Organizational Structure

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Organizational chart

You can see who reports to whom on our organizational chart.

Layers

Level Example(s) Peer group / shorthand for peer group  
Board member Chief Executive Officer Board  
Executive Chief Culture Officer and VP of Engineering Executives / E-group  
Senior Leader Senior Director or VP of Global Channels Senior leaders / S-group  
Director Director of Engineering Directors / D-group  
Manager Engineering Manager Managers / M-group  
Individual contributor (IC) Staff Developer ICs  

We follow the industry convention that in sales a senior leader has a VP title, sales has no senior director titles. Outside of sales a senior leader has a senior director director title and someone with a VP title is an executive. GitLab Inc. has at most six layers in the company structure (IC, Manager, Director, Senior Leadership, Executives, Board). Your reports always have a title from a different level, never a peer. The CEO is the only person who is part of two levels: the board and the executives.

Executive layer

The executive layer is structured as follows. There are two primary processes, product (product management and engineering) and go-to market (marketing and sales). Some companies have a Chief Product Officer (CPO) for the former and a Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the latter. We have a flatter organization. The C-level exec for product is the CEO and the VP's of Product management, Engineering, and Alliances report to the CEO. Marketing and sales have separate C-level execs. The two supporting functions, finance and people, also each have a C-level executive, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Culture Officer (CCO).

Manager in title doesn't imply manager in structure

Some of individual contributors (without any direct reports) have manager in their title but are not considered a manager in our company structure structure nor salary calculator, examples are product manager, accounting manager, account manager, channel sales manager, technical account manager, field marketing managers, online marketing manager, and product marketing manager.

Wider community

GitLab is a project bigger than GitLab the company. It is really important that we see the community around GitLab as something that includes the people at the company. When you refer to the community excluding the people working for the company please use: wider community. If refer to both people at the company and outside of it use community or GitLabbers.

L-group

L-group are the people attending a regular leadership meeting to work on hard questions handed down from the E-Group. It is composed of part of the senior leaders and directors, and will rotate membership at times throughout the year. It should be an adequate representation of company. It is a leadership development opportunity (secondary benefit, but not primary selection criterium)

Team and team-members

Team is reserved for the smallest group. It is defined by a manager and their reports. Confusingly we also refer to all the people working for the company as team-members. Normally you would refer to this as employees but our team-members also include a lot of contractors. Do not refer to team-members as Gitlabbers since this refers to the whole community.

Functions and departments

A function is the area under one executive. A department is defined by finance.

Specialists, experts, and mentors

People can be a specialist in one thing and be an expert in multiple things. These are listed on the team page.

Specialist

Specialists carry responsibility for a certain topic. They keep track of issues in this topic and/or spend the majority of their time there. Sometimes there is a lead in this topic that they report to. You can be a specialist in only one topic. The specialist description is a paragraph in the job description for a certain title. A specialist is listed after a title, for example: Developer, database specialist (do not shorten it to Developer, database). Many specialties represent stable counterparts. For instance, a "Test Automation Engineer, Create" specializes in the "Create" stage group and is dedicated to that group. The if you can have multiple ones and/or if you don't spend the majority of your time there it is probably an expertise. Since a specialist has the same job description as others with the title they have the same career path and compensation.

Expert

Expert means you have above average experience with a certain topic. Commonly, you're expert in multiple topics after working at GitLab for some time. This helps people in the company to quickly find someone who knows more. Please add these labels to yourself and assign the merge request to your manager. An expertise is not listed in a role description, unlike a specialist.

For Production Engineers, a listing as "Expert" can also mean that the individual is actively embedded with another team. Following the period of being embedded, they are experts in the regular sense of the word described above.

Developers focused on Reliability and Production Readiness are named Reliability Expert.

Mentor

Whereas an expert might assist you with an individual issue or problem, mentorship is about helping someone grow their career, functional skills, and/or soft skills. It's an investment in someone else's growth.

Some people think of expertise as hard skills (Ruby, International Employment Law, etc) rather than soft skills (managing through conflict, navigating career development in a sales organization, etc).

If you would like to be a mentor in a certain area, please add the information to the team page. It is important to note whether you would like to be a mentor internally and/or externally at GitLab. Examples of how to specify in the expertise section of the team page: Mentor - Marketing, Internal to GitLab or Mentor - Development (Ruby), External and Internal to GitLab.

Stage Groups

Parts of our engineering organization are directly aligned with our product categories. For example we have a Product Manager, an Engineering Manager, Backend Developers, Frontend Developers, and UX Designers who are dedicated to the stage named "Monitor". Collectively, these individuals form the "Monitor group". The word "Monitor" appears in their titles as a specialty, and in some cases, their team name. Similar to a crew, a DevOps stage group has no reporting lines because we don't want a matrix organization. Instead, we rely on stable counterparts to make a stage group function well.

GitLab.com isn't a role

Some of the things we do make are GitLab.com specific. But the majority of work in any role applies to both ways of delivery GitLab, self-managed and .com.

  1. We have a functionally organized company, the functions need to as mutally exclusive as possible to be efficient, .com overlaps with a small part of many functions.
  2. Having .com specific people will increase the pressure to get to two codebases, that can be a big hindrance: "splitting development between two codebases and having one for cloud and one for on-prem is what doomed them", and "they split cloud and on-prem early on and it was a 10-year headache with the OP folks feeling left in line to jump in the pool but never could. While cloud pushed daily/weekly with ease, OP was easily 6-mo behind leaving customers frustrated"
  3. The reasons .com customers churned were all things that occur in both self-managed and .com
  4. Improvements we can make in user growth might be informed by .com specific data but can be implemented for both delivery mechanisms.