Good news for us plebeians: Embarrassing yearbook photos, cringe-worthy bloopers, and awkward moments aren’t solely reserved for us! Turns out that some of the most charismatic entrepreneurs and unflappable billionaires have had their share of inelegant moments. So in honor of Michael Bay’s recent stage fright-induced walk off during a Samsung presentation at last week’s CES (which Tina Fey couldn’t help but poke fun at during last night’s Golden Globes ceremony), we want to show Bay and the rest of the world that they’re in good company.
Warning to individuals with a strong aversion to cringe-inducing moments: Turn back now!
Bill Gates at CES 2005
Maybe Gates isn’t the posterboy of cool, but that doesn’t make this CES 2005 moment any less awkward. That year, Bill Gates and his Microsoft team presented a remote controller for the Xbox at the annual CES summit. Unfortunately for Gates, the remote controller was being finicky and failed to respond to Gates’s inputs. Perhaps even more unfortunate for the Microsoft CEO was that the presentation was being co-hosted by Conan O’Brien. Ever the comedian, O’Brien cracked a few jokes at Gates’s expense including his wondering aloud, “Who’s in charge of Microsoft?” Later Xbox segments at CES 2005 also had their share of difficulties, with one Microsoft presenter getting the “blue screen of death” mid-presentation.
Mark Zuckerberg Gets Sweaty During Privacy Grilling
During a 2010 interview at the AllThingsDigital D8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg stumbled through questions about Facebook’s privacy measures. Not helping the matter was the interviewer who called attention to Zuckerberg’s significant sweat buildup, encouraging him to take off his hoodie. Online forums and social media sites were ablaze following the uncomfortable interview, with Mahalo.com CEO Jason Calacanis calling it “a Nixon moment. People at conference are talking about the most insane meltdown ever."
Most insane meltdown? Probably not. But the interviewers’ Illuminati symbol joke and patronizing tone certainly didn’t help make the discussion any less uncomfortable.
Eric Schmidt’s Business Card Typo
Let’s be honest – we’re all guilty of little typos here and there. But when a typo creeps onto your business card, it’s a little more embarrassing than the usual email error. That’s exactly what happened to Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, who was handing out business cards indicating his title as Chariman of Google. The most surprising thing about this misprint was that no one noticed it prior to Schmidt handing the cards out. When it comes to filling out a business card template, remember: Copy-paste is your friend!
Donald Trump is Demolished on Twitter by Modern Family Writer
There are so many Donald Trump uncomfortable moments to choose from, but last summer’s Twitter showdown starring Trump and Modern Family writer Danny Zucker is fresh in the minds of many. In response to a Trump tweet about the lack of action that U.S. lawmakers are taking in regards to China and its growing economy, Zucker decided to engage the real estate mogul by pointing out his hypocrisy with this photo:
Donald was out of his league in this duel, as the best he could come up with were a few weak jabs at Modern Family and repeatedly calling Zucker a “lightweight.” The Twittersphere felt that Zucker came out on top thanks to his onslaught of racy zinger, which made Trump’s comebacks look novice. Check out the full exchange here.
Steve Ballmer Loves Microsoft – A Little Too Much
Gates’s successor had his own embarrassing moment onstage. However, unlike in the Gates mishap, it wasn’t a technological glitch that distracted from the presentation. In Balmer’s case, it was more of a disposition glitch -- someone turned Steve Ballmer up to 11.