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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Cleaning oil spills off asphalt was a tough, physically demanding job for an 11-year-old boy, but Ditlev Bredahl spent two years doing it. Early on, he left one day at the end of his shift, even though he hadn’t managed to remove some particularly tough stains. “My boss called me late at night and told me to come back down to the gas station and finish the job. He even stayed late to watch over me. I had a really hard time cleaning it, and asked him with frustration, ‘What do you want me to do?’ His answer was, ‘Whatever it f****** takes.’ That was a serious lesson -- really. I stayed all night, and the asphalt was sparkling clean after that.”

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