‘Single-Minded, Bullish’ Lord Sugar Is No Icon For British Techies

Tech workers in the UK have personalities closer to ‘inquisitive’ Facebook-founder Mark Zuckerberg, survey finds

He may be known as highly successful, entrepreneurial, and determined, but UK technology workers don’t want to be anything like Apprentice top-dog and Amstrad founder Lord Alan Sugar.

Instead, British technology professionals have traits more akin to Facebook phenom Mark Zuckerberg, as a survey finds Zuckerberg personality types are most prevalent in the tech industry as a whole.

More than a third of technology and IT professionals working in the UK share key personality traits with Zuckerberg, a Randstad Technologies survey found.

Quizzing IT pros on personality traits of Lord Sugar, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Marissa Mayer, Bill Gates, and Susan Wojcicki, Randstad found that just 5 percent of tech professionals act like Lord Sugar.


The billionaire’s key personality traits of being “single-minded, bullish and confrontational”, according to Randstad, just aren’t very popular, with UK techies preferring to have the traits of Zuckerberg’s “inquisitive mind and drive to invent”.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg

Ruth Jacobs, managing director at Randstad Technologies, said: “People have a lot of pre-conceptions about Mark Zuckerberg, something that the release of The Social Network five years ago did little to dispel.  However, he has many fantastic leadership qualities, qualities that have helped him to build an outstanding management team he can delegate to.

“The fact his personality type dominates in the UK’s IT industry is great news for our booming tech sector which needs leaders who are able to combine technical brilliance and emotional intelligence to provide relevant and useful products for both industry and the consumer.”

Lord Sugar and Yahoo chief Marissa Mayer are the personality types least reflected in the UK tech profession and represent just 5 percent of the industry apiece. Lord Sugar may now be best known as the no-nonsense dictator on The Apprentice, said Randstad, but he’s also one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs.  His company AMSTRAD was a key player in the early computer industry and achieved a peak stock market valuation of £1.2bn.

But his ways are old ways, it seems.

“He might not be a tech purist like Steve Jobs but Lord Sugar is an outstanding businessman,” said Jacobs. “The fact that technology professionals are not mimicking his style might be good for all of us – as contestants on The Apprentice know only too well, a boardroom grilling by Lord Sugar is an uncomfortable experience.”

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer

Randstad’s survey found that tech professionals acting like Lord Sugar are most prominent in Network, Systems & Security roles (13 percent) as well as Testing & Quality Assurance (11 percent).  Geographically, Lord Sugar’s style is most common in the East Midlands.

Zuckerberg personality types dominated the UK’s largest tech hubs, including Silicon Roundabout, the M4 corridor and Silicon Gorge.  The region with the highest proportion of Zuckerberg-esque tech professionals was Yorkshire (47 percent).  In terms of tech specialism the highest proportion of Zuckerberg personality types are found in Analysis, Intelligence & Data, said Randstad.

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