This old 2020 email from Mark Zuckerberg might just be the explanation for his extreme makeover

This old 2020 email from Mark Zuckerberg might just be the explanation for his extreme makeover
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Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an email to his colleagues in January 2020 that he believed he was "the most well-known person of my generation."
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an email to his colleagues in January 2020 that he believed he was “the most well-known person of my generation.”

  • Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has upped his style game dramatically since the pandemic.
  • The billionaire has ditched his array of gray t-shirts for shearling brown jackets and gold chains.
  • But Zuckerberg’s transformation may have been part of a plan to appear more relatable.

Mark Zuckerberg has certainly stunned the world with his transformation from a hoodie-loving nerd to a chain-wearing tech bro.

However, the extreme makeover may have less to do with Zuckerberg’s evolving taste in fashion than with a concerted plan to make the billionaire more relatable to people his age.

In January 2020, the Meta CEO exchanged a series of emails with his colleagues and then-board member Peter Thiel on how they could better sell Facebook to millennials.

But what’s more interesting was the personal brand that Zuckerberg hoped to cultivate as part of Meta’s plan to woo millennials, as outlined in one email exchange.

“While our company has a special role in the lives of this generation, this is likely particularly important for how I show up because I am the most well-known person of my generation,” Zuckerberg wrote in an email on January 4, 2020.

Zuckerberg’s emails, first reported by the newsletter Internal Tech Emails, were among the company documents and correspondence that the state of Tennessee filed as evidence in its lawsuit against Meta.

In October, Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti filed a lawsuit against the social media giant. The lawsuit, which was filed alongside 41 other states, accused the company’s product Instagram of causing “mental health harms to its young users.”

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Interestingly, Zuckerberg wasn’t the only one who saw himself as a youth icon.

In an email on December 31, 2019, Thiel said that the company’s popularity among the young meant that Zuckerberg “has been cast as the spokesman for the Millennial generation.”

Zuckerberg, Thiel said, is seen as “the single person who gives voice to the hopes and fears and the unique experiences of this generation, at least in the USA.”

“I think this overall shift is something we should consider for how our company communicates and shows up more broadly, but it’s something I’m definitely going to think about more in terms of how I communicate,” Zuckerberg wrote in response several days later on January 4.

To be sure, Meta may no longer be the most popular social media platform for millennials. The company has seen increased competition from the likes of TikTok, which hooked users with its focus on short-form videos.

Zuckerberg, on the other hand, might’ve been able to stick to the plan. The billionaire has ditched his once-standard uniform of gray t-shirts for shearling brown jackets and gold chains.

The results speak for themselves. This year alone, Zuckerberg has gone viral every couple of weeks with his striking fashion choices.

Last week, Zuckerberg got some attention when he posted an Instagram video of himself hydrofoiling while wearing a tuxedo on Independence Day.

“Happy birthday, America!” Zuckerberg wrote in his post.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Mark Zuckerberg (@zuck)

The image makeover has also delivered a huge PR boost for Zuckerberg, who wasn’t always seen as the coolest guy in tech.

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After all, Zuckerberg’s reputation was tarnished during the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal, when Facebook was accused of allowing the data of millions of users to be improperly accessed by the political analytics firm.

The Meta chief’s image revamp did not go unnoticed by his fellow billionaires. Spotify founder Daniel Ek told Forbes in an interview last year that he thinks Zuckerberg’s new public persona is “a lot more authentic.”

“He’s learned a lot over these past few years and he has a new fire in the belly,” Ek, who has known Zuckerberg for years, told the outlet. “He’s realized he needs to act responsibly because he’s got this enormous platform.”

Representatives for Zuckerberg didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from BI sent outside regular business hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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