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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When Steve Wiehe was a teen, his parents bought a chain of laundromats to supplement their teaching salaries. “It was a great concept, but my father couldn’t drive a nail into a piece of wood if his life depended on it,” says Wiehe, who became the de factor repairman for the family business. During his freshman year of high school, he went to three weeks of night school, where he learned plumbing fundamentals and how to repair washers and dryers. “On Saturdays, may dad would drive me to the laundromat and I’d fix all the broken machines and do all the plumbing. I really enjoyed it, because I’ve always been very interested in how things work.”

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