7 Infamous Sibling Rivalries At Work

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One of Mark Zuckerberg's younger sisters, Arielle, recently launched a career in the tech world, at the advertising startup Wildfire. On Tuesday, Google announced it would be acquiring Wildfire, which means the two Zucks will be on either side of the greatest tech war of the 2010s. Randi, the eldest Zuckerberg tweeted:

The battle between the No. 1 and No. 2 most popular sites on the internet has been tense at times. Like when Facebook tried to take on Gmail with its email service. Or when Google tried to take on Facebook with its own social network. Or when Google blocked users from importing their Gmail contacts to Facebook. Or when Facebook blocked users from importing their contacts to Google+. Meowww!


%VIRTUAL-hiringNow-topInds%But siblings have been on opposite sides of worse power struggles. Like two sons of the famed playwright Berthold Brecht, who were in rival armies in World War II (the one on the German side died). Or when it was standard practice in the Ottoman Empire for a new sultan to imprison all his brothers, and then strangle them all as soon as he produced a male heir. Eeeeks!

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Siblings competing in the same industry is actually a pretty common phenomenon. Given that siblings share half their genes and much of their upbringing, it's perhaps little surprise that many of them develop kindred career goals.

And while many siblings serve as models, inspirations and support for one another, they can also serve as the most intimate measure of each other's success or failure. After all, when a younger sibling is born, "Not only do the older children face a rival for the love and attention of their parents," writes Joyce Edward, author of "The Sibling Relationship," "but they must now contend with someone who, unlike the adults in their world, is not concerned with their welfare." Ouch!


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7 Worst Sibling Rivalries At Work
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7 Infamous Sibling Rivalries At Work

If you walk through certain parts of Los Angeles, you know by the blue or red bandanas whether you're in the territory of the Bloods or Crips street gangs. And if you were to walk through the Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach in the midcentury, you could tell people's loyalties by looking at their feet.

Rudolph and Adolph "Adi" Dassler's shoe company was booming in the 1940s when they had a vicious and mysterious falling out. Rudolph packed up and moved across the river to build a rival shoe company, Puma. Adi Dassler loaned his own name to his new company: Adidas.

Local businesses quickly chose their sides, and Rudolph and Adi died without resolving their issues. "It's certainly sad," Rudolph's son, Frank Dassler, told DW.de, "but from a business point of view it was a good decision, since it motivated both companies to innovate."

Eppie Lederer and her identical twin sister, Popo Phillips, were inseparable as kids, and were wed to their respective paramours in a double ceremony in 1939. Sixteen years later, Lederer entered a competition to be an advice columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, having never held a paying job or published a word. She won, and her wise and witty dispatch, "Ask Ann Landers," was an instant hit.

Lederer would often call up her sister for help, and the California-dwelling Phillips soon started offering her own agony aunt bit for the San Francisco Chronicle, under the title "Dear Abby." Both columns were wildly successful, and battled each other for syndication at newspapers across the country. The squabble was so bitter that the two sisters didn't speak for years.

But being two feuding identical twins at typewriters certainly helped them become "the most widely read and most quoted women in the world," in the words of Life magazine.

In 2010, Ray Davies wanted to launch a reunion tour of his history-making '60s rock band The Kinks. The band's lead guitarist, and Ray's younger brother, Dave, wasn't so into it though. His response: "Ray's an a***hole."

Ray and Dave never got along particularly well. "I think Ray has been happy for only three years of his life," Dave told The Daily Mail. "And those were the three years beore I was born." That rivalry simmered through their musicmaking years, and the last time the band was together, on Dave's 50th birthday, Dave claims "Ray jumped on the table and made a speech about how wonderful he was. He then stamped on the cake."

Ray has kept busy since The Kinks faded in the '80s, releasing five solo albums, touring with a full band, writing an autobiography and a book of short stories, as well directing several movies. Dave has also released a handful of solo albums, but none were commercially successful. He claims that he's pretty low on cash, since Ray, as the songwriter, ended up with most of The Kinks' royalties.

"Well, Ray sucks me dry of ideas, emotions and creativity," Dave said, explaining his lack of interest in a reunion tour. "It's toxic for me to be with him."

When legendary Indian industrialist Dhirubhai Ambani died in 2002, his company Reliance -- the largest company in India -- fell into the hands of his two sons, Mukesh and Anil. After a fierce scrimmage over ownership, their widowed mother brokered a truce: The company would break into two, with Mukesh's chunk worth $45 billion, and Anil's, $24 billion.

The brothers kept battling though, billionaire style. The famously low-profile, ruthless and controlling Mukesh built the most expensive home ever, which included three helipads, six floors of parking, and 600 servants, and gave his wife a private jet for her birthday. The more glamorous and flamboyant Anil bought half of Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks Studios, and struck up movie deals with Brad Pitt, Jim Carrey, Julia Roberts and George Clooney.

Tensions finally boiled over when Mukesh decided that he didn't want to sell his young bro discounted gas, as they had agreed. The Supreme Court took Mukesh's side, ruling that only the government could set gas prices, and in doing so bumped up Mukesh's profits by something like $6 billion -- at his brother's expense.

But after almost a decade of ferocious fighting, the two brothers appeared to reconcile last December, when they feasted, danced, and prayed together at the inauguration of their father's memorial.

Sports seems to attract more than its fair share of siblings. Tennis has the Williams sisters and the Bryan brothers. Football has the Barbers and the Sharpes. Baseball, the Molinas and the DiMaggios. Boxing, the Spinks. Wrestling, the Klitschkos. And hockey, the Espositos, the Sedins, and the four Staal brothers.

But few athletic siblings have received as much scrutiny as Eli and Peyton Manning. The progeny of football quarterback Archie Manning went on to do what their father never did: win Super Bowls, Peyton with the Indianapolis Colts in 2007, and Eli with the New York Giants in 2008 and 2012.

But Peyton has beaten Eli both times they've gone head-to-head, in 2006 and 2010. Eli denies any rivalrous feelings toward his older brother though. "Peyton's my hero, and we're extremely close," he said earlier this year. "I don't feel that way, and I never have. Peyton's my biggest mentor."


In the 1930s and 40s, Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine were glittering starlets. But scoring leading-lady roles is a tooth-and-nail game, and one made all the more brutal when you're competing against your sister.

Havilland was always a little resentful of her younger sister, and would allegedly tear up her clothes as a child so that Fontaine wouldn't get the hand-me-downs. But the bitterness supposedly ballooned when both actresses were competing for a role in Alfred Hitchcock's "Rebecca." The younger sister, Fontaine, got the part, and was nominated for an Oscar in 1940. The next year, the two sisters were both nominated in the best actress category -- the first time sisters went head-to-head in the same year. Fontaine scooped the award.

In 1946, it was finally Havilland's turn to be awarded by the academy. Fontaine was chosen to present the award, and Havilland refused to shake her younger sister's hand. By 1975, they supposedly had stopped talking. And when they were booked into adjacent hotel rooms at the Oscars in 1987, story has it that Fontaine had herself moved. Now in their 90s, their gold statues dusty on their mantels, the women have yet to talk it all out. 

The liqueur market is tough to enter. From Campari to Chartreuse, there are just so many established elixirs to compete against. But in 2007 and 2008 two new cordials hit the scene, St-Germain and Domaine de Canton, winning the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and landing prized spots in high-end bars. And the artistes behind the elderflower and ginger concoctions are related, fraternally.

John and Robert Cooper grew up steeped in fine liqueur, their grandfather earning his fortune bringing the French raspberry liqueur Chambord to the American market. When their father sold the company in 2006, John decided to start his own business -- not with his brother. "We don't get along," he told The Wall Street Journal.

Robert exited the family business soon after, since if he continued there, he said, "someday my brother would have half of whatever I built."  And so the boys went on to innovate the world of liqueurs in their distinct ways (with delicate elderflower and spicy, sweet ginger, respectively), each hoping drinkers would pick their particular potion.

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