Before and after photos show how dramatically world-famous CEOs have changed since they started the job

  • The tech industry with all its innovation, glamour, and youth can still be incredibly stressful. As companies launch, go public, and tackle turmoil, executives go gray, lose weight, and forget to buy eye cream.
  • Tech execs like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos were once fresh faces on the scene. Now, they’ve crafted themselves into multibillionaires while growing their businesses into worldwide success stories.
  • Take a look at how dramatically these tech execs have changed since they’ve started the job.

Any time Mark Zuckerberg mentions Facebook, he often brings up how he started it in his dorm room at Harvard when he was just 20 years old. Early photos of Zuckerberg show him in a plain t-shirt, sweats, and Adidas sandals lounging on the steps of his would-be alma mater.

And although Zuckerberg’s wardrobe hasn’t changed much (albeit the slides and sweats), the company he founded has.

Today, Facebook has more than 2.3 billion users and has fought to keep its reputability as privacy scandals continue to plague the social network and Zuckerberg himself.

Take a look at how dramatically other world-famous CEOs changed over the course of their job:


Jeff Bezos founded Amazon when he was 30 in 1994. Like other famed tech execs, he started the company in his garage in Seattle.

Before Amazon, Bezos was a senior vice president at D. E. Shaw, a hedge fund, until 1993 when he decided to begin selling books on the internet.

In the first month of its launch, Amazon sold books to people in all 50 states and in 45 different countries. And it continued to grow. Amazon went public on May 15, 1997.

Source: Business Insider


Fast forward to 2019, and Bezos, 55, is the wealthiest person in modern history, with a net worth of $150 billion. In September, Amazon briefly became the second US company to achieve a valuation of more than $1 trillion.

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Bezos in 2018.
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Leonard Ortiz/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Much of Bezos’ wealth comes not from his salary but from the Amazon shares he owns. Bezos currently holds 78,893,033 shares in Amazon, accounting for a 16.3% ownership stake.

Source: Business Insider


Mark Zuckerberg founded “The Facebook” when he was 20 years old in 2004 while studying at Harvard University.

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Founder of Facebook.com Mark Zuckerberg, right, and Dustin Moscovitz, co-founder, left, in 2004.
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Justine Hunt/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

He then dropped out of school after his sophomore year to focus on the social network full-time. Facebook raised its $12.7 million Series A round of funding while he was barely of legal drinking age. Time magazine named him “Person of the Year” just six years later, while Facebook’s initial public offering in 2012 was the biggest-ever technology IPO at the time.

Source: Business Insider


Zuckerberg, now 34, has a net worth of over $64.1 billion. Today, Facebook has more monthly active users than any single country in the world has people — 2.3 billion.

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Mark Zuckerberg attends the 2019 Breakthrough Prize at NASA Ames Research Center on November 4, 2018.
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Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize

However, for the last two years, Facebook has faced scandal after scandal. It’s been called out on multiple occasions for the way it handles user data. Zuckerberg testified for 10 hours in front of Congress last April over the Cambridge Analytica data-harvesting scandal. Facebook has also been the center of debates regarding how to regulate when tech companies that have too much power.

Source: Business Insider, Business Insider, Bloomberg


Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple Computer Company in 1976 in Jobs’ garage. Jobs was just 21.

Jobs was historically the brains behind Apple, while Wozniak was the engineer. In 1984, Apple released its first personal computer, the Macintosh.

Jobs famously left (or was ousted, depending on who you believe) in 1985, after clashing with CEO John Sculley. Twelve years later, Apple bought Jobs’ startup NeXT Computer, bringing him back into the fold.

Source: Business Insider


Jobs ushered in a new era at Apple, introducing the iPhone and iPad. In 2003, he was diagnosed with a unique form of pancreatic cancer.

According to Forbes, in 2007, Jobs’ net worth was just over $7 billion. In August of 2011, Jobs handed the CEO reins to Tim Cook and went on medical leave. In October 2011, he died at 56.

Today, Apple’s market cap is close to $675 billion and is one of the most valuable companies in the world.

Source: Biography, Business Insider


Steve Jobs named Tim Cook, then 51, the COO of Apple in 2007, the same year the iPhone was released. Jobs noticed Cook’s leadership quickly, and handed off the CEO title to Cook in 2011.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the event introducing the new iPhone 4s at the company’s headquarters October 4, 2011 — a day before Steve Jobs died.
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Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Jobs is held up as one of the greatest CEOs in history. There was a lot of uncertainty over whether or not Apple could keep the momentum going under Cook.

In 2015, Cook pioneered and released the Apple Watch, the company’s first entirely new product in the post-Jobs era.

Source: Business Insider


Today, Apple is worth $1 trillion under Cook, 58. It was worth about $330 billion at the time that Jobs passed.

In January, after Apple missed its holiday sales targets, Cook said the company’s biggest long-term project is to break into consumer health, signaling the CEO’s plans to make Apple irreplaceable in the lives of its costumers.

Source: Business Insider, Business Insider


Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft in 1975. Gates was just 20 years old, and like Zuckerberg, he dropped out of Harvard to spend more time with his technology startup.

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Bill Gates, bottom left corner, with the first team of Microsoft employees in 1978.

Gates and Allen met in high school, when both were obsessed with computers and software. They built Microsoft from a company that just designed and sold software, into one that sells its own consumer electronics, operating suites, and personal computers.

Allen died in 2018 at the age of 85.

Source: Business Insider


Today, Gates, 63, has a net worth of $97 billion.

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Bill Gates, Co-Chair of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, gestures as he speaks during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 25, 2019.
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REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Along the way, he became the second richest man in the world, and is now giving his fortune away to all kinds of good causes alongside his wife, Melinda, with their foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – the largest private foundation in the world. Gates has not worked at Microsoft since 2008.

Source: Business Insider, Business Insider, The New York Times


Indra Nooyi became CEO of Pepsi in 2006.

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Indra Nooyi in 2006.
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The India Today Group/Getty Images

Nooyi first joined the company in 1994 as a chief strategist.

Source: Business Insider


After 24 years with the company, Nooyi announced last August she would be stepping down. In the year preceding her retirement, she earned $31 million.

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Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi at Tina Brown’s 7th Annual Women In The World Summit, 8 April 2016.
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Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


Jack Dorsey founded Twitter with Ev Williams in 2006 when he was 30.

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Jack Dorsey in 2009.
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DAVID X PRUTTING/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Dorsey was later ousted from Twitter, the micro-blogging site he thought up, going on to start Square, the mobile payments platform, in 2009.

Source: Business Insider


Dorsey, now 42, was renamed the CEO of Twitter in 2015. Today, the company has over 321 million monthly users and took in $909 million last year. Dorsey himself has a net worth of $5.5 billion.

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Getty

His startup Square, on the other hand, is a multibillion-dollar company and was valued at $3 billion at its IPO in 2015.

Source: Business Insider, Business Insider


Evan Spiegel founded Snapchat with Reggie Brown and Bobby Murphy in 2011 when he was 21 years old.

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Evan Spiegel in 2013.
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Flickr via JDLasica

Soon after, Spiegel dropped out of Stanford University to work on Snapchat full time.

Tim Cook ended up becoming an early Snapchat investor because he was so impressed with Spiegel. Spiegel also famously rebuffed a $3 billion offer from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2013.

Source: Business Insider


Today, Spiegel is 28 and one of the youngest billionaires in the world. His net worth hangs just short of $3 billion.

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Getty

In 2017, he was given an $800 million bonus for taking his company, Snap Inc., public at a $33 billion valuation.

Spiegel is married to model and entrepreneur Miranda Kerr, and the couple welcomed their first child – a baby boy named Hart – in 2018.

Source: Business Insider


In 2004, Elon Musk, then 33, made the first of what would be $70 million of total investments in Tesla, an electric car company cofounded by veteran startup exec Martin Eberhard.

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Elon Musk in 2004.
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Paul Harris/Getty Images

By then, Musk, already a multimillionaire, had a long history in founding and funding various tech startups like SpaceX and PayPal.

Musk took an active product role at Tesla, helping develop its first car, the Roadster. The all-electric Roadster launched in 2006, when Musk was serving as Tesla’s chairman.

Source: Business Insider


Musk, now 47, was named the CEO of Tesla in 2008 after investing in the company with his own money. Tesla went public in 2010, and raised $226 million in the IPO, becoming the first car company to go public since Ford in 1956. Today Musk has a net worth of $23.8 billion.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, not shown, at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound on January 9, 2019.
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Mark Schiefelbein – Pool/Getty Images

It’s been just over a decade since Musk was named CEO of Tesla and he’s since made hefty investments in autopilot, the company’s self-driving car technology.

Tesla’s “autopilot” system is available on all three of its models, including the new Model 3 – a lower-cost car launched in early 2017 that brings the company closer to its goal of making electric vehicles that are affordable for the masses.

Source: Business Insider, Bloomberg


Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google in 1998 when they were both 25 years old.

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Larry Page and Sergey Brin pose inside the server room at Google’s campus in 2003.
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Kim Kulish/Corbis via Getty Images

The two founded Google in a garage in Menlo Park, California. They met when Page was touring Stanford University in 1995. Both soon thereafter dropped out of Stanford.

Google, the catalog of “every link on the internet,” is now the world’s most-used search engine. The company has also branched out significantly: It spans video content, mobile technology, education, digital libraries, and even self-driving cars.

Source: Business Insider


Page, now 45, has a net worth of $54.1 billion, and is CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. Page is also the ninth-richest person in the world.

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Kimberly White/Getty Images

Page and Brin only take a $1 salary from Google.

Source: Business Insider


Brin is just behind Page in terms of net worth, at $52.7 billion.

Brin is the president of Alphabet Inc., and has been known to live luxuriously, as he owns the world’s fastest yacht, and is a fan of Tesla.

Source: Bloomberg, Business Insider, Bloomberg


Larry Ellison co-founded Oracle, the software firm, in 1977 when he was 33 years old. He said he started the company because he saw a gap in management databases.

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Larry Ellison in 1990.
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James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images

As one of the key drivers of the growing computer industry, Oracle grew fast. In 1986, Oracle had its initial public offering, reporting revenue of $55 million.

Source: Business Insider


Ellison, now 74, gave up the CEO role at Oracle in 2014. Forbes pegs his net worth at about $56 billion.

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Ellison pictured in 2012.
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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

And although he no longer heads the company he founded, Ellison still sits as Oracle’s chairman of the board and chief technology officer.

Source: Business Insider


Satya Nadella joined Microsoft in 1992 at age 25, when founder Bill Gates was still the reigning CEO.

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Nadella at his first major public appearance in 2014 after being named CEO of Microsoft.
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REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

After several vice president positions, Nadella was named president of the Server and Tools Division before he finally ascended to the CEO role in 2014.

Source: Business Insider


Nadella is only the company’s third CEO, following Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates.

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Satya Nadella at the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos.
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REUTERS

Under his leadership, Microsoft has acquired big-name companies such as LinkedIn and GitHub, enjoyed rising stock, and is once again considered a major threat to Apple.

Source: Business Insider


Hailed as one of the world’s most powerful women, Meg Whitman first worked for companies P&G and Hasbro before she became CEO of eBay in 1998.

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Whitman in 2001, delivering a key address in Las Vegas as President and CEO of EBAY.
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REUTER

Whitman stayed at eBay for 10 years and left the company in 2008 as a billionaire.

Source: Business Insider


After joining Hewlett Packard’s board in 2011, Whitman was offered the CEO position.

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Whitman on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange following a CNBC interview in 2017.
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REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

After seven years with HP, Whitman announced in 2018 she would be leaving to assume her third CEO position at Jeffrey Katzenberg’s (DreamWorks co-founder) mobile-video startup.

Source: Business Insider, Business Insider


Michael S. Dell officially founded his company under the name PC’s Limited in 1984.

Under its new name, Dell Computer Corp., the company went public in 1988 and a few years later, at age 27, Dell became the youngest CEO ever to lead a Fortune 500 company.

Source: Business Insider


After several years in a chairman position, Dell returned to his CEO role in 2007 and has continued to head the company ever since.

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Dell in 2018.
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REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Dell now has a net worth of $31.1 billion, making him the 28th richest person in the world.

Source: Business Insider, Bloomberg