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Facebook gets serious for Modi visit, formal dress code for staff

Modi_in_US_2015 Updated: Sep 27, 2015 01:02 IST
Yashwant Raj
Modi in US

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shakes hands with Prime Minister Narendra Modi before their meeting in New Delhi. (AFP)

Facebook, the company that takes considerable pride in its informal office culture and whose CEO wears hoodie to work, has gone formal for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit on Sunday.

Reporters covering the visit -- Modi in a town-hall Q&A with Mark Zuckerberg -- have been sent an advisory by Facebook mandating a “dress code”, among other things.

It’s formal business attire for men -- suits -- and “nice dresses”, presumably for women. The company warns sternly against “sleeveless shirts” and shorts”.

That’s posh coming from a company whose CEO made hoodie a popular office wear -- he has been noted to wear gray T-shirt -- the same, jeans and black hoodie at most popular lox events.

“I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community,” Zuckerberg said, when asked at town-hall about why he wears the same dress. He clarified, though, he had “multiple same shirts.”

Steve Jobs used to wear the same black turtlenecks, and jeans --- something about Silicon Valley?

But Zuckerberg shows up in formals for town-halls and meetings with world leaders. He wore a suit, with the tie hanging loosely, for the one with President Barack Obama (and the president commented about it); and for his meeting with Prime Minister Modi in Delhi.

And now everyone covering the Modi town-hall has to show up in formals.