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Published On: Wed, Jan 28th, 2015

Hastings, Zuckerberg, and Hsieh are Changing the Definition of CEO Alt Title: The New Models for the 21st Century CEO

The title of CEO once held a very different connotation than it does in today’s business world. While roles are meant to change and trends are meant to fluctuate, many are surprised by how new generation CEOs are approaching their jobs. One thing is clear, however; whatever these CEOs are doing is working.

The 21st Century CEO

While traditional CEOs still exist and will continue to thrive, new business leaders are proving that there are no molds for success. In fact, they’re proving that molds, if anything, hold people back.

For decades, the standard makeup of a CEO included an Ivy League Education and years of climbing the corporate ladder. Once the CEO climbed to the top, he would comfortably rest in his corner office and deliver orders from a sturdy mahogany desk.

In 2015, the story couldn’t be more different. Many CEOs are discovering that success often takes a much different path. From hitchhiking through Africa to dropping out of Harvard, businessmen like Reed Hastings, Mark Zuckerberg, and Tony Hsieh are blazing their own trails.

Reed Hastings: Netflix

Before growing Netflix into a billion dollar company with nearly 60 million subscribers, CEO Reed Hastings found himself in a much more modest place in life. After graduating from Bowdoin College, he spent time in the Peace Corp, which he believes shaped him into the person he is today. “Once you have hitchhiked across Africa with ten bucks in your pocket, starting a business doesn’t seem too intimidating,” he once said regarding his success.

After finding himself, Hastings launched Netflix with Marc Randolph as a rent-by-mail company in 1997. Nearly twenty years later, the company hardly resembles its original state, but Hastings still remains very much the same. He enjoys living a simple life, despite his net worth of nearly $1 billion.

like_us_on_facebookMark Zuckerberg: Facebook

The story of Mark Zuckerberg is well known in the technology industry because it perfectly exemplifies the changing nature of the CEO. After dropping out of Harvard after only two years, Zuckerberg dedicated all of his time to launching and growing Facebook, which now has more than 250 million members.

Perhaps it’s Zuckerberg’s style that makes him most unique, though. He’s well-known for wearing t-shirts, jeans, flip flops, sweatshirt hoodies, and sporting a teenage-like appearance; all things that are atypical for the CEO of a billion dollar corporation.

Tony Hsieh: Zappos

Perhaps no CEO better exemplifies the changing nature of the role than Tony Hsieh of Zappos. Hsieh still sits at a small desk on the crowded third floor of the Zappos building and is willing to deal directly with customers, reshaping the very nature of customer service. He is different in nearly everything he does, and his theory is that everyone comes to work for the same purpose, and should be treated the same.

While every CEO and company is different, Hastings, Zuckerberg, and Hsieh are proving that how you get somewhere isn’t nearly as important as what you do when you arrive.

Guest Author: Lolita Di

About the Author

- The generic Dispatch designation, used primarily for press releases or syndicated content, but may be used for guest author requesting a generic nomenclature

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