by Sellick Partnership | 29 May 2014
Mark Zuckerberg is a man with a lot to celebrate. This month will see him enter the era of being a thirty-something billionaire after a decade of spectacular achievements; CEO of his own company at 20, second youngest self-made billionaire, Time magazine person of the year in 2010 and a personal fortune of over $25billion. Not bad for a University drop out. Many of the articles about Zuckerberg's birthday have focused on the achievements of his career and how Facebook has developed over the last decade.
I was surprised to see some coverage was more concerned about his attire than anything else. It's well documented that Zuckerberg often attends high profile meetings in Converse trainers, t-shirts and hoodies. However, for the young CEO of a company that is at the forefront of social media, this cannot be surprising? When the Facebook HQ was redesigned, it was done so to reflect the innovative environment they want their employees to be working in. Many of the walls were left blank for employees to decorate themselves and the lounge comes complete with a state of the art vinyl record player.
Whilst the point that appearance is important is obviously valid, I still find it odd how much emphasis is put on it after people have already proved themselves. Whilst Facebook is losing members, it is still unrivalled as a social media platform; therefore I don't see the problem that its 30-year-old owner doesn't want to wear a suit for meetings.
I am similarly confused by companies that have strict rules about dress code when it comes to tattoos and piercing. Though I understand it isn't advisable to go to an interview with highly visible tattoos and piercing, I don't see why once someone has secured a role and proved they are deserving of their position that they should still have to cover up tattoos and remove piercings.
In a modern society, it's my opinion that people should be putting a premium on ability, rather than appearance. If someone is comfortable and non-offensive in the office, I see no reason why formal business dress is insisted upon. And if someone is a CEO of a leading global brand by the time he's 20, he's probably earned the right to wear whatever he wants for the rest of his life.