KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 ― Datuk Seri Najib Razak admitted today that he did not have a very good first impression of Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and CEO of Facebook and the sixth richest person in the world according to Forbes.
The prime minister recalled that in his first meeting with Zuckerberg, he mistakenly judged the social media entrepreneur by his simple attire of T-shirt and jeans.
“My initial reaction, he doesn't look very smart. But actually, he is very smart. He is super smart but doesn't look very smart,” he told a question-and-answer session today at the Wild Digital Conference.
Najib said his opinion of Zuckerberg changed immediately after speaking with the Facebook boss.
“But when you talk to him and his ideas and you begin to realise that he is smart,” he added.
Najib visited Facebook's office as part of his US tour in 2013, during which he also stopped by Google and Twitter’s headquarters.
The Pekan MP said the management styles of these firms, especially Facebook, are vastly different from Malaysia’s set-ups, where office hierarchies still exist.
"The whole atmosphere there is very informal. There's no hierarchy. I'm so used to government set-up. There are different levels of hierarchy.
"But when I was there, they can work in their own pace, munching muffins at the same time with Starbucks coffee, churning out ideas, it's a different world," he said in his session with Catcha Group co-founder Patrick Grove.
Najib, who seemed in a jovial mood today, also said that he sometimes posts messages personally on his official Twitter account.
"Actually I do, and I've tweeted myself quite number of times but I have a team to back me up.
“I tweet myself, sometimes they tweet for me and third, I tell them what I want to post up and they put it up. It's as good as me doing it myself," he explained.
Grove then teased Najib for being a world leader with one of the most number of food pictures on his Instagram.
In his response, Najib said this was "a Malaysian hobby”, adding that he wants Malaysia to be the culinary centre of the world.
"We love our food and this must be culinary centre of the world," he stressed.