Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly has members of his communications staff blow-dry his armpits ahead of big speeches and other appearances that might cause the tech billionaire to experience flop sweat.
The intimate detail is one of many featured in Facebook: the Inside Story, a new book by Wired‘s Steven Levy, that chronicles the inner workings of the social media giant and the personal quirks of its executive leaders. The book portrays Zuckerberg as being somewhere “between naive genius and robotic robber baron,” according to a report from Bloomberg, which has reviewed the book.
Zuckerberg’s problems with perspiration date back to at least 2010, when a widely circulated video showed him sweating profusely on stage at the D: All Things Digital conference.
— Ashlee Vance (@valleyhack) February 18, 2020
Levy’s book reportedly portrays Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg as a “micromanager” who is so obsessed with her public image that she would pretend to be nervous in interviews as a way to elicit sympathy from journalists.
The book has garnered enough interest that Facebook spokesperson Liz Bourgeois has publicly denied certain aspects of the text.
“FWIW I’ve staffed a lot of these with Sheryl (as you know) and there’s nothing fake about her nerves before big interviews. Most times no one ever saw it but me,” Bourgeois tweeted this month.
2/2 I can think of 2 times in 3 years when she told an interviewer she was nervous and both times she was going on-camera about losing Dave. I can think of dozens of times she was nervous going into tough FB interviews and she never never let it show.
— Liz Bourgeois (@Liz_Shepherd) February 18, 2020
The spokesperson also told Business Insider that the story of Zuckerberg making his staff blow-dry his armpits was probably not true.
“I doubt this is true and if so it would have been at our communications team’s request, but surely anyone who has ever worn a grey t-shirt can relate,” she told the online publication.