Mark Zuckerberg, the 26-year-old CEO of Facebook, was publicly interviewed on Wednesday at the D8 tech conference. How'd he do? Apparently, he got so nervous and sweaty answering questions about privacy that he had to take his trademark hoodie off.
Zuckerberg never takes his sweatshirt off (something the upcoming Facebook movie seems to have picked up on), so something moderator Walt Mossberg asked must've struck a chord. (Well, that, or it was just hot up on stage. But, come on, it's a better image if he's nervous.)
The New York Times' Nick Bilton says he was "visibly uncomfortable and sweating profusely," and "ill-at-ease" with the questions about privacy being directed to him by Mossberg and conference co-host Kara Swisher. (His sweatshirt, by the way, had the Facebook mission statement stitched inside, which is a little more tasteful than his "I'm CEO, bitch" business cards, I guess.)
Sweatshirt or no, Zuckerberg appears to have had trouble giving succinct responses to Mossberg—"You seem to have taken some steps to make more public my information as a Facebook member, on your own," he told Zuckerberg—but he continued to assert that he and the company were victims of "misperceptions," that people were using the privacy settings, and that "a few years from now" people will wonder why websites weren't always "personalized" (that's Facebook for "invaded by side panels telling you how many of your friends shared some dumb article about cats").
Mostly—according to people Twittering from the event—he dodged questions and resorted to platitudes about integrity or honesty or whatever concept he's peddling to convince you that privacy is unimportant.
All in all, it doesn't seem to have been a particularly inspiring performance from the CEO. But he should have expected it—D8's not The Washington Post or anything.