Zoom CEO Eric Yuan has revealed that he gets as sick of virtual meetings as everyone else.
At the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit on Tuesday, Wall Street Journal Deputy News Editor Darren Everson asked the virtual meeting company’s founder, 51, whether he too experiencs so-called ‘Zoom fatigue’.
‘I do,’ Yuan admitted. ‘I can tell you last April, on a particular day, I had a total of 19 Zoom meetings. I’m so tired of that, so I do have a meeting fatigue.’
‘I do not have any back to back meetings anymore,’ he added. ‘I think I feel much more comfortable.’
Zoom CEO Eric Yuan, pictured in 2019, admitted on Tuesday that he does experience Zoom fatigue, which occurs after a long day of virtual meetings
Zoom’s popularity exploded after the COVID-19 pandemic forced hundreds of millions of people to switch to working from home, but sparked concerns over its security and tax affairs
Yuan, who created the platform to ‘meet’ with a long-distance girlfriend who lived 10 hours away, also told the summit that Zoom employees will be among those returning to the office soon, as COVID vaccines become widely available.
They will most likely be asked to come into their offices two days a week, he said, and work from home the rest of the time. The company’s headquarters are in San Jose, California, with many of its developers based in China.
Yuan’s admission of his own Zoom fatigue came after experts warned the intense eye contact and concentration on picking up colleagues’ cues over a screen was more exhausting than regular, face-to-face meetings.
Researchers from Stanford University in Connecticut surveyed more than 10,000 people who used teleconferencing software each day from February through March of this year.
Their results found that one in seven women reported feeling ‘very to ‘extremely’ fatigued after Zoom calls, compared with one in 20 men.
The main reason for this discrepancy, the researchers said, seems to be what psychologists call ‘self-focused attention’ of the awareness of how you look or come across in a conversation, triggered by the self-view of the camera.
Women’s meetings also tend to run longer, and women are less likely to take breaks, the researchers found.
Extroverts also reported feeling less exhausted after video calls than introverts, as did calm, emotionally stable individuals, compared to those who are more anxious.
Yuan, 51, took part in a bell-ringing ceremony at the NASDAQ MarketSite in 2019. Now, he has a net-worth of $13.9 billion.
By March 2020, Zoom reported having 200 million daily meeting participants, but by October 2020 that number skyrocketed to 300 million daily users, according to Reuters.
It recorded a 369 percent year-over-year increase in revenue in the last quarter of 2020, and its fourth-quarter operating cash flow of $399.4 million was up 993 percent from the year before.
For its full fiscal year, the teleconferencing software had an operating cash flow of $1,471.2 million, up 869 percent compared to the previous year.
By the end of January, CBS News reports, Zoom made $672 million, up 3,200 percent from the $21 million profit it reported making during the previous fiscal year.
The company received a $300 million tax credit last year to use against future earnings, and will not likely have to pay any federal taxes this year, according to CBS News.
Chinese-born Yuan, who has three children with wife Sherry, and lives in California, has a personal fortune estimated at $13.9 billion.
Zoom has also suffered repeated concerns over its security, with bosses saying its unexpected and sudden surge in popularity had caught them by surprise.
Last year, Zoom announced a 90 day freeze on developing its software to focus solely on improving security features.
In April, two ‘ethical hackers’ were able to use the platform to take over a victim’s entire system, without them even having to click on a link or open an attachment, according to TechRadar.
The hackers were awarded $200,000 from the company, which is now working to fix the glitch.
A year after the world began using Zoom to work from home and virtual meetings were hit by ‘Zoom-bombers,’ the platform continues to suffer security issues…
In March 2021, news broke that a glitch in Zooms screen-sharing feature shows parts of presenters’ screens that they did not intend to share, potentially leaking emails and passwords. But the information would only be shown briefly, making a potential attack difficult to carry out.
And in April, two ‘ethical hackers’ were able to use the platform to take over a victim’s entire system, without them even having to click on a link or open an attachment.
The teleconferencing platform has previously suffered other security concerns.
Company officials admitted to The Intercept in March 2020 that Zoom did not use end-to-end encryption – where only users communicating with one another can see messages – despite an earlier claim to the contrary.
Zoom-bombers were also able to find or guess meeting ID numbers online and join groups they were not invited to, with reports of school classrooms being bombarded with porn, and work meetings interrupted with verbal abuse.
And in the early days of the pandemic, a glitch with the software’s installation allowed hackers to take over a user’s computer. They could then install programs without a user’s knowledge.