Business

Mark Zuckerberg and the CEO of Dropbox have been close friends during years

Here are 7 other friends of millionaire tech entrepreneurs.

10 min read

This story originally appeared on Business Insider

Mark Zuckerberg and the CEO of Dropbox have been   close friends   during years
Mark Zuckerberg and the CEO of Dropbox have been close friends during years

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett . Elon Musk and Larry Ellison . Jeff Bezos and Barry Diller. What do all these high profile partners have in common? They are all close friends in the world of technology.

Silicon Valley may be known for its competitive spirit, but it has also fostered the friendship of several years among some of its most famous executives. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett, for example, have been friends for almost 30 years. And Larry Ellison and Marc Benioff have been friends for decades, even though their respective business software companies are technically rivals.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has several close tech friends, including friends he defended online or took for Tesla's driving tests.

Here is a closer look at some of the most famous friendships among tech CEOs.

1. Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey

Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey

Image: Joe Skipper / Reuters; Philippe Wojazer / Reuters

While it's unclear whether Elon Musk , CEO of Tesla and SpaceX , and Jack Dorsey , the co-founder of Twitter and Square, really do live in real life, they do seem to have a strong virtual friendship.

In 2016, Dorsey said that Musk was “a very good model” on how to use Twitter. Most recently, Dorsey said in an interview that Musk is his favorite Twitter follower , to which Musk replied, “Thanks Jack, Twitter is great!”

Then in January Dorsey and Musk chatted in front of Twitter employees via video chat , and Musk gave Dorsey advice on how to improve the platform.

In March, when Dorsey faced possible expulsion at the hands of an activist hedge fund, Musk publicly tweeted his support for the CEO.

“I just want to say that I support @jack as Twitter CEO,” Musk tweeted . “He has a good <3".

2. Jeff Bezos and Barry Diller

Jeff Bezos and Barry Diller

Image: David Ryder / Getty Images; Mike Blake / Reuters

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and IAC President Barry Diller appear to have been friends for years.

In January 2016, Diller correctly predicted that Bezos would become the richest person in the world. And in recent years, as Bezos has undergone changes in his personal life , he has been seen dating Diller and his wife, designer Diane von Furstenberg, more frequently. Diller and von Furstenberg have reportedly attended multiple parties hosted by Bezos, and he and his girlfriend, Lauren Sánchez, have sailed aboard von Furstenberg's yacht. According to reports, the two couples were also seen exploring Venice together.

3. Larry Ellison and Steve Jobs

Larry Ellison and Steve Jobs

Image: Stephen Lam / Reuters; Jeff Chiu / AP

Oracle founder Larry Ellison and the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs were friends for 25 years before Jobs' death in 2011.

Ellison and Jobs used to be neighbors in Woodside, California, and the couple used to go hiking together. It was during one of those outings that Ellison helped Jobs plan how to regain control of Apple after he was ousted: Ellison even suggested buying Apple himself and installing Jobs as CEO.

It was Jobs who came up with the idea that Apple should acquire his company, Next, instead. When Ellison asked how the couple would earn money, Jobs said, “Larry, that's why it's so important that you be your friend. You don't need any more money,” Ellison said in a 2016 graduation speech .

Ellison said he spent time with Jobs in his final days , taking shorter walks around the block with him as he weakened. Ellison gave a moving speech at Jobs' funeral.

4. Elon Musk, Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Elon Musk, Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Image: Mike Blake / Reuters; Elijah Nouvelage / Reuters; Ruben Sprich / Reuters

Elon Musk has been friends with Google co-founders for a long time.

In Musk's early days “kicking off” his electric car company, he took Brin and Page to a test drive. Unfortunately, a software bug prevented the car from moving more than 10 miles per hour, Musk reported at a company shareholders meeting in 2016. However, despite “the worst demonstration in the world,” the duo ended up investing in Tesla anyway, Musk said.

Over the years, Musk and Page have become especially close friends: Musk even sometimes sleeps at Page's house when he's in town, and Page once said that he would rather leave his money to Musk than turn it over to the charity.

Brin, Page, and Musk also used to hang out in a Google-owned apartment to brainstorm.

“It's fun for the three of us [including Google co-founder Sergey Brin] to talk about crazy things, and we found things that eventually turn out to be real,” Page told Ashlee Vance, who wrote a 2015 biography of Musk .

5. Larry Ellison and Marc Benioff

Larry Ellison and Marc Benioff

Image: Stephen Lam / Reuters; Kimberley White / Getty Images

Ellison and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff met when Benioff started working at Oracle when he was 23 years old. He was a star from the start, winning an “Rookie of the Year” award that same year and becoming Oracle's youngest vice president at age 26. He spent 13 years at Oracle , during which he became a trusted executive for Ellison.

The couple became so close friends that rumors swirled about the backstory of their relationship: People wondered if they were related or if Ellison had been Benioff's childhood babysitter. Ellison and Benioff made trips together, sailed on Ellison's yacht, and had double dates .

Benioff began working at Salesforce with Ellison's blessing, and Ellison became an investor, contributing $ 2 million at first .

The duo has publicly quarreled over the years, including when Benioff fired Ellison from the Salesforce board , but Benioff also described Ellison as his mentor.

“There is no one I have learned more than Larry Ellison from,” Benioff said in 2013.

6. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett

Image: Dennis Van Tine / AP Images; Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images for the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates met in 1991 when Buffett was invited to the home of Gates' mother. Neither of them was very interested in meeting the other, but they ended up liking each other. Soon after, Gates asked Buffett for a business book recommendation, and Buffett loaned him his copy of John Brookes' “Business Adventures” . Gates still has it today.

Since then, the duo have done everything together, from playing table tennis together to participating in the annual Berkshire Hathaway newspaper launch competition . And Gates, his wife Melinda and Buffett launched the Giving Pledge together in 2010, promising to give away most of their wealth in their lives or in their wills.

While Buffett has a significant stake in Apple, he has said that he will never invest in Microsoft because of his friendship with Gates.

7. Larry Ellison and Elon Musk

Larry Ellison and Elon Musk

Image: Stephen Lam / Reuters; Mike Blake / Reuters

Ellison and Musk appear to be two of the friendliest CEOs in technology, if their relationships with Benioff and Jobs, and Page, Brin and Dorsey are an indication. So it's not a big surprise that the two tycoons are also “very close” friends.

In 2018, when Ellison was elected to Tesla's board of directors , he highlighted his relationship with Musk.

“I think Tesla has many advantages,” said Ellison at the time . “I'm not sure how many people know, but I am very close to Elon Musk and a great Tesla investor.”

It makes sense that Ellison and Musk get along well, as they are two of the most colorful personalities in technology. Ellison owns an entire $ 300 million island in Hawaii, likes to compete on yachts, and doesn't mind speaking ill of his competitors. Musk spends his money on rare cars, has had multiple high-profile relationships, and is often outspoken on Twitter.

8. Mark Zuckerberg and Drew Houston

Mark Zuckerberg and Drew Houston

image: Charles Platiau / Reuters; Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have apparently been friends for years , with the former often turning to the latter for advice.

“[Zuckerberg] gave me a lot of advice just about scaling the business, how to organize people, how to set up these systems,” Houston told Bloomberg in 2015.

That same year, a Fast Company profile on Dropbox described Houston as a “close friend” of Zuckerberg. The couple has been photographed everywhere, from the Houston birthday party at a ping pong club to the prestigious Allen Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Last February, Houston was appointed to Facebook's board of directors .

“Drew brings valuable insight to our board as the leader of a technology company with services used by millions of people and businesses,” Zuckerberg said in a statement at the time. “Think deeply about where technology is going and how to build a culture that offers services that always work well.”

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