The business suit may have peaked. As men in hooded sweatshirts and unusual footwear have shown the ability to build billion dollar companies, the world is realizing that formality isn’t that important. What matters is what you can do, not what you look like.
Witness the image above, which was prominently displayed on Microsoft’s Web site. New CEO Satya Nadella is wearing a T-shirt! Microsoft also released the image below of Nadella wearing a hoodie, the official uniform of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
While Microsoft provided images of Nadella in more formal attire, those images weren’t played up on its site.
Let’s contrast Nadella’s look with the general attire of Microsoft’s newly departed CEO Steve Ballmer. Note the traditional suit and button-down shirt. It’ll be interesting to see if Nadella sticks with the casual look moving forward. Microsoft may want him to capitalize on the Red Sneakers effect, in which dressing down is actually a sign of status. It’s working well for T-Mobile CEO John Legere.