16 Power Couples Who Have It All- And How They Make It Work!
It takes teamwork for power couples to work while also maintaining a happy personal life.
Personal and professional demands—children, emails, meetings—challenge these duos’ relationships.
From turning off the phone to watching Sunday night TV, these 16 power couples have unique ways to help each other stay on top of their game.
Jeff Bezos proofreads his wife Mackenzie’s manuscripts.
Sara Jaye/Getty Images
Jeff Bezos, CEO and Chairman of Amazon.com, found help from his wife Mackenzie when starting Amazon, and it was reciprocated by Jeff, who served as an extra set of eyes for Mackenzie’s novel manuscripts. They have since had four children, but that doesn’t stop the couple’s synergistic relationship.
According to a Vogue interview, “‘Jeff is my best reader,’ she says of her more well known spouse, who will cheerfully clear his schedule for the day, read her manuscript in one sitting, and give her meticulous notes on her work.”
A close friend of the couple’s told Vogue that “Family is very important to Jeff, and he absolutely relies on her to create that stable home life. They are such a normal, close-knit family, it’s almost abnormal.”
David Goldberg saves work until Sunday night.
No surprise that the Sandberg-Goldberg couple is massively busy between balancing children, housework, and a couple of companies called Facebook and SurveyMonkey.
Sandberg, a media staple thanks to her views on “Leaning In” to ambition, prides herself on her relationship with Goldberg. Sandberg says the relationship labor-split is 50-50, making both of their goals more attainable and clearly embodying Sandberg’s philosophy.
Goldberg says that his wife is his closest advisor, but when he does inevitably need to address work on his own, he waits until his family life is in order.
“I save everything up until Sunday night. If I start sending emails starting Saturday afternoon, then people respond by Sunday and I have to answer those. I don’t respond before Sunday unless the email is urgent.”
Brit and Dave Morin put their phones away at dinner.
The Martha Stewart of Silicon Valley — without the criminal record — Brit Morin is the founder of Brit + Co., while husband Dave Morin is the co-founder and CEO of Path.
While the two relate often and well about the type of work that goes on in the office, Mrs. Morin says the most arduous challenge of their relationship comes in leaving work at work.
“[Going to dinner without our phones is] our biggest accomplishment. We have the itch to reach into our pocket, but we don’t.”
Kara Swisher and Megan Smith assign each other shifts.
Swisher, editor of All Things D, and Smith, a Google VP, married in 1999. They have two adopted children together.
A profile in the San Fransisco Chronicle describes how they make their high-powered jobs work:
“Together for 13 years, Smith is on morning duty, making breakfast and driving [the kids] to school; Swisher takes the after school through dinner shift. Then it’s back to reporting for Swisher, who admits to little sleep.”
Brian and Lisa Sugar immerse the entire family in their work.
The co-founders of Sugar Inc. say the secret to work-life balance is to blend, not balance. The couple of more than 10 years live and breathe their work, bringing their daughters to work every day when they were young and creating blogs for them.
In an Open Forum article, Brian says the hardest part of working with your spouse is “getting on the same page: Most people talk about work during the day and other stuff when they get home. Our conversations constantly overlap.”
Passion is also key. “The secret to being sane working parents is loving what you do. If I didn’t, I would bring home negative energy that would mess up everything. We try to make Sugar Inc. feel like family,” says Brian. When we cover weekend events or award shows, the writers work from our home, and I’ll make slow-cooked carnitas or a rib roast.”
Marissa Mayer and Zack Bogue just keep working and working …
Yahoo CEO Mayer and investor Bogue work all the time. “We continue to do work in the evening,” says Bogue.
From a Vogue interview:
“There’s never a distinct line between work and home. Marissa’s work is such a natural extension of her. It’s not something she needs to shed at the end of the day.”
[Bogue] adds wryly, “She has converted me to bringing my laptop everywhere: You never know when you’ll get fifteen minutes’ worth of work done.”
She’s also converted him to sleeping an hour less per night …
Bogue knows and thrives. “Marissa is a ball of energy. We feed off each other and wake up in the middle of a 34-mile cross-country [skiing] trek.”
Having a kid has changed things a bit. Mayer says making time for both her family and her professional life means “there’s not a lot of room for anything else.”
Joanne and Fred Wilson set boundaries for their home life.
Joanne Wilson is an investor in 17 different startups as of 2012, while husband Fred is a venture capitalist to his own companies. The two share a passion for the blogosphere, as well as for their home life, which they strive to maintain healthily.
In her blog, Wilson says “Goals you set out for yourself might be achieved and they might not … we ( Fred and I ) made decisions that made sense for our life and our kids. I probably was a little more flexible on the stay at home path for a time being because I was able to create something unique for myself so I didn’t completely leave the work life.”
Jessica Livingston and Paul Graham understand that they are each part of the whole.
Livingston and Graham are co-founding partners of Y Combinator. Though the two share a professional relationship, their romantic relationship was the first to blossom.
The couple’s collaborative spirit helps to maintain a healthy partnership:
“She knows how to do the mechanics of investing, and we didn’t know how to do it. Like, if it hadn’t been the three of us, we never would have started this ourselves, because who would have done all that crap, right? Oh, sorry, who would have done all that very important work?”
Julia and Kevin Hartz remember to talk to each other.
The co-founders of Eventbrite had a long-distance relationship for two years. During that time they learned the importance of communication.
“We have to constantly challenge ourselves to communicate which is funny because we sit next to each other all day, but actually we don’t [talk much],” says Julia. “We’re not constantly sharing information so we have to make sure that we are communicating.”
Along with a few shared “rules of the road,” their one golden rule is to divide and conquer.
“We work on completely separate parts of the business. Basically, we never overlap so we’re optimizing our complementary (sic) skills, getting from point A to point B two times faster,” says Julia. “It also really preserves our relationship because otherwise if we were working on the same spreadsheet we’d be fighting over the mouth.”
Ali and Mark Pincus take Sundays completely off.
This Silicon Valley power couple live a relatively private life with their twin daughters in their Presidio Heights mansion.
In a 2010 Times interview, Mark Pincus, founder and CEO of Zynga, says that his perfect day would involve taking his dogs to the beach, surfing on the California coastline, and playing a game of soccer.
Pincus also makes the most of his Sundays.
“Sunday night is the one night I watch TV, and I usually have some show I’m addicted to. … Sunday is my only day of vacation, and I try to pack everything I love into that one day.”
Rachel Sterne Haot and Max Haot eat dinner together whenever possible.
“I live in Williamsburg and take the L or bike to work. Typically I start with a breakfast meeting before work hours to connect with someone from the tech sector — a startup we are trying to support or a smart person we might partner with. During the day, I am often moving between meetings, about 50 percent with City government colleagues and partners working on City tech projects, and 50 percent with startups, organizations, and individuals in the tech community.
“If I don’t have a lunch meeting, I usually eat lunch at my desk. I often have at least a public event or speaking engagement where I speak about Mayor Bloomberg’s digital roadmap or announce a new initiative. I try to cook dinner at home with my husband Max or friends whenever I don’t have an event in the evening. And of course, from morning to night I am responding to emails and on social media.”
Reshma Saujani and Nihal Mehta make time for date nights.
They are each so busy that it took them a few months to get married officially (even after their wedding reception). Every Friday, their 3 p.m. date to go to City Hall would be postponed because of a last-minute work arrangement.
In a video for AOL, Saujani said “My husband is just as busy as I am but we’re each other’s best friends. We slow each other down when we need to. We make sure we try to have date nights.”
Now that they are married, Saujani says trust is key. “He [Nihal] believes in me. If I ever tried to slow down, he probably wouldn’t let me.”
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan have a written agreement to spend time with each other.
Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki make time for wacky adventures.
Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of 23andMe, juggles two young children with husband and Google co-founder Sergey Brin. When the two aren’t comparing “comparing whether they share the gene that makes urine stink after eating asparagus,” they find time to be what friends call, “wacky together.”
“They’re man and wife and love each other, but they also have that vibe, like, ‘Oh, my God, I get to live with my best friend.’ They’re always off doing personal training, yoga, diving, kite-surfing.”
Sallie Krawcheck and her husband, Gary Appel, realize that kids have two parents for a reason.
Krawcheck, was former head of global wealth management at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and is now the business leader for 85 Broads, an organization which helps women further their business careers. She is married to Gary Appel, vice chairman of the private equity fund Castle Harlan, with whom she has two children.
Krawcheck told Marie Claire: “Long ago I came to the view that kids have two parents for a reason. When they were toddlers and screamed, ‘Mommy!’ they meant a parent of either sex. My son was never disappointed when my husband [financier Gary Appel] entered the room. There was always someone there for the medium-important to very-important range of things — just not always for the not-important stuff.”
Ursula Burns has benefited from her older husband’s experience.
Ursula Burns, Madame Chairman and CEO of Xerox, is married to Xerox scientist Lloyd Bean, and she says that the 20-year age gap has contributed to both her marital and professional success.
While Burns says that “the secret is to marry someone 20 years older,” not all women will find that advice to be applicable or desirable.
Alternatively, Burns says you should redefine work-life balance, and specifically, to “be selfish sometimes.” While working early has become part of Burns’ routine, it is important to think about the other facets of your life.
She tells The Wall Street Journal: “‘Think about your health, physically and mentally,’ she says. A failure to do so can put everything else at risk.”
[via Business Insider]