Tech CEOs’ first jobs: Licorice maker, housekeeper, scuba diver and more

Before their corporate jobs, many tech CEOs got their hands dirty, scrubbing oils stains off asphalt, cleaning bathrooms, and shoveling monkey cages. Here are their stories.

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Pete Khanna’s first job was to move hay bails from a wagon trailer to conveyor belt and then stack the bails in the barn. Pay was based on the amount of hay moved, Khanna recalls. “We got paid the same amount whether we worked one hour or 20 hours. It motivated us to find ways to work together and get the job done faster.” The lessons he learned about putting in a hard day’s work stayed with him: “Regardless of the job or position, saying to an employer that you'll work harder and smarter than anyone else makes a difference,” Khanna says. “And in today's competitive job marketplace, getting that message across can be the difference between landing a job or not.”

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