Billionaire says kids are 'too busy on TikTok' to work hard enough to grow their careers

Billionaire says kids are 'too busy on TikTok' to work hard enough to grow their careers
74-year-old business mogul John Catsimatidis said in an interview that Gen Z is too distracted by TikTok to build their careers.AP Photo/Kathy Willens
  • John Catsimatidis says Gen Z is "too busy on TikTok" to work hard enough to start a career.
  • The billionaire said he worked 70 hours a week in his youth before he launched his supermarket chain.

Billionaire John Catsimatidis said in his youth he started out working 70 hours a week at a supermarket, but he worries Gen Z is "too busy on TikTok" to take similar steps.

"That's one of the problems we are having in our country these days, the kids are busy playing TikTok," he told Daily Mail in an interview.

The businessman told the publication he started working about 70 hours a week at a local supermarket after his mother "threw" him off the couch the summer he graduated high school.

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"I was ready to sleep on the couch for the whole summer and watch television," he told the publication.

Catsimatidis later went on to take partial ownership of the grocery store he had worked in and extended the business. Today, the 74-year-old is worth about $4.1 billion in large part due to his ownership of Gristedes Food, a chain of New York City grocery stores, and a real estate and aviation company call Red Apple Group, according to Forbes.


Catsimatidis told Daily Mail that his advice for people striving to develop their careers is to hire people smarter than you, get an education, and stay out of trouble.

He also said that he feels a strong work ethic has gone by the wayside for many workers today.

"The harder you work, the easier it gets to win," he said. "Look at people only working three days a week, and I'll show you failures."

Catsimatidis has two children of his own and is known to be very active in politics, including on his radio talk show, "The Cats Roundtable," where he has expressed his support for former President Donald Trump.

Catsimatidis is one of many business moguls to slam younger generations' work ethic. Last year, Whole Foods cofounder John Mackey said that younger people "don't seem like they want to work." And more recently, PayPal Mafia member Keith Rabois accused some workers of doing "fake work."


One expert previously told Insider the notion that younger generations are lazier and more entitled was just another "generational effect" or form of "back in my day."

However, Gen Z has indicated they're more concerned about work-life balance and less willing to put up with a toxic work culture. In 2022, a survey from the World Economic Forum found that about half of Gen Z workers would quit their job if it negatively impacted their work-life balance.