

Gone are the days of the Zuck who famously wore the same thing every day to save brainpower for more important decisions. Instead, Zuck can now be seen sporting graphic tees and chain necklaces.

Part of Zuckerberg’s physical transformation also stems from hobbies like Brazilian jiu-jitsu and MMA fighting.

Michael Dell
side-by-side image of Michael Dell in 1984 and 2024
Dell founded his company, initially called PC’s Limited, in 1984 while still a student at the University of Texas in Austin.

Dell is another member of the college dropouts-turned-tech founders club.

Elon Musk
side-by-side of Elon Musk in PayPal's early days in 1999 and then in 2024
Elon Musk today runs several more companies than he did in 1999, when the photo on the left was taken.

The photo at left shows Musk in 1999, around the time the “PayPal mafia” was formed.

Musk has said he doesn’t care for exercise and “almost never” works out, though he’s credited fasting and the weight loss drug Wegovy with his appearance today.

Bill Gates
side-by-side image of Bill Gates in 1977 and 2024
Fun fact: The photo on the left is actually Gates’ mugshot from when he got a speeding ticket without his license in 1977.

Gates and the late Paul Allen cofounded Microsoft from a garage in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1975.

Richard Branson
side-by-side image of Virgin Group founder Richard Branson in 1969 and 2023
At left is Richard Branson in 1969, one year before he started the Virgin brand.

Richard Branson started the Virgin brand in 1970 with a mail order record business.

At 73 years old today, Branson’s day-to-day life still features plenty of exercise, from tennis and cycling to kite-surfing.

Jack Ma
side-by-side image of Alibaba founder Jack Ma in 2003 and 2020
New photos of Ma are scarce as he’s been out of the limelight in recent years.

Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma disappeared from public view in 2020 after criticizing China’s financial regulation system. He resurfaced in Thailand in 2022 and has been teaching as a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo.

Anne Wojcicki
side-by-side image of 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki in 2008 and 2024
Anne Wojcicki is the CEO of DNA testing company 23andMe and the younger sister of former YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.

Anne Wojcicki founded genetic testing company 23andMe in 2006.

Whitney Wolfe Herd
side-by-side image of Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2015 and 2024
Whitney Wolfe Herd became the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire after taking Bumble public.

Whitney Wolfe Herd founded Bumble in 2014 and stepped down as CEO last year.

Evan Spiegel
side-by-side image of Snap CEO Evan Spiegel in 2013 and 2024
Snap CEO Evan Spiegel was the world’s youngest billionaire in the year 2015, when he was 25 years old.

Evan Spiegel co-founded Snap, which owns services like Snapchat, in 2011.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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