Is he in a barn? Where are the books? Hearing exposes design lapses in offices of tech CEOs

(House Judiciary screengrabs via YouTube)

Seated in front of the world (virtually) during a House Judiciary Committee antitrust hearing, the CEOs of the richest technology companies on the planet offered a window into their “offices” on Wednesday. It appears all design resources are being saved for websites and products.

The hearing was a unique opportunity to hear from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai. The CEOs were in the hot seat. The hot seat just looked like it was in a garage or suburban home office.

Apple stores are a design-infused mecca for fans of the tech giant’s iPhones, iMacs and other products. The company built a massive “spaceship” as its new HQ. On Wednesday, Cook sat in front of some wilty plants, stuck in front of what looked like a makeshift room partition. Someone get a bowl of apples.

Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The Google homepage often features inspiring illustrations known as “Google Doodles” highlighting important dates in history. Someone should have doodled a more inspiring backdrop for the CEO. The sideboard behind Pichai featured a few vases, a plant that was probably fake and purchased at IKEA and a stack of wimpy books that may have been assembled 30 seconds before air time. While there was a textured wall piece, did no one think a Google Home smart speaker would have made sense? “Hey Google, play something soothing.”

Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

Someone told Zuckerberg all tech companies get started in a garage — and it looks like he stayed there 16 years into Facebook’s reign as social media powerhouse. Or maybe it’s a horse barn and he’s just rubbing it in when it comes to how rich he is.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Bezos, who finally got a question thrown his way after the committee came back from a break, was seated in front of a bookcase that appeared to have almost no books in it. This is not an unsubstantial home-decor lapse for a guy who became the richest person on the planet based on an idea to SELL BOOKS. Guess this Bezos lair won’t be showing up on Bookcase Credibility. There were a couple vases, maybe a trophy? For a space geek, this space could have used a little Blue Origin rocket model.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Twitter was not at the hearing, but users had plenty to say on the platform about what was unfolding on television. Here’s the verdict from “Room Rater”:

And some other chatter across the web:

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