You can’t trust people who don’t love dogs, and Silicon Valley’s tech visionaries are no exception. The tech world has no shortage of dog lovers. From boardroom meetings to coding marathons to weekend outings, the presence of these loyal four-legged friends provides a heartwarming contrast to the relentless pursuit of progress and a glimpse into the softer side of many tech magnates.
It’s almost the end of summer and tomorrow (August 26) is National Dog Day. Why not take a break from the news to look at some of the beloved pooches trotting alongside famous owners?
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s dog, Beast
Personality: “Enjoys herding things, cuddling, loving and eating.”
Mark Zuckerberg’s adorable dog, Beast, is probably one of the earliest canine celebrities on social media. She has had her own Facebook page since 2011 and boasts 2.4 million followers. Her Facebook profile says she “enjoys herding things, cuddling, loving and eating.”
Beast is a Puli, a rare type of Hungarian Sheepdog known for their distinct, dreadlock-like fur. Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, adopted Beast in 2011 when she was a puppy. Over the years, Beast has been seen with her parents everywhere, from business meetings to Facebook hackathons to new product launches. For her sixth birthday in 2017, Zuckerberg commissioned an artist to design and print a 3D sculpture of Beast.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s dog, Floki
Breed: Shiba Inu
Personality: “A great dog, very alert, and it’s hard to get anything by him.”
There’s no explanation needed as to why Elon Musk, the self-proclaimed CEO of Dogecoin, chose a Shiba Inu as his latest pet. Floki, named after a character from the hit TV series Vikings, was first mentioned in a tweet by Musk in September 2021 when he announced he’d just got a dog.
In February 2023, Musk posted a series of tweets saying Floki had taken over as the new CEO of Twitter. “He’s a great dog, very alert, and it’s hard to get anything by him,” Musk told BBC journalist James Clayton in a Twitter Spaces interview in April.
Floki has arrived pic.twitter.com/2MiUKb91FT
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 12, 2021
Floki Santa pic.twitter.com/y3CTq16bGi
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 25, 2021
The new CEO of Twitter is amazing pic.twitter.com/yBqWFUDIQH
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 15, 2023
Elon Musk’s other two dogs, Gatsby and Marvin the Martian
Personality: Protective; not friends with Floki yet
Before adopting Floki, the Tesla (TSLA) CEO already had two dogs. “We have a big dog called Gatsby, a little dog called Marvin the Martian,” he tweeted in 2018. Cesar Millan, the famous dog trainer, posted a picture of Gatsby and Marvin together on Instagram after meeting with them in 2018. In 2022, Musk tweeted a short video of his son, X Æ A-12, playing with the three family dogs.
When a Twitter user asked Musk in 2021 whether Floki was getting along with the other dogs, Musk responded, “They are… not yet friends.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 1, 2022
Bill Gates’ dogs, Oreo and Nilla
Personality: Barking at night and eating things they are not supposed to
“I spend less time with the dogs than the kids do but I really like them (when they are not barking at night and not eating things they are not supposed to and when they are well house trained),” the Microsoft (MSFT) founder wrote.
Not much is known about either Oreo or Nilla. According to a photo Gates posted on Reddit, they are both small-sized dogs. One looks like a white poodle mix and the other a black-and-white mix of spaniel and other breeds.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff’s dog, Koa (deceased)
Breed: Golden Retriever
Personality: “Always ready to accept a hug. Full of Love.”
Marc Benioff had a golden retriever named Koa, who was often seen accompanying his busy owner at work and known as Salesforce’s chief love officer. He’s also a reason why Salesforce allows dogs in the office.
Koa passed away in September 2017 at age 17. He was “always ready to accept a hug” and “full of love,” according to Charlie Isaacs, a vice president at Salesforce.
— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) March 23, 2016
Koa. Salesforce Chief Love Officer. March 23, 2000 to Sept 1, 2017. May his memory be a blessing. Photo at Salesforce HQ in 2001. pic.twitter.com/uK1ICEbkDe
— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) September 2, 2017
Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom’s dog, Dolly
Breed: Golden Retriever
Personality: Loves sticks, shoes and water
Instagram’s cofounder and former CEO Kevin Systrom has a lovely golden retriever named Dolly. Dolly has had her own Instagram page since 2013 and has over the years accumulated nearly 20,000 followers.
Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger’s dog, Juno
Breed: Bernese Mountain Dog
Personality: Likes balls, beaches and hiking with humans
Instagram’s other cofounder and the company’s former chief technology officer, Mike Krieger, is also a dog lover. He has a Bernese mountain dog named Juno, whose Instagram page has more than 9,000 followers.