Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ: META) CEO Mark Zuckerberg is on the cusp of turning 40, and he’s on a journey of transformation that draws inspiration from tech titan and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates. In an in-depth interview with Forbes, Zuckerberg’s evolution, both personally and professionally, comes to the forefront, shaping his image and the future of Meta.
Maturing Trajectory: Zuckerberg’s recent foray into mixed martial arts and his playful exchange with Tesla CEO Elon Musk serve a dual purpose, as reported by Forbes. It not only catapulted him back into the limelight but also portrayed him as a statesman, signaling his transition from Facebook’s “toddler CEO” to Meta’s more seasoned leader.
Drawing parallels with Gates, who similarly dropped out of Harvard to build Microsoft and underwent a profound image transformation in his 40s, Zuckerberg is following an identical trajectory, according to Forbes.
He’s moving beyond the phases of “Social Network Mark” and “evil Mark” to embody a more authentic and responsible persona.
Zuckerberg, who will turn 40 in May 2024, is quoted as saying, “The thing that determines your destiny isn’t a competitor; it’s how you execute.”
This newfound authenticity is acknowledged by Daniel Ek, founder and CEO of Spotify, and a friend of Zuckerberg’s. Ek told Forbes that Zuckerberg has learned from his experiences, ignited a fresh passion, and realized the need for responsible action, given the vast platform he commands.
“But there’s still some of the old Mark, where he is betting on things even though everyone tells him ‘this is never gonna work’,” said Ek.
Ek was mostly referring to Zuckerberg’s audacious $100 billion investment in the Metaverse, which initially ruffled Wall Street’s feathers and sent shockwaves through Facebook’s shares in 2021. However, the company’s stock has rebounded since then, driven by Zuckerberg’s rigorous cost-cutting measures, even though it hasn’t returned to its peak levels.
Total Control: Zuckerberg’s control over Meta is near absolute, thanks to the company’s dual share structure. In the interview, he emphasizes the importance of self-awareness, embracing principles such as respect, purpose, and discipline. Like Gates, he envisions the transformative potential of artificial intelligence, intending to integrate AI into all facets of our lives.
While the past decade had its share of missteps and controversies, Zuckerberg is now laser-focused on long-term objectives. His philanthropic arm, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which he runs with his wife, is committed to addressing global challenges, including curing diseases.
“Bill believes very strongly that if you want to do philanthropic work well as a discipline if you want to be good at it by the time you’re older, you need to practice,” said Zuckerberg said, according to Forbes. “Even if only a third of the things that you bet on work … I think that still creates a ton of value in the world.”
Produced in association with Benzinga
Edited by Priscilla Jepchumba and Newsdesk Manager
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