Some of the most popular and powerful CEOs are known widely for their current business ventures, but most people don’t pay attention to the smaller facts behind the brands. For example, you know Mark Zuckerberg is the CEO of Facebook, but did you know that when he was just 12, he created an instant messaging system for his father’s dental office to make it easier for administrative employees to communicate information with dentists?
And you might know Mark Cuban from the startup show Shark Tank, but did you know that he started selling trash bags when he was 12 and sold his first company to Yahoo for $5.7 billion?
There’s a lot to learn about some of the most popular CEOs, and here are some interesting facts for five of them:
Charles Phillips, Infor
Charles Phillips is the CEO at tech company Infor, which provides ERP business solutions to major companies like Pfizer, Jaguar, and Levi’s. Since Phillips took the reigns in 2010, he’s been credited with turning Infor into the world’s biggest startup. The Infor CEO revealed he doesn’t even have his own desk at the office. Instead, he works at a long, banquet-style table with the entire management team. He also revealed that his first computer was a Heathkit he’d built on his own. He went on to build his first several computers, much like several tech luminaries, including Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.
Larry Page, Google
Larry Page is the co-founder of Google, and has ultimately pioneered the way we use the Internet. But Page is a lot more than just the man behind the most famous colorful logo in the world. What many people don’t know about him is that he started to become interested in computer science at the tender age of six, and was encouraged by his parents, who were both in the field. Page was the also first person in his elementary school to submit a word-processed version of an essay assignment.
Elon Musk is known for juggling several high-profile businesses at once–namely Tesla and SpaceX. He’s put his mind and money into several ventures, and continues to excel at each. But there are plenty of amazing fun facts about Elon Musk that most people don’t know. Among them are the following:
- He was born in South Africa and didn’t become a U.S. citizen until 2002, when he was 31.
- He was the co-founder of PayPal.
- He built his first company, Zip2, as a Stanford dropout student, and sold it for $307 million.
- He doesn’t take a salary from Tesla Motors.
- He left Stanford after just two days to take advantage of the dot-com boom.
Jeff Bezos is one of the world’s most renowned CEOs, and deserves every bit of credit for the Amazon empire he’s built. To truly understand how his mind works, it helps to travel way back to Bezos’ childhood. When he was a toddler, he used a screwdriver to dismantle his crib because he wanted to sleep in a bed. Fast forward to today, and it’s clear that proper sleep is still vital to the CEO. Bezos does not use an alarm clock, and gets in a full eight hours sleep per night. Proper sleep has been linked to effective productivity, and when it comes to Bezos, it shows.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is no stranger to attention. He’s consistently graced the front pages of every major business or news magazine since Facebook was founded, and the film The Social Network was based on the behind-the-scenes moments of Facebook’s early days. Like others on this list, though, many facts slip beneath the radar. For instance, before Zuckerberg had even graduated high school, he was given job offers by Microsoft and AOL, both of which he turned down.
He is one of several CEOs to sign the Giving Pledge, which promises to dedicate at least 50% of the overall earnings to philanthropic efforts. One of his biggest efforts to date is when he donated $100 million to New Jersey’s Newark Public Schools in an effort to revive education in the Northern New Jersey area. Unfortunately, his efforts were in vain, as the school system failed to properly budget the money and many of the students never reaped the benefits. Consultants, who helped oversee the implementation of new changes, were making $1,000 per day (considerably less than teachers, which Zuckerberg devoted half his donation to), and many of the projects did not see desirable results.