In honour of Valentine’s Day, we’re looking at the most powerful couples in the world of tech.
While you and your special-someone might discuss sweet nothings during pillow-talk, these folks are strategising how to change the world, and get rich doing it.
Dave Morin was a rising star at Facebook, but he gave it up to run his photo-sharing startup Path. Brittany Bohnet is in product marketing at Google. (We saw her on stage at the Google TV launch last year.) Morin popped the question to Bohnet last year in an elaborate romantic way, flying over an island where he laid out coconuts asking if she'd marry him.
You're looking at digital royalty in New York. Sterne was recently appointed Chief Digital Officer for New York. She's engaged to Max Haot, who is CEO of startup Livestream.
Mark Pincus is the founder of Zynga, one of the biggest companies in the Valley. (It is being valued at $7-$9 billion nowadays.) Not to be outdone by her husband, Ali Pincus' startup One Kings Lane just raised $23 million from top notch VCs, and reported big growth in sales. As Mike Arrington at TechCrunch said, 'The Pincus family is turning into a bit of an entrepreneurial dynasty.'
Sergey Brin met his wife Anne Wojcicki through her sister Susan who rented a garage for Google when it was just starting out. While we all know about Google, not everyone knows about Wojcicki's startup 23andMe, which does genetic testing.
Here's a weird detail about the couple: According to the New York Times they wore bathing suits for their wedding -- he in black, she in white. They were married on a sandbar and some guests swam out for the ceremony.
Sandberg has helped guide Facebook to its projected ~$2 billion in earnings, and Goldberg is running (the admittedly much less sexy) SurveyMonkey. It takes more than that to be a power couple, though. According to Vogue, they regularly host top tech executives as guests at their home. Ex-Yahoo president Sue Decker used their home as a quasi-hotel, and Steve Ballmer has given speeches to guests at their home.
We wonder how many awkward moments Kara Swisher has caused for her wife at Google. After all, Swisher routinely breaks big, sometimes embarrassing news in Silicon Valley. Certainly one of her scoops must have hit home for Megan Smith, who runs Google.org and oversees relationships with early stage startups.
Y-Combinator is in Silicon Valley because Paul Graham and his wife Jessica Livingston decided they wanted to raise their children in California. Y Combinator, for those unaware, is the startup school/seed-funding venture that has invested in hundreds of companies.
The day AOL bought Huffington Post, the question on everyone's lips was, 'Who do they buy next?' And the answer that came back more often than not, was 'Sugar Inc.,' the female focused media company run by husband and wife team Brian and Lisa Sugar. As flattering as it is to be mentioned as an acquisition target, Brian told us recently he's sick of people asking him about AOL, and he plans to make Sugar a powerhouse.
What can we say? Bill and Melinda Gates are using the Gates' fortune from Microsoft to save the world. Pretty awesome.
Let's just get this out of the way -- there is a lot of gossip that says Barry Diller is gay, and his marriage to Dianne von Furstenberg is not what we typically think of when it comes to eternal bliss. Whatever. Diller is an icon, running IAC, the weird hodge podge of tech companies. Von Furstenberg is a fashion icon. Together they are a throwback to more glamourous times when media moguls and their wives cut large public personas.