Mark Zuckerberg’s hoodie is known to make him sweat a bit in high pressure situations, but nerds are used to perspiring. Beyond some slight physical discomfort, the casual warming garment has never affected the young CEO’s innovating or empire-building, which is why it’s quite strange that an analyst is bringing up Zuckerberg’s tried-and-true duds now, ahead of Facebook’s IPO. “Mark and his signature hoodie: He’s actually showing investors he doesn’t care that much; he’s going to be him,” said Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities. “I think that’s a mark of immaturity. I think that he has to realize he’s bringing investors in as a new constituency right now, and I think he’s got to show them the respect that they deserve because he’s asking them for their money.” Sorry, all I heard was the Charlie Brown teacher voice.
Zuckerberg has already expressed his disinterest in sucking up to investors, and why shouldn’t he? With 57 percent of Facebook’s voting shares, he’s in a position to pretty much do as he pleases. It’s no secret that Zuckerberg sees himself in the Steve Jobs model, and that goes beyond the consistent casual uniform. And if the furor surrounding the Facebook IPO is to be believed, investors are more than willing to go along for the ride, even if a 28-year-old is driving.
In fact, the finger-wagging Pachter is on board too, giving Facebook a buy recommendation last week, although he stressed, “Investors should be prepared to be exceedingly patient.” He said Zuckerberg “is well-suited to be the chief product officer, the chief user-experience officer, to manage the design of the user interface, to decide every feature that goes in,” but doubts his ability to deal with shareholders. Obviously for Pachter, this is not about fashion, but about wanting a kid to play by the rules that he’s used to. Still, if buttoned-up investors want in on Facebook, Zuckerberg has made it pretty clear that they’re the ones who are going to have to change their attitudes and expectations.
Related: The Maturation of the Billionaire Boy-Man [NYM]