- Most of tech’s most powerful CEOs are married.
- Not everyone is coupled up – Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have girlfriends, while Jack Dorsey and Tim Cook appear to be single.
- But for those who are married, many of them have been with their spouses for years or even decades.
- Here’s a look at the lives of the spouses of tech’s biggest CEOs.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
It takes a special type of person to become the partner of a high-powered tech executive: From long weeks at work to intense stress, the spouses of CEOs have probably seen it all.
Like most other industries, many of the top executives in tech are partnered up. Not all of them are married – Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Apple CEO Tim Cook appear to be single,Tesla CEO Elon Musk has an on again, off again relationship with singer Grimes, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is newly divorced and back in the dating game.
But top executives at companies like Google, Facebook, IBM, Alibaba, and Microsoft are all married – some of them for decades.
Here’s a look at the lives of the spouses of some of tech’s richest and most successful executives.
Partner: Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook
Years married: Seven
Who she is: Priscilla Chan is a paediatrician and co-CEO of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Chan graduated from Harvard University with a degree in biology and attended the University of California, San Francisco, for medical school. She worked at San Francisco General Hospital as a paediatrician after finishing her residency in 2015, but has since left to manage the daily operations of CZI. Chan is also cofounder of The Primary School, a private school that offers free healthcare and education to low-income children in the Palo Alto area.
Chan and Zuckerberg met in line for the bathroom at a Harvard frat party in 2003 and married in 2012, right around the time Chan graduated from medical school and Facebook went public. The couple has two daughters together, Max and August.
Laurene Powell Jobs
Partner: Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple
Years married: 20, until Jobs’ death in 2011
Who she is: Laurene Powell Jobs is a philanthropist and the founder of Emerson Collective, an organisation focused on social change. Powell Jobs attended University of Pennsylvania, majoring in economics and political science, and worked at Goldman Sachs before getting her MBA at Stanford University.
After Steve Jobs’ death, Powell Jobs inherited his wealth, mostly in the form of Apple and Disney stock – today, she is currently worth $US24.5 billion, according to Forbes. Powell Jobs is an active philanthropist, with a focus on education and the environment. Through Emerson Collective, she has funded news organisations like ProPublica, acquired media properties like Pop-Up Magazine and The Atlantic, of which she has a majority stake, and invested in Axios and the podcast giant Gimlet Media. She is also an avid contemporary art collector and has a multi-million-dollar yacht called the Venus as well as a $US16.5 million home in San Francisco.
Powell Jobs met Steve Jobs in 1989, when she was seated next to him at an event he’d been invited to speak at on campus. The couple had three children together: Reed, Erin, and Eve.
Partner: Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube
Years married: 21
Who he is: Dennis Troper is also an executive at Google – he currently serves as director of product management for Wear OS, the company’s smartwatch operating system. He’s been at Google since 2003. Troper got his bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas at Austin and his master’s at UC Santa Cruz.
Troper and Wojcicki’s house in Menlo Park was the birthplace of Google: the couple rented out their garage and two bedrooms to Sergey Brin and Larry Page when the company was starting out.
Troper and Wojcicki now have five kids together.
Partner: Evan Spiegel, founder and CEO of Snap
Years married: Two
Who she is: Miranda Kerr is an Australian model and the founder and CEO of Kora Organics, a company that makes beauty products using natural ingredients. Kerr began as a runway model before landing a contract with Maybelline and, later, Victoria’s Secret and Clinique.
Kerr and Spiegel met in 2015 at a dinner by Louis Vuitton in Los Angeles. The night they met, Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief Glenda Bailey said to Kerr, “I bet you two are going to get married.” The couple tied the knot in a top-secret ceremony in May 2017, and now have two sons together, Hart and Myles. Kerr also has a son, Flynn, from her previous marriage to Orlando Bloom.
Partner: Bill Gates, cofounder of Microsoft
Years married: 25
Who she is: Melinda Gates is an active philanthropist, most recently pledging $US1 billion toward improving gender equality in the next 10 years. Along with her husband, Melinda founded the Gates Foundation, which if focused primarily on poverty and healthcare worldwide. In 2016, Melinda was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama.
Gates attended Duke University, earning a bachelor’s degree in both economics and computer science, as well as an MBA – all in five years. Gates was recruited by Microsoft as a product manager shortly after the company went public, and she eventually worked her way up through the ranks of the company. Gates had a high-powered role until she decided to leave when she got pregnant with their first child.
The couple met in 1987 at a company picnic – when Bill Gates asked her out for a date two weeks from then, she initially turned him down. Eventually, they went on a date and were together for seven years before getting married in 1994 in a reported million-dollar ceremony.
Partner: Ginni Rometty, outgoing CEO of IBM
Years married: 40
Who he is: Mark Rometty is famously private, and there’s not a lot of information available about the outgoing IBM CEO’s husband of four decades. Back in 2011, The New York Times reported that Mark Rometty was a principal investor in the Bam Oil Company, although it’s unclear whether he’s still with the company.
But in 2015, Ginni Rometty did mention Mark in a commencement speech at Northwestern University, her alma mater. In the speech, Rometty described how Mark supported her early in her career and pushed her to take an opportunity when she was second-guessing herself.
The couple met early on in their careers, when they were training in the General Motors Institute. They split their time between New York and Bonita Springs, Florida, and like to go scuba diving together and see Broadway plays, according to The Times.
Partner: Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber
Years married: Seven
Who she is: Sydney Shapiro is a former preschool teacher. Shapiro and Khosrowshahi met in 2008 when they were set up on a blind date. When Khosrowshahi arrived in a suit and driving a Volvo, Shapiro thought, “he’s going to be this arrogant, egocentric, just … douche,” she told The New Yorker. Khosrowshahi surprised her by being funny and asking her a lot of questions, she said, and the couple got married in 2012 in Las Vegas while Shapiro was wearing a Slayer t-shirt. They now have twin sons, Hayes and Hugo.
Partner: Larry Page, cofounder of Google
Years married: 12
Who she is: Lucy Southworth is a former research scientist. She attended University of Pennsylvania and has a master’s from Oxford University. She was also a doctoral student at Stanford, according to Reuters.
The couple reportedly got married on Richard Branson’s Necker Island in 2007 and has two kids together. They reside in a Palo Alto compound that includes a $US7 million home and an “eco-mansion” with a rooftop garden and solar panels. Page and Southworth also have a $US45 million super-yacht called “Senses,” which has a helipad and a Jacuzzi on its deck.
Clara Wu Tsai
Partner: Joseph Tsai, cofounder and executive vice chairman of Alibaba
Years married: 23
Who she is: Clara Wu Tsai got her undergraduate degree at Stanford University and an MBA at Harvard Business School before working at both American Express and the Chinese shopping site Taobao.
The Tsais bought a 49% stake in the Brooklyn Nets in 2017, and in August 2019, purchased the remaining share to become the sole owners. The couple also owns Barclays Centre, the arena the team plays in, as well as the WNBA team, the New York Liberty.
In October 2018, the Tsais made a significant contribution to Stanford’s neurosciences institute, which has since been renamed the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute.
Wu Tsai is also an activist for criminal justice reform, and in early 2019, launched the Reform Alliance along with Meek Mill, Jay-Z, Robert Kraft, and 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin. The initiative’s goal is to reform the probation and parole system.
Partner: Marc Benioff, founder and co-CEO of Salesforce
Years married: 13
Who she is: Lynne Benioff is an active philanthropist, serving on the board of numerous causes, including the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals and the Benioff Ocean Initiative. Lynne and Marc Benioff have also signed the Giving Pledge, which states that they will give away the majority of their wealth during their lifetime or in their will.
Partner: Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
Years married: 27 years
Who she is: Anu and Satya Nadella had a complicated – but romantic – immigration story: The couple got married in December 1992, when Anu still lived in India. While Satya had a green card, immigration authorities rejected Anu’s visa application due to a long wait list. Satya gave up his green card and got an H-1B visa instead in order to make the immigration process work for Anu.
The couple now has three kids, including a son with special needs. Both Satya and Anu have been open about the challenges of raising their son, Zain, who has cerebral palsy – as a result, Anu is closely involved with Seattle Children’s Hospital, including co-chairing the “It Starts With Yes” campaign, an effort to raise $US1 billion to improve children’s health.
Partner: Kevin Systrom, cofounder and former CEO of Instagram
Years married: Four
Who she is: Nicole Systrom is the founder of Sutro Energy Group, which is aimed at funding the clean-energy sector. Systrom has spent her career focused on energy and the environment – she went to Stanford University for both her undergrad and graduate degrees, both of which had an environmental focus.
Nicole and Kevin Systrom met at Stanford, years before Kevin would go on to create Instagram – in fact, Kevin credits Nicole with coming up with the idea for Instagram filters. The couple got engaged over Thanksgiving in 2013, and married on Halloween in 2016, according to Vogue. The couple has a daughter together, Freya.
Partner: Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet
Who she is: Anjali Pichai is a chemical engineer who met Sundar Pichai while in college at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. The couple has two children, Kiran and Kavya, and shares a contemporary home they built themselves, complete with an infinity pool, wine cellar, and underground nanny quarters, in Los Altos, California.
According to her LinkedIn page, Anjali worked at Accenture as a business analyst until 2002, then began working at Intuit as a business operations manager, although it’s not clear if she still works there.
Griffith R. Harsh IV
Partner: Meg Whitman, former CEO of HP, current CEO of Quibi
Years married: 39
Who he is: Griffith R. Harsh IV is an accomplished neurosurgeon who focuses on treating tumours in the brain, pituitary gland, and base of the skull. He’s currently the chair of neurological surgery at UC Davis Health. Harsh attended both undergrad and medical school at Harvard University, studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and got an MBA from Boston University.
Harsh and Whitman met when Whitman was a sophomore at Princeton University. She invited him to her sister’s wedding, but he forgot to attend and accidentally blew her off. The couple eventually made up, and got married in 1980. They have two sons together, Griffith V and William.
Partner: Alexis Ohanian, cofounder of Reddit
Years married: Two
Who she is: Serena Williams is one of the greatest tennis players, and one of the greatest athletes, of all time. She’s won 23 grand slam singles titles, four Olympic gold medals, and has won $US92.5 million in prize money over the course of her career.
Williams and Ohanian met in May 2015 at the Rome Cavalieri hotel, when Ohanian sat down at the table next to Williams’ outside by the pool, according to Vanity Fair. When they first met, Ohanian had never watched tennis and Williams knew nothing about Reddit, the platform Ohanian cofounded in 2005. The couple had their first official date in June of the year, and by December 2016, Ohanian proposed at the hotel where they met.
In early January 2017, Williams found out she was pregnant – she gave birth to their daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., in September of that year. The couple got married two months later in front of a star-studded guest list that included Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian.
Partner: Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon
Years married: 26, until their divorce in 2019
Who she is: MacKenzie Bezos is a writer and philanthropist. She is the author of two novels, the first of which won an American Book Award.
Bezos studied fiction at Princeton University and worked as a research associate for investment management firm D.E. Shaw, where she met Jeff Bezos. They were married within six months, in 1993. MacKenzie Bezos was one of Amazon’s earliest employees, working as an accountant for the company.
In early 2019, MacKenzie and Jeff Bezos announced they were divorcing. In April, she announced she was granting Jeff Bezos 75% of their jointly owned Amazon stock, which left her with an estimated $US35.6 billion stake, making her one of the richest women on the planet. She has since signed the Giving Pledge.
Partner: Sergey Brin, cofounder of Google
Years married: About a year
Who she is: Nicole Shanahan is the founder of a legal tech company called ClearAccessIP, which builds an analytics tool for patent lawyers and inventors. She has also been active in women’s health and fertility, helping to fund a research centre focused on reproductive health through her foundation, the Bia-Echo Foundation.
Shanahan and Brin were first linked in 2015 after they were spotted together at the Jamaica wedding of a dating app CEO. In October 2019, it was revealed that the couple had been married since 2018. They have one child together, a baby girl, who was born in late 2018, according to Page Six. Brin has two other children from his previous marriage to 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki, whose older sister is Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube.
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