Silicon Valley might be competitive, but it also appears to be a breeding ground for friendships among its famous execs.
It makes sense: the tech world is home to some of the richest people in the world, and life can probably get a little lonely at the top.
Elon Musk, for example, is close friends with Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, as well as Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey.
Larry Ellison gave a eulogy at Steve Jobs’ funeral, and he also has a love/hate relationship with cloud rival Marc Benioff.
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Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Elon Musk and Larry Ellison. Jeff Bezos and Barry Diller.
What do all these high-profile pairings have in common? They’re all close friendships within the world of tech.
Silicon Valley may be known for its competitive spirit, but it’s also fostered several years-long friendships among some of its most famous executives. Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett, for example, have been buddies for nearly 30 years. And Larry Ellison and Marc Benioff have been friends for decades, even though their respective enterprise software companies are technically rivals.
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has several close pals in tech, including friends he’s defended online or taken for Tesla test drives.
Here’s a closer look at some of the friendships among tech CEOs.
Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey
Joe Skipper/Reuters; Philippe Wojazer/Reuters
While it’s not clear if Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey actually hang out in real life, they do seem to have a solid virtual friendship.
As far back as 2016, Dorsey said Musk was “a really good model” for how to use Twitter. More recently, Dorsey said in an interview that Musk is his favorite Twitter follow, to which Musk responded, “Thanks Jack, Twitter rocks!”
Then, in January, Dorsey and Musk spoke over video chat in front of Twitter employees and Musk gave Dorsey advice on how to improve the platform.
In March, as Dorsey faces a possible ouster at the hands of an activist hedge fund, Musk publicly tweeted his support of the CEO.
“Just want to say that I support @jack as Twitter CEO,” Musk tweeted. “He has a good <3.”
Jeff Bezos and Barry Diller
David Ryder/Getty Images; Mike Blake/Reuters
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and IAC Chairman 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 the last few years, as Bezos has gone through changes in his personal life, he’s been spotted hanging out with Diller and his wife, designer Diane von Furstenberg, more often. Diller and von Furstenberg have reportedly attended multiple parties hosted by Bezos, and Bezos and his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, have sailed aboard von Furstenberg’s yacht. The two couples were also reportedly spotted exploring Venice together.
Larry Ellison and Steve Jobs
Stephen Lam/Reuters; Jeff Chiu/AP
Oracle founder Larry Ellison and 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 pair often went hiking together. It was during one of those hikes that Ellison helped Jobs plot 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 questioned how the pair would make money, Jobs said to him, “Larry, this is why it’s so important that I’m your friend. You don’t need any more money,” Ellison said in a commencement speech in 2016.
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