- 23andMe founder Anne Wojcicki says ex-husband Sergey Brin wears strange shoes because he is creative.
- The story, written by Times columnist Maureen Dowd, is featured in the Times’ style section and details Wojcicki’s past high-profile relationships with Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Major League Baseball player Alex Rodriguez.
Anne Wojcicki, the chief executive of DNA testing startup 23andMe, has an impressive track record building an innovative and successful business from scratch.
In a profile in the New York Times this week, we learned about another side of Wojcicki: her experience moving on from relationships with two very high-profile exes. Wojcicki was married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and later dated baseball star Alex Rodriguez, aka A-Rod.
Given that the story was published in the NYT’s “Style” section, rather than in the “Business” section, the focus of the piece by Maureen Dowd is not as bewildering as it might at first sound.
And the piece provided some interesting insight into Wojcicki, one of the leading entrepreneurs in healthcare today.
Take the famously weird shoes of Brin, her ex-husband. Brin’s web-toed shoes have become a long running source of amusement in Silicon Valley, where sporting the coolest footwear is a status symbol.
To Wojcicki however, the weird shoes represented a proof of character.
“Sergey’s amazingly creative. I mean, that’s the fun of him. The stuff that comes out of his mouth sometimes is just extraordinary. He really genuinely sees the world in a different way. He’s also not worried about what people think of him,” she told the Times, when asked about the shoes.
For reference, here’s a photo of Sergey Brin’s signature five-finger shoes:
Wojcicki says that Brin has another pair of weird shoes, as well: “He also had spring shoes, shoes with a spring in the back of them for people with back problems. He wore them a lot.”
As for A-Rod, the verdict was less generous — at least from the viewpoint of Wojcicki’s mother.
Esther Wojcicki says her daughters relationship with Rodriguez didn’t last because, ultimately, A-Rod wasn’t smart enough. “He had no academic background,” the elder Wojcicki said, “We couldn’t have an intellectual conversation about anything. His main interest in life was something that none of us had ever focused on, which was baseball.”
And if want to read more about the lighter piece on Wojcicki’s romantic past, you can read the full story in the New York Times here.