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Zuckerberg Dresses 'Schlubby' for IPO Meetings

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It takes a hell of a lot of self-confidence to hold your own as the only casually dressed person in a room full of suits. If you plan to dominate that room in your hempwear, you'd better be on point.

And if you're Mark Zuckerberg, making the rounds before Facebook's (FB) $100 billion IPO, it's reasonable for potential investors to expect you to wow them. Or at least show up looking investable. But Zuckerberg opted Monday to do neither.

Michael Pachter, the Wedbush Securities analyst who was the first to give the Facebook IPO a "buy" rating, told Bloomberg TV:

Mark and his signature hoodie: He’s actually showing investors he doesn’t care that much; he’s going to be him. I think that’s a mark of immaturity. I think that he has to realize he’s bringing investors in as a new constituency right now, and I think he’s got to show them the respect that they deserve because he’s asking them for their money.

Some have been quick to jump to Zuckerberg's defense, citing Steve Jobs' signature black turtleneck as a sartorial choice that certainly never harmed Apple (AAPL) in the market. The Washington Post noted:

[The] hoodie gives Zuckerberg a way to sartorially wink that he doesn’t like to answer to anybody and that he’s not losing his “hacker” street cred...The thing about investing in Facebook is that shareholders will really be investing in Zuckerberg.

The Zuckerberg shareholders would be investing in, however, looked "schlubby" and "uncomfortable" in his clothes, according to the Atlantic Wire -- hardly words anyone would use to describe the dapper Jobs.

The focus on Zuckerberg's hoodie seems to be simple synecdoche for the real issue, which was his general awkwardness and elusiveness.

For one thing, Zuckerberg was late for the Monday meeting, apparently because he "got caught in the bathroom," whatever that means. Even the most benign spin on that doesn't look good. When he finally showed up, he was wearing one of the few clothing items that simply does not dress up. A black turtleneck is a tux next to it. For Tuesday's meeting, Zuckerberg opted not to show at all without explanation.

A few in the room may have been reminded that Zuckerberg once showed up late to a meeting with Sequoia Capital wearing pajamas. Pajamas are at least a kind of fashion statement. A hoodie just makes security guards skittish. Happily he had the good sense to wear a coat and tie when he met President Barack Obama and his secret service detail.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.