Ridiculously Random Facts About 12 Famous CEOs

DATE: April 5, 2013

CEOs aren’t actually made of suits, ties and handshakes. Like anyone else, they’ve got their quirks. From cupcake obsessions to secret rescue missions, here are several ridiculously interesting facts you probably didn’t know about 12 famous CEOs.

John Mackey

  John Mackey Whole Foods CEO John Mackey lived in vegetarian co-op housing before dropping out of college with his then-girlfriend to found his first health food store.

Tight on money, the couple lived above the store and took showers in their Hobart dishwasher.


Donald Trump

  Donald Donald Trump’s family name was actually “Drumpf.”

His grandfather likely changed it to avoid prejudice Americans held against Germans during the World War II era.


Steve Jobs

  Steve Jobs Joining the ranks of genius innovators like Alexander Graham Bell, Albert Einstein and Henry Ford who were said to have had learning disabilities, Apple CEO Steve Jobs was dyslexic.


Ross Perot

  Ross Perot Former Navy man and Electronic Data Systems CEO Ross Perot tapped into his network of old military buddies to organize a rescue mission for two employees imprisoned by the Iranian government in 1979.


Marissa Mayer

  Mayer Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer has an affinity for cupcakes. She admits to creating a spreadsheet to test out ingredients and icing before writing her own recipes.

Also—she once dated Google CEO Larry Page.


Michael Dell

  dell Michael Dell took a high school equivalency exam when he was 8 years old.

In his teens, he invested in the stock market and started tinkering with the Apple II computer.


Asa Candler

  Asa After buying the recipe from John Pemberton, Coca-Cola founder Asa Candler became paranoid about his competitors.

He ordered employees to never write down the secret recipe and also to remove all labels from containers (identifying ingredients by sight and smell only).


Tim Cook

  Tim Cook Apple CEO Tim Cook was called several times by Apple, but every time he said no.

It wasn’t until he met with then-CEO Steve Jobs in person that he switched his mind.


Walt Disney

  Walt Disney Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse after losing the copyrights to his first popular character, a rabbit named Oswald.

Don’t worry—Disney’s company got the rights back 78 years later in 2006.


Larry Ellison

  Larry Ellison In 2003, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison recruited none other than Steve Jobs to be his official wedding photographer.


Ursula Burns

  Ursula Ursula Burns started out as a mechanical engineering summer intern at Xerox.

Twenty-nine years later, Burns had worked her way up to become the company’s CEO.


Bill Gates

  Bill Gates The parents of Microsoft founder Bill Gates worried their book smart son was too anti-social, so they forced him be a greeter and waiter at their parties and professional functions.



  ABC News


Bloomberg Businessweek


Fox News

International Business Times,

San Francisco Chronicle


The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal


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