Survey: Mark Zuckerberg Is The Most Popular—And Least Liked—Tech CEO

Facebook’s Zuckerberg and Apple’s Tim Cook are tech’s most recognizable CEOs—which may explain the polarized public opinion of them.

Survey: Mark Zuckerberg Is The Most Popular—And Least Liked—Tech CEO
[Photo: Flickr user Alessio Jacona]

Over the past decade, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been elevated from precocious founder to bona fide tech celebrity. Media outlets breathlessly report on his every move and fawn over Facebook posts about his infant daughter. A new survey by digital media company Morning Consult found that Zuck is the most popular tech CEO, with Apple’s Tim Cook coming in a close second.


A Glassdoor poll last year also ranked Zuckerberg as one of the most well-liked CEOs.

Th results bode well for Cook, who is in the midst of a public standoff with the FBI. The survey was conducted to measure public opinion of Cook in light of the dispute over unlocking San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone.

Screenshot: via The Verge

But here’s the catch—Zuckerberg is also the least popular CEO, with 21% of voters reporting they feel unfavorably toward him (nearly 50% of respondents said they felt positively about him). Cook, too, has his dissenters, with 17% of respondents rating him negatively (versus 40% favorably).

Though strange, these results make sense when you look at the other CEOs in the survey—Jeff Bezos, Satya Nadella, Larry Page, Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, and Travis Kalanick—all of whom don’t have the same name recognition as Zuckerberg. (Bezos, to be fair, was the third most recognizable and popular CEO.) While 31% of respondents said they had no opinion on Zuckerberg or did not know who he was, 44% said the same of Cook; for the rest of the CEOs, that number was between 50% to 65%.

This may not be the fairest appraisal of tech leaders, but one thing’s for sure: Uber CEO Kalanick is, unsurprisingly, the most controversial. Bar none, he is the least popular CEO by the survey’s count.

[via The Verge]

About the author

Pavithra Mohan is an assistant editor for Fast Company Digital. Her writing has previously been featured in Gizmodo and Popular Science magazine.