Scott Galloway is a marketing professor at the NYU Stern School of Business and the founder of business intelligence firm L2. Galloway stopped by Business Insider to talk about the biggest names in tech. In this clip, he talks about how a CEO’s image can help or hurt a company.
Scott Galloway: I think he (Snap CEO Evan Spiegel) is a visionary. I think he’s clearly a talented young man. I think there’s a general litmus test, though, for when a company is about to take a huge fall, and that is the CEO ends up on the cover of fashion magazines.
He was recently on “Italian Vogue. Whether it was Marissa Mayer in “Vogue Magazine” or David Karp, or Dennis Crowley in Gap and J Crew ads, it shows at the list of priorities are all f—– up and it’s a bad sign for shareholders.
I would argue the big four — Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google — the CEOs of those companies wrap themselves in a progressive blanket because progressives are generally seen as being nice but weak, whereas conservatives are generally perceived as being smart but mean. And if we had a smart but mean person running a company as powerful as these, regulators would step in. But because Tim Cook is seen as a very nice guy — first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company — Facebook is very likable, hey everybody “Lean in.”
They wrap themselves in this very progressive, non-threatening blanket. And as a result, they are able to disguise what are kind of the spawn of Darwin and Darth Vader, in terms of their business practices, and wrap themselves in a rainbow or very pink or very progressive blanket that, in my opinion, kind of staves off or creates a head fake or an illusion for regulators. Microsoft was not nearly as likable. The folks running that firm weren’t nearly as likable, and regulators stepped in.