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5 May, 2000 12.25pm pdt | LoveBug Edition
Be CEO Gets Image Makeover
hip and edgy

BE DOPE NEWS (BDN) Be, Inc. CEO Jean-Louis Gassée is trading in his tie for a tongue piercing, as shown in the exclusive photo above. The move is part of an attempt of Gassée to retain his reputation as a "flamboyant" Silicon Valley CEO.

After analysis showed the phrase "flamboyant CEO" appeared in less than 30% of current news stories, Gassée's VP of marketing warned Gassée he was in danger of losing his eccentric status.

"While still as flamboyant and outspoken as ever, he [Gassée] has been showing up to interviews in full suit-and-tie outfits, or perhaps wearing a tasteful vest from the GAP," explained Lamar Potts, VP of Marketing for Be, Inc. "The media is so focused on image, it sometimes misses his on-the-edge messages because he is garbed in such traditional wear."

His more conservative styles combined with a crop of new twenty-something CEOs glutting the valley have combined to lessen Gassée's flamboyantness, according to one analyst.

"Gassée used to ride around on his motorcycle wearing leather pants with his ear pierced, spouting French witticisms, and in the old days, that's all it took," explained industry analyst John C. Dvorak. "But as with everything in Silicon Valley today, the competition to be an eccentric personality and darling of the media is severe."

The tongue piercing is the first step of a detailed program, says to Potts.

"In the future we can expect to see such elements as tattoos, skysurfing, skateboarding and knife-throwing enter into the picture. And you'll be just as likely to see him at a rave or as a guest VJ on Mtv as on Nightly Business Report. We're also hoping to work in a couple of cameo television deals, on shows such as The Sopranos, Emeril Live! and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Company officials declined to comment on the possible location of any other new piercings.


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