July 29, 2021

How the tech stars confined themselves

I am very angry. »In a fairly stripped-down setting, Marc Benioff delivers his feelings after the death of George Floyd, facing the camera to a journalist from the Washington Post. The founder of Salesforce does not give details on his whereabouts. We hesitate between the guest room, the office … Like most billionaires in Silicon Valley, the businessman did not hesitate to show himself in his home during the lockdown (confinement). Reed Hastings, the founder of Netflix, has intervened several times in an improbable setting reminiscent of an attic, to present the very good quarterly results of the platform or to speak well of an Indian film.

Champagne and Lego

Each time they play on sobriety: no lounge chairs by the pool or marbled dining room. They show themselves to reassure their employees and their customers. But also to set an example: Northern California, and the American high-tech community in particular, has taken the opposite view of President Trump and his supporters, who refuse confinement and display their reluctance to wear masks in public. The very democrat Marc Benioff has thus multiplied the interventions boosted, against Trump, the Republicans … Or against Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, who refused to censor the fake news presidential elections on its networks during the crisis.

Zuck did not deign to raise. He, whose fortune is estimated at some 80 billion dollars, has shown himself as an average citizen with his wife Priscilla Chan and their two children. On Instagram or Facebook, they share a video with experts on the Covid crisis, share a glass of champagne or play Lego with the children. In a photo that has become legendary on social networks, we can see Mark having his hair cut by Priscilla with this comment: “New normal: this confinement has officially lasted for two haircuts. “

Pellets farting

His rival Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter, did the opposite: he gave $ 1 billion for the fight against Covid-19 (read p. 96), censored inappropriate presidential tweets and used his image sparingly. In a rare video conversation with Elton John, one of his grantees, he is seen – long beard, cropped hair – intervening briefly from an undetermined location, reminiscent of a cabin deep in the woods.

Not all Californian billionaires have been so reasonable. Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, seems to have been the victim of a freak outrage. He defied official instructions and pushed to reopen his giant factory as quickly as possible, gave his son, born during confinement, a robot name X Æ A-12 and put up for sale his half-dozen properties in the state. to own very little property.

Finally, some would have done better to hide. Like David Geffen, the co-founder of Dreamworks Studios, who confined himself to his $ 590 million yacht and uploaded a video of a sunset over the islands to Instagram, with the mention: “Isolated with Grenadines while avoiding the virus. I hope everyone is safe. “ And unleashed a storm of insults and mockery on social media.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings on Facebook April 23. He intervened to present the (very good) results of his video platform or to advise an Indian film. (Facebook Hastings)

18 mai 2020
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's latest photo on Instagram has gone viral on the internet in which he can be seen getting a haircut from his wife Priscilla Chan. Captioning the post he wrote that it is the 'new normal.'

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan on May 18, posted the Facebook creator. (Instagram Zuckerberg)

Gilles Fontaine