Mark Zuckerberg gets staff to blowdry his armpits before big events, new book claims

Facebook: The Inside Story by Wired's Steven Levy states the technique eliminates "anxiety sweats" 

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Wednesday 19 February 2020 17:09 GMT
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Mark Zuckerberg has staffers on the Facebook communications team who will blowdry his armpits ahead of big events and speeches, a new book claims.

The detail comes from the book Facebook: The Inside Story by Wired's Steven Levy, which comes out later this month and was reviewed by Bloomberg's Austin Carr.

In his review, Mr Carr references how the Facebook CEO appears to be "consumed by his public image" based on accounts in the book.

"A communications exec is shown blow-drying the CEO's armpits before speaking appearances to eliminate anxiety sweat," it's revealed.

This hack Mr Zuckerberg allegedly employs prior to talks comes after the CEO previously made headlines for appearing nervous and sweaty while on stage.

During a tech event with journalist Kara Swisher in 2010, Mr Zuckerberg looked sweaty and uncomfortable while speaking about privacy on his platform, Business Insider reports.

When asked about the recent armpit claims, Facebook spokesperson Liz Bourgeois told Business Insider: "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."

Mr Levy's book about Facebook aims to give the public an inside look at how the social network has grown into the tech conglomerate it is today, all while referencing the problems the site has faced in the growing digital world.

These accounts come from the access Mr Levy had to both Mr Zuckerberg and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg over the course of three years. But the reporter did not hold back when characterizing both of the Facebook executives.

Mr Levy goes back and forth between displaying the CEO as a "naive genius" to then a "robotic robber baron" in the book, according to Mr Carr's review.

Mark Zuckerberg gets Facebook staffers to blowdry his armpits before big events, a new book claims (Getty)

Ms Sandberg received a harsh characterization of her own, as she was described as a "micromanager" who also is "fanatical about her public image". According to the book, she is manipulative and calculating with how she presents herself, and will even fake "nervousness in front of journalists to induce softer questions".

On Twitter, Ms Bourgeois addressed claims the COO fakes nervousness, saying in each instance it has all been real for the woman.

"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," she wrote.

"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."

Neither Mr Zuckerberg nor Ms Sandberg have publicly commented about the new book. Facebook did not respond to The Independent's request for comment.

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