June 20, 2024

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Jensen Huang: Nvidia CEO named Taylor Swift technology

Jensen Huang: Nvidia CEO named Taylor Swift technology
Comment on the photo, Mr. Huang was a magnet for attendees at a Computex event in Taiwan

  • author, Annabelle Liang
  • Role, Business reporter

These days, wherever Jensen Huang goes, crowds chant his name and rush to take selfies and autographs.

Nvidia’s CEO enjoys nothing short of rock star status, and during a visit to Taiwan this week, that was on full display. He took countless photos, and even wrote his name on top of the woman, just below her chest. It was pure ‘sexism’, as the locals said.

His peers know the kind of fan frenzy Hwang can spark. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg described it as “like Taylor Swift, but for technology.”

The bespectacled 61-year-old with gray hair dresses the part. He made the black leather jacket his signature style.

Huang is at the forefront of the technology boom as Nvidia is the world’s leading designer of AI chips.

Nvidia shares have also risen more than 200% over the past year.

“He’s literally treated like a rock star,” says technology analyst Bob O’Donnell.

“Nvidia’s last big conference in San Jose was at the stadium. The place was packed and big lines of people couldn’t get in,” O’Donnell said. “It was like a rock concert.”

“This time it happened at a sports stadium in Taiwan. I joked that he was on his arena tour.

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang

Huang co-founded the company in 1993. The company eventually changed its focus to artificial intelligence, which it currently dominates.

Interest in AI peaked after the launch of ChatGPT in 2022, made possible by Nvidia chips.

The chatbot was trained using 10,000 Nvidia graphics processing units (GPUs), bundled together in a supercomputer.

Although Microsoft remains the world’s most valuable listed company, Nvidia is not far behind.

In Asia, its success has been boosted by Taiwanese chipmaker giant TSMC, the sole production partner for Nvidia’s most advanced AI chips. TSMC shares reached a record high on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Thursday.

“Friendly normal energy”

Mr. Huang credits his wife and daughter for his love of leather jackets. An Nvidia spokesperson says he’s been wearing the classic outerwear for more than two decades.

His latest pick is a plaid biker jacket from American fashion house Tom Ford, which retails for nearly $9,000.

He has maintained it even during his appearances in tropical countries like Singapore.

“Leather jackets can signal an edge: a desire to break the rules, do things differently, and challenge the status quo,” says fashion designer Sera Murphy.

“Jensen’s signature style gives him a casual, friendly energy,” she adds.

The signature style is not uncommon for technology CEOs.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs almost always wore the same outfit — a black St. Croix turtleneck, blue Levi’s 501 jeans, and New Balance 991 sneakers.

Image source, Mark Zuckerberg

Comment on the photo, Some tech entrepreneurs are known to have distinctive styles

Murphy says a “uniform” can help entrepreneurs create an image of stability around their companies.

“People need consistency from leaders. Wearing a uniform makes things predictable in a volatile and unpredictable market,” she added.

Mr. O’Donnell expects Mr. Huang to continue appearing at events around the world.

“At technology conferences, everyone wants Jensen on stage and he’s happy to join in. What he’s done is making him appear everywhere. He’s positioned himself as the figurehead of generative AI,” O’Donnell says.

“The problem is that the industry doesn’t like monopolies. Nvidia has a huge market share, but competitors like AMD and Intel are starting to catch up,” he added.

“Jensen sees this as an opportunity to build on Nvidia. He’s clearly enjoying the moment. In Taiwan, he’s also the local kid who did good. This is something people can rally around.”