Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is 5-foot-7. With the help of a thick, black, padded cushion he seemed much more imposing.
- Mark Zuckerberg used a booster seat during testimony to Congress.
- The 5-foot-7 Facebook CEO's stature was boosted by the 4-inch black cushion.
- Sources have suggested it was for comfort rather than optics, but the effects of looking taller in an intimidating situation are plain to see.
Mark Zuckerberg faced the most intense scrutiny of his life on Tuesday in a five-hour grilling session from US senators — all while sitting on a 4-inch booster seat.
Photographs from the hearing show the Facebook founder and CEO, who is 5-foot-7, was supported on a chunky black cushion while taking questions.
The cushion gave Zuckerberg, who is not a physically imposing man, the appearance of somebody significantly taller during a potentially intimidating encounter.
Imagine, for instance, if Zuckerberg had looked several inches shorter in photographs like this:
Sources yesterday suggested to Business Insider that the cushion was meant to enhance Zuckerberg's comfort rather than to make him look big.
But its effect on the optics is undeniable, particularly in a set-up with such potential for making the subject of congressional scrutiny look small and exposed.
Zuckerberg was extensively coached for the appearance, which took him far out of his comfort zone. He was also forced into a dark suit, rather than the grey t-shirt and jeans which he prefers.
The hearing was the first time he has faced direct scrutiny from lawmakers — so it should be no surprise if every detail is managed as closely as possible.
During the hearing, photographers were able to take photographs of Zuckerberg's binder of notes, giving an insight into the questions he expected, and his strategy for dealing with them — as well as just how he looked.