What Does a CEO’s Office Really Look Like?

Productive people tend to take their environment seriously, which is why the most successful individuals you've heard of are often shown on TV entering their swanking, spacious offices. Many successful deals have been made possible on desks like these, which is why it isn't surprising to see millionaires and billionaires, professionals and CEOs sport the best work offices.

Never underestimate the power of a work desk. This is where you can be productive, and where you are expected to come up with bright ideas. If your desk isn't comfortable, chances are, you will not produce the right results.

Take it from these successful CEOs. You'd be surprised to know how they keep their work desks complete, conducive for work, and comfortable.

Our list begins with Craigslist co-founder, Craig Newmark. Like his website, he likes to keep his desk clean and near-empty of unnecessary trinkets. He likes his necessities right where he wants them, and that's on his desk. Everything else that shouldn't be on his desk are promptly removed.

The founder of Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington, has a different philosophy. According to a LinkedIn interview, she prefers to keep her desk and office open, comfortable, and surrounded by her favorite things: books. She likes a transparent office, which explains her decision to keep a clear glass wall on one side of her office.

Like Arianna, the CEO and co-founder of Kabam, Kevin Chou like to keep things transparent and open, which is why he works from the same floor as the rest of his team. He considers this openness to be "significant," and as seen in his LinkedIn page, his office makes great use of the open office model.

Chou himself may be seen working from a standard desk, but his office is not short on options. Behind him, coworkers on ergonomic seats, standing desks and a yoga ball are clearly visible.

While it's true that desks (or any stable surface, for that matter) is important, not all CEOs need a desk to succeed. Take the freedom-loving founder of Virgin Group for example. Richard Branson does not prefer to work in busy offices or on messy desks. Instead, he considers just about any calming environment his office.

In one seemingly jovial photo on his LinkedIn account, he says, "work doesn't always have to mean timed meetings and official processes. Lots of the best ideas come off the cuff, out of conversations..."

Richard Branson isn't the only CEO to prefer unusual work arrangements. The CEO of Reputation.com, Michael Fertik, is an avid supporter of standing desks. In fact, he considers standing instrumental in building better relationships with colleagues. He has spoken proudly of this practice in an interview with this work tip, "my colleagues are nearly four times as likely to approach me with a thought, a question, or just a hello when I'm standing as compared to when I'm sitting."

John Abell, a columnist at Reuters, shares the same philosophy. In fact, he has displayed his standing work desk at LinkedIn proudly. The open floor model has also been a preference of his, and he has described the model as a design that's liberating.


The ergonomic standing desk trend is unsurprisingly a hit among CEOs of online services and software companies. The Adler Group CEO, Lou Adler, once displayed his virtual office on LinkedIn.

Our work desks don’t always have to look messy and busy. It is enough for a work desk to reflect your level of comfort and personality. The Sense Of The Future founder Bruce Kasanoff, for example, is particularly proud of his greenery which he displays on his glass top work desk. While glass tables may seem very unorthodox, this is how Kasanoff practices the “less is more” principle.


Comfort to some may mean having an office of their own, but to others, it can mean working with the people you trust. For the founder of Ciplex, believes a model where everyone sees each other “allows for productivity in the office, as it is key to be surrounded by like-minded, motivated team members with the opportunity to physically work together in large teams and/or break out into clear space when needed."


This is evident in Ciplex images found on LinkedIn.


Finally, there’s Mark Zuckerburg. The founder of Facebook may be one of the world’s richest, but he does not have a separate office-- something which he has spoken proudly of. Without a doubt, the open office model is a hit among tech headquarters, and Zuckerberg’s acceptance of it is unsurprising. The trend nowadays is to create a community out of corporate offices, which is why you might see less of cubicles in tech companies nowadays, and more flexibility work equipment and furniture, like bean bags, wobble chairs, ergonomic desks, and lounge rooms.


If offices were never important to you, you can always be like the CEO of Beyond Philosophy. Colin Shaw works in a very unusual environment-- one you wouldn’t expect… the sky!


In his LinkedIn page, he has said he prefers to work on planes.


In this day and age, how you choose to work is all up to you. Success is not fully dependent on work desks either-- it’s about finding the right environment for you to thrive and grow.