A brief history of the tech industry’s obsession with celebrity hires

From Gwen Stefani to Nick Cannon, a timeline


It's a tale as old as time: tech brand struggles, tech brand hires a celebrity to help save itself, tech brand and celebrity eventually part ways. The newest version of this story was told this week, when the bankrupt-yet-somehow-still-around RadioShack hired Nick Cannon on as its chief creative officer. Can the Wild 'N Out host can actually resuscitate RadioShack's retail presence in his new role? Likely not. If recent history is any indication, he's already fighting a losing battle.

Some celebrities go out and start their own thing (Neil Young with Pono, Jay-Z with Tidal), and plenty others have spent time working solely as spokespersons (the list of celebrity endorsements goes far back, even beyond the Friends video for Windows '95). But here's a look back at some of the tech industry's most notable (and failed) attempts at actually hiring celebrities: