Stuff tech CEOs say: 2010 edition

CEOs say the darndest things. Here are some examples.

CEOs are the ultimate cheerleaders. And whether they're pitching products, prophesying the future, or trash-talking their competitors, they're often good for a few laughs--intentional or not. Here are some of our favorite quotes by chief executives from 2010.

(Oh, and we've expanded the definition of "CEO" to include "notable, tech-curious celebs.")

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  • Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Android
  • Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak on Steve Jobs
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Privacy
  • Google CEO Eric Schmidt on Knowledge
  • Bill Gates on Geeks
  • TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington on Ambient Light
  • Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Google Android Tablets
  • Former Twitter CEO Evan Williams on Being a CEO
  • Avatar Director James Cameron on Piracy
  • Steve Jobs on Google
  • Oracle Cofounder Bruce Scott on CEO Larry Ellison
  • Scott McNealy on Larry Ellison and Capitalism
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Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Android

"They entered the phone business. Make no mistake they want to kill the iPhone. We won't let them.... This don't be evil mantra: It's bullsh*t."

An agitated Jobs was reportedly opining on Google's Android-powered Nexus One phone, which was new at the time. There's some dispute as to Steve's exact choice of words, however. Another attendee told Wired that Jobs said: "Don't be evil is a load of crap." Either way, Steve apparently thinks Google's mantra is a big pile of poo.

Source: Wired quoting an anonymous Apple employee who attended a January 2010 company meeting in Cupertino.

Image Credit: Flickr user acaben

Slideshow: Apple CEO Steve Jobs

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak on Steve Jobs

"Um, he doesn't like fun that much ... I think, how many times would I see Steve Jobs just rail out in laughter like you would at good comedy, and it's pretty seldom. We did a lot of pranks together. But he wasn't really a laugher at the pranks, he more wanted to find a way to turn it into money."

The Woz, speaking at the Flash Memory Summit in August, revealed the shocking truth: Jobs really isn't a fun-loving kinda guy.

Source: PC Advisor via IDG News

Image Credit: Flickr user campuspartycolumbia

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Privacy

"People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people."

Perhaps. But Facebook has shown over and over that it's far too willing to share people's information regardless of their comfort factor.

Source: TechCrunch's Michael Arrington's interview with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in January 2010.

Image Credit: Flickr user Brian Solis,,

Google CEO Eric Schmidt on Knowledge

"I don't believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time."

And this bleak, privacy-challenged future will be brought to you by...Google! Schmidt also predicted that every young person would someday be entitled to automatically change his or her name upon reaching adulthood, the Journal reported, to avoid association with embarrassing photos and other youthful gaffes preserved on friends' social media sites.

Source: August 2010 interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Image Credit: Flickr user jolieodell

Bill Gates on Geeks

"If your culture doesn't like geeks, you are in real trouble."

Globe-trotting philanthropist and former Microsoft CEO Gates, in an interview with The Telegraph (United Kingdom), defends the honour of pencil-necks everywhere.

Source: The Telegraph

Image Credit: Flickr user jurvetson

TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington on Ambient Light

"My office is like a cave. I have blackout shades on the windows. I like the dark."

Arrington, whose gossipy blog was recently purchased by AOL for a reported $25-plus million, isn't a fan of natural light in the workplace.

Source: Inc.

Image Credit: Flickr user Joi

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Google Android Tablets

"Bring it, we relish the competition...If we can't compete with whatever the weird collection of Android machines is going to look like, shame on us."

Ballmer, legendary for foot-in-mouth comments over the years (such as his infamous dismissal of Apple's iPhone), dismissed Android slates in a July 2010 meeting with analysts. Problem is, consumers seem to love those weird Android machines. Samsung sold one million Galaxy Tab devices in just two months after launching its Google-powered slate worldwide.

Source: Bloomberg

Image Credit: Flickr user Microsoft Sweden

Former Twitter CEO Evan Williams on Being a CEO

"For a long time I thought I didn't want to be CEO of a venture-funded company. It's kind of a sucky job."

Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, who stepped down as the microblogging service's boss in October, didn't enjoy running the show very much. His new focus: developing Twitter products.

Source: Web 2.0 Summit via VentureBeat

Image Credit: Flickr user Randy Stewart

Avatar Director James Cameron on Piracy

"Well, the music industry saw it coming, waited till it rolled over them, they crashed and burned. Then they tried to sue everybody and now it just is what it is. Seeing this coming, I was trying to be proactive about it. 'Avatar' was actually my game plan to have a proactive solution, to keep cinema alive."

Legendary moviemaker Cameron, speaking at the CTIA conference in Las Vegas in January, said online pirates would plunder the film industry's pantry more if high-resolution copies of Hollywood flicks took less time to download. He then joked that his next movie may run five hours.

Source: IDG News

Image Credit: Flickr user jurvetson

Steve Jobs on Google

"My sex life is pretty good these days, Walt. How's yours?"

Oh, yeah. Was Steve feeling randy, or was he simply deflecting a reporter's probing question with a touch of humour? When the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg, who interviewed Jobs at All Things Digital's D8 conference in June, inquired about Apple's "relationship" with Google, Steve made his "sex life" quip, much to the crowd's delight.

Source: Huffington Post

Image Source: Flickr user whatcounts

Oracle Cofounder Bruce Scott on CEO Larry Ellison

"I remember him very distinctly telling me one time: 'Bruce, we can't be successful unless we lie to customers.'"

Oracle CEO and co-founder Larry Ellison is famous for his brash, ultra competitive nature. Scott, one of Oracle's pioneers, revealed Ellison's early sales strategy in a Bloomberg Game Changers video profile of Ellison, who was the highest-paid executive ($1.84 billion in total compensation) of the last decade.

Source: Bloomberg

Image Credit: IDG News Service

Scott McNealy on Larry Ellison and Capitalism

"We're talking about capitalism and I'm a raging capitalist, I'm a total believer. It creates what I call national economic heroes--tax payers. They're not evil. They're heroes. The Mineta Airport shouldn't be named after [politician] Norm Mineta, he paid hardly any taxes and spent a lot. It should be the Larry Ellison airport because he's a national economic hero."

Former Sun Microsystems CEO McNealy, speaking at the PostgreSQL database conference in November, believes that billionaires deserve praise for their tax-paying prowess.

Source: InfoWorld via IDG News

Image Credit: IDG News Service

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