Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang is very well known for his signature presentation style. Keynote after keynote, he confidently paces the stage in a leather jacket. This is his look, his public persona, and so it's slightly surprising to learn that the leather jacket wasn’t his own idea. In a recent interview on HP’s online video show The Moment (h/t Business Insider), the trillion-dollar CEO admitted that the motorcycle-style leather jacket was his wife or daughter’s idea.
Since at least 2013, Huang seems to have become associated and even identified by his leather jacket. The signature style, which is a big contrast to most other tech CEOs, was already well-known and established just three years later. In 2016, Huang hosted a Reddit AMA where he introduced himself as the CEO of Nvidia, adding “You may know me better as ‘the guy in the leather jacket who repeats things three times.’ Ha ha ha.” Except he wasn't really joking.
It would be interesting to know if this leather jacket ‘CEO branding’ was inspired by anyone else, such as Steve Jobs. Apple’s co-founder famously wore a black turtleneck sweater in a similar self-branding effort right up until his final appearances.
The Moment Host, Ryan Patel, asked Huang how he felt about the “infamous jacket,” and being a “style star.” Huang modestly dismissed the assertion that he was somehow a trendsetter. The Nvidia CEO didn’t make direct reference to the decision to adopt the leather jacket as an enduring style decision. However, he stated that his wife and daughter are currently responsible for his clothing choices.
Computing Will “Advance a Million Times Every 10 Years”
Thankfully, the HP Garage interview went beyond chatting about leather jackets. Probably the most startling claim by Huang regarding the future of Nvidia was that in the next two years, the company (if not the industry) will be “completely unrecognizable.” The reasoning behind this statement is Huang’s observation that, for the first time in 60 years, we are “seeing two technology transitions happening at the same time.”
Those two things are the displacement of general computing by accelerated computing and the onward march of AI. Together, Jensen says they will become the catalyst for a significant and sustained leap. Thanks to this significant tech synergy, Huang asserted that computing will “advance a million times every 10 years.”
Huang ended the interview by again reflecting on how hard the process of developing and growing a successful company has been. Earlier this month, Huang told interviewers he wouldn’t want to start Nvidia again if he could turn the clock back 30 years. “Building Nvidia turned out to be a million times harder than I expected it to be,” lamented the founder and CEO. Perhaps he's considering stepping down as Nvidia's CEO, given the repeated refrain? Only time will tell.
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Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.