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Mark Zuckerberg voted biggest villain in IT

Mark Zuckerberg voted biggest villain in IT

Almost a fifth of IT professionals count Zuckerberg as the most unpopular computing figure ever. Bill Gates is the most frequently named computing hero, ahead of Steve Jobs and Alan Turing

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been named the most unpopular person ever in the world of IT.

A poll of the UK’s IT professionals by IT and Telecoms recruiter Greythorn reveals that almost a fifth consider Zuckerberg the greatest villain in IT. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs came closest to Zuckerberg’s unpopularity – each receiving 14% of the vote.

IT Professionals’ greatest computing villain

 

1

Mark Zuckerberg, Creator of Facebook

19.4%

2

Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple

14.7%

3

Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft

14.7%

4

Larry Ellison, Co-founder of Oracle

6.2%

5

Jack Dorsey, Creator of Twitter

5.7%

6

Shaun Fanning, Founder of Napster

5.2%

7

Sir Alan Sugar, Founder of Amstrad

5.2%

8

Jerry Yang, Co-founder of Yahoo

2.4%

9

Pierre Omidyar, Founder of eBay

1.9%

10

Shigeru Miyamato, Designer of Nintendo’s Mario

1.9%

 

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs proved the most controversial men in computing. The two tycoons were tied for second biggest villain, each receiving just under 15% of the vote. But Gates and Jobs also received strong support from IT professionals. The Microsoft founder was considered a hero by more than a fifth of voters – making him the most popular man in IT, beating his perennial rival Steve Jobs, who in second place was considered a hero by 17% of professionals.

IT professionals’ greatest heroes of computing

 

1

Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft

20.6%

2

Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple

17.4%

3

Alan Turing, Father of computer science

15.6%

4

Charles Babbage, Originated the concept of a programmable computer

5.5%

5

Sir Clive Sinclair, Inventor of the ZX Spectrum

3.7%

6

Shigeru Miyamato, Designer of Nintendo’s Mario

2.3%

7

Larry Ellison, Co-founder of Oracle

2.3%

8

Thomas J. Watson, Founder of IBM

2.3%

9

Pingala, Developed mathematical concept of binary

2.3%

10

Mark Zuckerberg, Creator of Facebook

1.8%

 

While Gates and Jobs have divided opinion among IT professionals, Mark Zuckerberg has succeeded in uniting it against him. Ten times more voters considered Zuckerberg a villain than a hero, making him IT professionals’ most unpopular figure in the history of IT.

Mark Baxter, managing director of Greythorn said: “Facebook has been controversial from the beginning and this has told on the reputation of its CEO. From the shady co-founding deals done with Eduardo Saverin, to the Winklevoss litigation and the unsympathetic portrayal of Zuckerberg in The Social Network, professionals have questioned whether Zuckerberg should take the credit he does for Facebook. The fact he is considered the greatest villain in IT suggests IT professionals share some of the doubt, popularised in the movie, around the legitimacy of his taking credit for the creation of intellectual property.

“By contrast, the reputations of former rivals Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have been shown, overall, to be very positive. Both men are seen as innovators who have fundamentally changed the way people interact with technology – and IT professionals respect this. Unlike Zuckerberg, they are not tarnished by legal wrangles over ownership of their IP or unsympathetic portrayals in the media. Their ability to create ubiquitous products without the controversy that surrounds Zuckerberg is the foundation of their popularity”.

Greythorn’s research also showed the third most popular figure in the history of IT was Alan Turing, the celebrated World War II codebreaker who built the British cryptographic & lsquo;bombe’ and is considered the father of modern computer science. Turing is today considered a war-hero, but in 1952 was convicted of gross indecency for his homosexuality and was required to undergo hormone treatment which is believed to have led to his suicide in 1954.

Mark Baxter continues: “It’s great to see Alan Turing’s name still so high on the list of IT heroes. Given that the world of IT is driven by rapid technological change, it is often easy to forget the great figures from the past who made great contributions to IT. Turing’s genius as a computer scientist not only made him a vital asset to the war effort but laid the foundations for all computer science that followed his work. The fact that professionals still have a strong respect for him is testament to the enduring importance of his achievements.”

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