Chief of Staff to the CEO
The Chief of Staff to the CEO is a very talented individual who serves as a trusted advisor and confidant to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The Chief of Staff to the CEO and the CEO work closely together to get twice as much done as the CEO would be able to do alone. Over time the work will get more interesting culminating in a senior leadership position at GitLab or another company. This is a unique opportunity to see every aspect of a public company at the CEO level. For more context see the references at the end of this page.
This is a senior leadership role. This role does not do any work our Executive Business Administrators (EBAs) are already doing, who for example, are responsible for scheduling and driving the Objective and Key Results (OKR) process. This role could have EBA support, although will not have a dedicated EBA themselves. It also is unrelated to the work of our CEO Shadow training program who, for example, takes notes during all meetings with the CEO. A detailed list of the types of projects the Chief of Staff to the CEO might work on can be found in the Chief of Staff to the CEO handbook page.
The Chief of Staff to the CEO is a grade 12.
- 2019-07-24 Chief of Staff to the CEO Q&A Video with the CEO
- 2021-12-15 Chief of Staff partnership with the CEO Q&A Video
The responsibilities include both directed work that will mostly be triggered by a direction from the CEO as well as leadership work that is self-directed. The mix will shift from majority directed work to majority leadership work.
- Create written material and presentations on behalf of the CEO.
- Suggest changes to processes via the handbook based on discussions during meetings or from the CEO and address any comments on them. The CEO shadows will keep doing the majority of these.
- Ensure upcoming E-Group Weekly meetings are relevant, well structured, and that the preparation is complete and correct.
- Moderate the e-group meetings.
- Ensure action points coming out of meetings (i.e. executive, OKR, key, or incident meetings) are implemented.
- Reinforce communication guidelines.
- Help create mecefu-terms.
- Prep for the CEO Group Conversations
- Keep this job family up-to-date.
- Draft blog posts and articles out of recorded meetings and handbook content.
- Initiate and guide the OKR process according to the OKR schedule
- Identify opportunities to acknowledge success and ensure that they are appropriately recognized by the CEO.
- Review OKR suggestions during the scheduled OKR meetings and outside of the meetings.
- Own agenda for the E-group offsite.
- Serve as a proxy for the CEO by attending meetings in place of the CEO and making decisions on the CEO’s behalf.
- Chief of Staff to the CEO will participate in every E-group meeting. The person will not be an executive or part of the e-group.
- Act as the communication arm for the CEO with team members and other stakeholders.
- Act as a sounding board to the CEO for new ideas and initiatives.
- Prepare ahead of formal and informal Board meetings. Ensure CEO has up to date information from every function in advance of questions from the board.
- Run special projects that are urgent and important, for example building a company wide compensation model.
- Lead all many-function efforts.
- Capacity to be a senior leader at GitLab.
- Proven ability to quickly learn new things.
- Concise written and verbal communication.
- Ability to work during Pacific Time (PT) friendly hours.
- Structured about how to prioritize work and time.
- Able to make a clear business case for proposals.
- Master’s degree in Engineering or Business Administration or equivalent experience.
- Experience with data analysis.
- Proven success in project coordination and reporting.
- Proven track record of effectively interacting with senior stakeholders on cross-functional projects.
- Experience leading a team.
- 5+ years combined experience in:
- Senior operating role at a significant fast-growing startup,
- Strategy consulting,
- or Venture capital.
- 3+ years people management experience.
- Operational experience in a previous role.
- Ability to use GitLab
- Knows how to use git.
The Chief of Staff to the CEO will be asked to undertake small, tactical tasks as part of the role. This could lead to them becoming frustrated by feeling that they are being micro-managed. They should feel empowered to delegate or refuse these tasks.
- Meetings shifted from CEO - hours spent in meetings decreases overtime by Chief of Staff to the CEO stepping in, supported by Internal Consultants
- Throughput - Issues or merge requests closed as measurement of projects iterated on
Candidates for this position can expect the hiring process to follow the order below. Please keep in mind that candidates can be declined from the position at any stage of the process. To learn more about someone who may be conducting the interview, find their job title on our team page.
- Qualified candidates will be invited to schedule a 25 minute screening call with a Recruiter
- Next, candidates will be invited to schedule a 25 minute interview with the CEO
- Then, candidates will be invited to schedule a 50 minute interview with the Director, Strategy & Operations and a 50 minute interview with the Senior Engineering Manager, Infrastructure (second team member)
- In tandem, candidates will be asked to complete a project
- Next, candidates will be invited to schedule a 50 minute interview with the Chief Revenue Officer and a 50 minute interview with the Chief Technology Officer
- Then, candidates will be asked to complete another project
- Next, candidates will be invited to a 80 minute face to face interview with the CEO
- Finally, candidates may be asked to do another call with a Board Member, CEO Mentor, or other industry professional
- What Is a Chief of Staff to the CEO and When Do You Need One? by Madeleine Niebauer 2018-09-26
- The Chief of Staff to the CEO role in Silicon Valley by Julia DeWahl 2019-04-29
GitLab Inc. is a company based on the GitLab open-source project. GitLab is a community project to which over 2,200 people worldwide have contributed. We are an active participant in this community, trying to serve its needs and lead by example. We have one vision: everyone can contribute to all digital content, and our mission is to change all creative work from read-only to read-write so that everyone can contribute.
We value results, transparency, sharing, freedom, efficiency, self-learning, frugality, collaboration, directness, kindness, diversity, inclusion and belonging, boring solutions, and quirkiness. If these values match your personality, work ethic, and personal goals, we encourage you to visit our primer to learn more. Open source is our culture, our way of life, our story, and what makes us truly unique.
Top 10 Reasons to Work for GitLab:
- Mission: Everyone can contribute
- Results: Fast growth, ambitious vision
- Flexible Work Hours: Plan your day so you are there for other people & have time for personal interests
- Transparency: Over 2,000 webpages in GitLab handbook, GitLab Unfiltered YouTube channel
- Iteration: Empower people to be effective & have an impact, Merge Request rate, We dogfood our own product, Directly responsible individuals
- Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging: A focus on gender parity, Team Member Resource Groups, other initiatives
- Collaboration: Kindness, saying thanks, intentionally organize informal communication, no ego
- Total Rewards: Competitive market rates for compensation, Equity compensation, global benefits (inclusive of office equipment)
- Work/Life Harmony: Flexible workday, Family and Friends days
- Remote Done Right: One of the world's largest all-remote companies, prolific inventor of remote best practices
See our culture page for more!
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