Do CEOs of Pepsi, Microsoft and Other Companies Forbid Family Members to Use Their Products?

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On February 21-22, 2024, a photo with a Russian inscription about the managers of 5 well-known transnational corporations was published on Facebook (1, 2, 3). More specifically, according to the given information: 1. The executive director of PEPSI stated that he does not allow his family members to use the company’s products; 2. Mark Zuckerberg covers the laptop camera and microphone with tape; 3. Steve Jobs forbade his children to use the iPad; 4. Bill Gates strictly limited his children’s use of technology; 5. McDonald’s CEO claims he doesn’t even eat his own company’s food.

The mentioned information was actively spread on Facebook in 2021 as well (1, 2, 3).

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Some of the claims voiced in the posted posts are false. There is no evidence that the CEOs of Pepsi and McDonald’s do not use their own company’s products, and even prohibit their family members from using them.

  1. The CEO of Pepsi never said that he forbids family members from using the company’s products
    There is no evidence that the CEO of Pepsi actually made such a statement. This information was verified by fact-checking organizations, such as American Leadstories and Indian Factly. According to their research, no such statement was made by the company’s current CEO, Ramon Laguarta. The claim spread on Facebook was allegedly attributed to his predecessor Indra Nooyi. In an interview with the New York Times, she recalled a meeting in Egypt during which the wife of a Pepsi employee told her that she was not going to give her two children any of the company’s products. However, Nooyi did not make such a statement herself.
  2. The CEO of McDonald’s regularly consumes the company’s products
    There is no evidence of McDonald’s CEO refusing to consume the company’s products. On the contrary, the last two of them mentioned in a conversation with the media that they regularly eat food in restaurants of the McDonald’s chain. Steve Easterbrook held the mentioned position from 2015 to 2019, although he started working for the company much earlier. He said in an interview in 2011 that he and his children regularly visit McDonald’s for food. As for the company’s current CEO, Chris Kempczinski, he told the Financial Post in 2020 that he eats McDonald’s twice a day, Monday through Friday, but runs at least 50 miles (about 80 km) a week to burn off the calories.
  3. The attitude of managers of technological giants to technology
    Mark Zuckerberg posted a photo of himself on Facebook in 2016 showing a laptop with what looked like duct tape on the back of the camera, suggesting that it was actually covering the camera for security purposes, although he has never personally confirmed this information.

As for Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, they mentioned to various journalists that they had certain restrictions on technology for their children. More specifically, the founder of Microsoft and his wife set a maximum screen time limit for their children and also did not allow them to have a phone until they were 14 years old. Steve Jobs said in 2010 that his children did not use the iPad because he had set a limit for them regarding the use of technology.

About the Sources:

The Russian-language Facebook account Ekaterina Kogan publishes anti-vax, anti-Ukrainian content and conspiracy theories. Many of the user’s posts have been marked as false information by various fact-checking organizations.

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The article has been written in the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program. You can read more about the restrictions that Facebook may impose based on this article via this link. You can find information about appealing or editing our assessment via this link.

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Topic: Other
Violation: Partly false
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