Tech CEOs take up ice bucket challenge for ALS

15 Aug 2014

That's Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg there, dousing himself with ice water in the ice bucket challenge for ALS

The CEOs of major tech companies are responding to the going-viral ice bucket challenge for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, and are showing off their participation online.

Facebook users may notice videos popping up in their Timeline of friends and family members dumping ice water over their heads and challenging others to do the same, all to raise awareness of ALS and/or raise funds for research into the disease.

Among the tech executives who have gotten into the spirit of the campaign are Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Phil Schiller, senior vice-president of worldwide marketing at Apple.

New Jersey Gov Chris Christie had challenged Zuckerberg, who then challenged Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates:

Nadella tagged Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Google CEO Larry Page:

Costolo has dared Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow, an online real estate database:

Schiller is the one who tagged Cook.

The campaign seems to be working. The US-based ALS Association said that between 29 July and 12 August, it has received US$4m in donations compared to US$1.2m during the same period last year.

“We have never seen anything like this in the history of the disease,” said Barbara Newhouse, president and CEO of The ALS Association.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled with the level of compassion, generosity and sense of humour that people are exhibiting as they take part in this impactful viral initiative.”

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic