Even if there are several close friendships among tech CEOs all across the globe, there are lots of enmities too. While some rivalries were borne out of close friendship and mutual respect, others began over an acquisition offer that went wrong. Rivalries tech CEOs:
1. Marc Benioff and Larry Ellison:
Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison, and Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff met when Marc was an employee at Oracle. He had a brilliant career in the company, clinching a “rookie of the year” award and sealing his status as the company’s youngest VP by age 26, which made him a close lieutenant to Larry. However, their relationship went sour along the line and they have had several spats since then.
Larry recently mocked Salesforce, referring to it as an “itty bitty application” that relies on Oracle, while Marc once called Oracle a “false cloud.” 9 years ago, Larry ordered that Marc be removed from the speaker lineup of Oracle’s OpenWorld conference, which prompted Marc to say Oracle was scared that he’d give a better speech.
However, Marc still sees Larry as a mentor. He had this to say 7 years ago, “There is no one I’ve learned more from than Larry Ellison.”
2. Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg:
They keep throwing jabs at each other and it all started when Tim said, “when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product.” Reacting, Mark responded, “What, you think because you’re paying Apple that you’re somehow in alignment with them? If you were in alignment with them, then they’d make their products a lot cheaper!”
The tension escalated between both CEOs after private Facebook user data was stolen from 50 million users. Asked what he would do in Mark’s shoes, Tim replied, “What would I do? I wouldn’t be in this situation.”
Reports say Mark was so angry at this comment that he ordered executives to switch to Android smartphones.
3. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos:
They are not direct competitors in the tech world, but they are still bitter rivals. Asked to talk about Jeff in a recent interview with BBC, Musk replied, “Jeff who?” and all hell broke loose.
Paying him back in his own coin, Jeff has constantly blasted the idea of colonizing Mars, which is a major goal of SpaceX, describing the idea as “un-motivating.”
Just last year, May to be precise, Elon Musk blasted Jeff again, referring to him as a copycat for Amazon’s plan to launch internet-beaming satellites.