It's embarrassing when you confuse someone for somebody else. It happens to all of us. Even if you're the CEO of the largest social network in the world.
Back in April 2005, Eduardo Saverin had just "left" Facebook, and Mark Zuckerberg was in need of a new business development head and sales lead. So he turned to General Catalyst Venture partner, Kevin Colleran.
We're not sure how Zuck came to hire Colleran, maybe by word of mouth, or taking a peep at his resume; regardless, he liked what he saw. But, evidently, what he didn't see was Colleran himself. Zuck and Colleran had never met in person, so Zuck only went off Colleran's Facebook profile picture. A profile picture of Colleran—and 50 Cent. Of course Zuck thought that the blinged-out “tough looking black guy” was his new salesperson, and not Colleran, who is just to the left of the picture.
When Zuck and Sean Parker flew to NYC to meet Colleran, Zuck reportedly looked "crestfallen” during the meeting. The next day, Colleran called up Parker and asked what was up, and Parker said: ”Well, the meeting went fine. But we both feel a little weird, because we thought you were African-American.”
The icing on the cake, though, is that 50 Cent knows about this mix up. A number of years after Facebook blew up, Parker told Fifty about the story, to which he reportedly responded: “Damn, should have taken the job.”