At GitLab, being a CEO shadow is not a job title, but a temporary assignment to shadow the CEO. The shadows will be present at all meetings of the CEO during their rotation. GitLab is an all-remote company, but the CEO has in-person meetings with external organizations. Unless you're joining the program during one of our remote rotations, you will stay in San Francisco during the entire rotation and travel with the CEO.
The goal of the CEO Shadow Program is to give team members and eligible individuals an overview of all aspects of the company. This transparency enables CEO Shadow participants to better engage and collaborate cross-functionally, as well as better perform global optimizations.
As a CEO Shadow, you'll gain this context through the meetings you attend and while completing short-term tasks from across the company. The program also creates opportunities for the CEO to build relationships with team members across the company and to identify challenges and opportunities earlier. The shadows will also often connect with one another, developing new cross-functional relationships.
The CEO Shadow Program is not a performance evaluation or the next step to a promotion. Being a CEO shadow is not needed to get a promotion or a raise, and should not be a consideration factor for a promotion or raise, as diverse applicants have different eligibilities.
Apart from creating leadership opportunities, the CEO Shadow Program:
This is why the program is worth the extra overhead for the CEO and EBA team.
For now, this role is called a CEO shadow to make it clear to external people why a shadow is in a meeting.
Other names considered:
Considering joining the program? Hear from past shadows about their experience:
This is feedback received from some Alumni shadows and their managers.
Hear what our CEO has to say about the CEO shadow program.
You are eligible to apply for the program if you have been with GitLab for at least 1 month (recommended more than 3 months) and you are a:
Considerations are cumulative and can be:
Exceptions to eligibility:
CEO Shadow rotations will be reserved for All-Directs during the week of E-Group Offsites. An exception will be made if there is last minute availability as two All-Directs are not available to serve in this role during this window.
COVID-19 Note: During this time, all shadow rotations are fully remote. Given the CEO generally works from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific, it's best for remote shadows to be in Pacific, Mountain, or Central time zones. Other time zones will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Learn more about what to expect from a remote shadow rotation.
Shadows with scheduled rotations always have the option to delay to later in the year if they'd prefer to do their rotation in person. Shadows who have chosen to delay their rotations until another time include:
@mentionthe Executive Business Admin supporting the CEO in the message.
Please keep in mind when selecting dates that the CEO's schedule is fluid and subject to constant change, which also means that the CEO shadow rotation is subject to constant change. The posted dates are not guaranteed. We will work with you to reschedule your rotation if a conflict arises.
We understand that participation in the CEO Shadow Program is optional and can cause hardships at home. To help overcome these challenges and to allow flexibility for parents to participate, there will be some rotations identified as "parent-friendly" weeks. These are weeks when Sid doesn't need a shadow for the full 5 workdays or where the program is split so the weeks are not consecutive.
We want many people to be able to benefit from this program, therefore we rotate often. It is important that an incoming person is trained so that the management overhead can be light. Currently, a rotation is two weeks:
The shadow should be available for the full two weeks.
When the CEO has a week or more of paid time off, or during Contribute, the program will pause, one shadow will "see one" before the break and "teach one" after the break. The rotations with breaks of one or more weeks without a shadow are great if you can't be away from home for more than one week at a time.
If you need childcare to be able to participate, GitLab will reimburse you for it.
This program is not limited just to long-term GitLab team members. For new team members, this might even be the first thing they do after completing our onboarding. Exceptional community members may be able to participate, as well.
|Start date||End date||See one||Teach one|
|2021-10-18||2021-10-22||Omar Fernández - Director, Strategy and Operations||Kyle Wiebers - Engineering Manager, Engineering Productivity|
|2021-10-25||2021-10-29||Taurie Davis - Product Design Manager, Foundations||Omar Fernández - Director, Strategy and Operations|
|2021-11-01||2021-11-05||Cesar Saavedra - Sr. Technical Marketing Manager||Taurie Davis - Product Design Manager, Foundations|
|2021-11-08||2021-11-12||AVAILABLE - REMOTE||Cesar Saavedra - Sr. Technical Marketing Manager|
|2021-11-15||2021-11-19||AVAILABLE - REMOTE||AVAILABLE - REMOTE|
|2021-11-22||2021-11-24||AVAILABLE - REMOTE||AVAILABLE - REMOTE|
|2021-12-06||2021-12-10||AVAILABLE - REMOTE||AVAILABLE - REMOTE|
|2021-12-13||2021-12-17||AVAILABLE - REMOTE||AVAILABLE - REMOTE|
|2022-01-03||2022-01-07||Josh Zimmerman - Learning & Development Manager||AVAILABLE - REMOTE|
|2022-01-10||2022-01-14||AVAILABLE - REMOTE||Josh Zimmerman - Learning & Development Manager|
|2022-01-18||2022-01-21||AVAILABLE - REMOTE||AVAILABLE - REMOTE|
|2022-01-24||2022-01-28||AVAILABLE - REMOTE||AVAILABLE - REMOTE|
|2022-01-31||2022-02-04||AVAILABLE - REMOTE||AVAILABLE - REMOTE|
If you have questions regarding the planned rotation schedule, please ping the Staff Executive Business Admin to the CEO. The EBA to the CEO manages the rotation schedule, please do not add new dates to the schedule when adding in your rotation. The CEO's schedule is subject to constant change and your rotation may need to be rescheduled.
PTO by Roots app > Slack > CEO Shadow Programif you find it obtrusive.
You do not need to dress formally; business casual clothes are appropriate. For example, Sid wears a button-up with jeans most days. GitLab shirts are acceptable when there aren't any external meetings. Review Sid's calendar to check if there are formal occasions - this may require different clothing. If unsure, please ask the Executive Business Administrator (EBA) in the
#ceo-shadow Slack channel
Make sure to bring comfortable shoes with you to Mission Control any time there are meetings in the city. Wear whatever you are comfortable in, keeping in mind that Sid prefers to walk, even if his calendar says Uber.
Outgoing shadows are responsible for training incoming shadows. We currently track onboarding and offboarding in the ceo-shadow project.
Make sure you do the following:
onboardingtemplate. Assign the issue to both the incoming and outgoing shadows (the person who will be "teaching one" and yourself).
Consider adding goals for your time as a CEO Shadow, and adding them to your onboarding issue. To make your goals more ationable, you may want to use the SMART goals framework.
Doing this will help you reflect upon your overall CEO Shadow experience more easily, and it may help you write a better blog post after you complete the program.
For inspiration, here is an example of a CEO Shadow who added goals to their onboarding issue.
You will get asked about yourself during the program, and it's important to describe it correctly. So stand in front of a mirror and practice 3 times. The main point is, do not say that your role is to "follow Sid around" or "follow the CEO around". The program is for exploring and learning about all the parts of GitLab, and there's where the emphasis should lie. See CEO Shadow Introductions for specifics.
Before your scheduled rotation, try to schedule coffee chats with your co-shadow before you start the program. This gives you the opportunity to get to know them and help set expectations for the rotation.
Feel free to schedule a coffee chat with any of the CEO Shadow Alumni. You can review the list of CEO Shadow Alumni below. These chats can be helpful when deciding whether to apply to participate or if you're unable to participate but want to hear about the experience and what alumni have learned while shadowing.
Due to the sensitivity of some of the conversations you'll be listening in on, you may end up having questions about what you can talk about or share with others. Should it be useful or complementary to your time as a CEO Shadow, our Chief Legal Officer (CLO) hosts Monthly Shadow Chats on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 08:30 PST.
Please @ mention the CLO's Sr. EBA in
#ceo-shadow should you wish to be added to an upcoming session, or if you would like to schedule a 1:1 coffee chat with the CLO. This option is available to all Shadows, past, present, and future.
CEO Shadows use the ceo-shadow project to track issues and coordinate the requests that result from the CEO's meetings. It is linked in the CEO Shadow channel description on Slack. Check out the ongoing CEO Shadow tasks on the To Do issue board.
Review the CEO's calendar to get an idea of what your upcoming weeks will be like.
The CEO has a section in the handbook that details processes and workflows specific to him as well as his background, communication style, strengths, and flaws. Take time to invest in your relationship with him upfront by reviewing this part of the handbook. Here are some helpful sections:
If you're not familiar with some of the business acronyms, take a bit of time to review them. The Product Performance Indicators handbook page has some useful acronyms as well as concepts you're likely to come across.
Note: This list is not meant to be exhaustive and should not become a glossary. While we strive to be handbook first, you may find that we are using acronyms without a clear handbook definition. If you can't find it in the handbook or find a standard definition on Google, ask someone what the acronym means. Not being able to find it could be a sign that we need to do a better job with documentation.
The value of the CEO Shadow Program comes from the broader context you'll gain and the interesting conversations you'll witness.
Since your rotation is over a short period of time, there are no long-term tasks you can take on. However, there are many short-term administrative tasks you'll be asked to perform as a shadow. Here are some examples:
#ceoSlack channel and
@-reference the CEO so the CEO knows they have been completed. It is not required to create issues for these tasks. Go directly to a merge request if it is more efficient.
#thankschannel in Slack when it comes from a customer or wider community member in a meeting.
#legalor the Corporate Communications team in
#ceo-shadow-privateSlack channel with the CEO immediately following meetings (excluding 1:1s). Scores can range from 1 (the least positive someone could respectfully be) to 10 (the most positive someone could authentically be), focused on the CEO's presence and reactions during the meeting.
The CEO shadows maintain a project called CEO Shadow Tasks.
It is linked in the
#ceo-shadow Slack channel description.
Collect tasks using the first name of the shadow who captured it and
the name of the person that will complete the task.
Once an MR has been opened, post in the
+next to "Other Calendars". Then click
Subscribe to Calendar, search for the CEO's name, and click enter.
There are three types of meetings on the CEO's calendar: GitLab meetings, Valley meetings, and personal meetings. Please note, the program's continued success depends on the participants respecting confidentiality during the program, after the program, and after they leave GitLab.
You will attend all GitLab meetings of the CEO, including but not limited to:
Like all meetings at GitLab, meetings will begin promptly, regardless of the shadows' attendance. You will travel with the CEO to meetings, team off-sites, and conferences outside of San Francisco per the CEO's schedule. Executive Business Admin to the CEO will assist you with conference registration and travel accommodations during these time frames.
The CEO's Executive Business Admin will ask external people if they are comfortable with the shadows joining prior to the scheduled meeting, and will share a link to the CEO shadow page to provide context.
Meeting agendas should be shared with
email@example.com, as shadows will be added to this email alias prior to the rotation, and removed at the conclusion of it.
For agendas that contain sensitive information, the sensitive information should be removed and the document shared with "View only" access to restrict access to the document's history.
Not all agendas will be shared, though, and the CEO Shadows should feel empowered to ask for access if that is the case.
Sometimes, the answer will be "no" for sensitive reasons.
These meetings can have different formats:
You will not attend a meeting when:
When it comes time for the Social calls, CEO shadows should attend on their own. You are encouraged to share your experience as a shadow with your call group while you are shadowing.
The weekly E-group meeting and quarterly E-Group offsites are fast-paced, with a lot of back and forth discussion between team members. Remember that it is more important to capture accurate takeaways than precise notes if you can't type fast enough to keep up with the conversation.
Occasionally, other team members are invited to discuss a specific topic with E-Group. If so, a separate agenda shared with the invited team members will be included in a calendar invite adjacent to the main calendar event and agenda. In this case, shadows should take notes in the agenda for the specific topic versus the main E-Group agenda
CEO Shadows may be the point of contact for helping coordinate (not schedule) media briefings. Take initiative, for example finding a quiet space for the CEO to take the call, if it is done while traveling. When participating in media briefings, CEO Shadows are to act as silent participants, except when directly asked a question.
If the candidate is comfortable with it, CEO shadows will attend interviews performed by the CEO.
When scheduling an interview with the CEO, the EBA to the CEO will create a shared Google Doc for notes between the shadows and the CEO. The doc template can be found by searching "Notes Doc for Candidate Interviews" in Google Drive. If you have any questions, please @ mention the EBA to CEO in
#ceo-shadow in Slack.
This notes document is then added to the scorecard for the candidate in Greenhouse.
REMINDER: Please fill out your scorecard for [NAME]. CEO shadows are asked to simply delete this email.
The CEO may occasionally invite you to optional meetings that may not be explicitly GitLab related, but can help provide insight into his day-to-day activities. In these meetings, it is asked that you not take notes because we don't want you to do work that isn't for GitLab. Additionally if the agenda document is not shared with you most likely it is because it is owned outside of the GitLab domain therefore requesting access is not advised. However, keeping time can still be very helpful so you are encouraged to do so if you are in attendance. These meetings are optional and you can leave at any time.
Valley meetings can usually be identified in two ways:
For the CEO shadows: this is a Valley Meeting and attendance is optionalin the meeting description.
Personal meetings will be marked as "busy" on the calendar. Shadows do not attend personal calls.
For certain meetings, such as Valley Meetings, a CEO Shadow may be added to an agenda document that is accessible to people outside of the GitLab organization.
At the conclusion of the call, the CEO Shadows should remove themselves from document(s) they were added to via the following steps.
Sharebutton atop the Google Doc
Xby your name to remove yourself
Are you sure?dialog box, click
Your access has expired
Meetings come in many different formats. Your responsibilities may change slightly based on the kind of meeting.
Here are the responsibilities shadows have during meetings:
|1-1||No notes unless requested||No timekeeping unless requested|
|Legal meeting||No notes||Timekeeping|
|GitLab Board meeting or meeting with a GitLab Board Member||No notes||Timekeeping|
|Internal meeting (CEO not host)||Notes optional||Timekeeping|
|Valley Meetings||No notes||Timekeeping|
|L & D Weekly Learning Session||Special (See above)||No Timekeeping|
|Customer Meeting||Yes, please use the externally-shared collaboration doc||Timekeeping|
|Anything else (unless specified)||Notes||Timekeeping|
Assume that you are taking notes in a Google Doc affixed to the meeting invite unless it is explicitly stated not to take notes.
If you're unsure whether or not to take notes, default to take them, ask the CEO before the meeting begins, or ping the EBAs on Slack via
ceo-shadow-private (depending on the sensitivity of the meeting).
The goal of the notes is to collect the main points and outcomes, not a full transcript of the conversation. As you are taking notes, be mindful that the goal of the program is to absorb what is being said in the meetings you are in.
In many instances, when shadows are taking notes during meetings, the discussion is moving too quickly to fully or accurately capture all of the discussion points. Additionally, the shadows may not be fully aware of the full context of the discussion or familiar with certain terminology being used in the meeting. The meeting notes are also not reviewed nor approved by the meeting attendees. Accordingly, meeting notes should not be the SSOT for any meeting as they may not fully or accurately capture the discussion that was had at the meeting.
CEO Shadows are required to read these additional note-taking guidelines. If a notes document is not already linked, see the templates available here. CEO Shadows are not always the DRI for notes and everyone can contribute to taking notes when in a meeting.
Shadows are responsible for being aware of the current time and verbally providing timekeeping in many types of meetings. This allows participants to comfortably wrap up the meeting.
Tips for time-keeping:
Tools to help.
You can use this shell script (MacOS only) to run a timer for the desired number of minutes. The script will notify you 5 minutes before the end of the meeting, and will copy "We have five minutes left" to you clipboard, so you can paste the text directly in the Zoom chat in addition to verbalizing it. At the end of the meeting, the same will occur with "We are at time".
To use the script:
source setalarm.shto load the
setalarmfunction into memory.
setalarm 50to set a 50-minute timer (
setalarmdefaults to 25 minutes if no argument is provided).
Ctrl+C if you need to cancel the alarm. You may keep the terminal window running indefinitely so that it is at your finger tips throughout your program duration.
A handy App for time keeping is Senzillo's "Speech Timer for Talks". It is available for iOS and Android. Compared to other apps, this timer is easy to setup for the meeting warning levels and to switch between meeting time lengths. It costs $1 to have 3 warning levels - purchasing the application is not required if you just wish to have one warning visualization and watch the timer for the others.
Shadows should notify GitLab meeting participants if their name and job title are not mentioned on Zoom.
If a GitLab team member is sharing their screen before introductions have occurred, shadows should remind GitLab presenters that GitLab does not recommend sharing screens during zoom meetings and to please wait until after introductions have been completed to allow participants to see each other clearly during introductions. This is especially important during external calls when participants are meeting each other for the first time.
If you notice that someone does not have their picture set in Google when a Google document is being actively worked on, let them know how to set one so their picture will show up in the document rather than their first initial. That makes it easier for everyone to find where they are in the document, especially when they are speaking. Let them know that this is 100% optional.
Shadows need to speak up in video calls, and speak up when the CEO's camera isn't working or when the green screen isn't working correctly because of the sun angle.
When attending external meetings, notify the CEO in a private Zoom chat message when the CEO uses the phrase
I think. Hedge words can have the effect of making the speaker seem uncertain or unconfident.
In internal meetings,
I think can be used to signal opportunity for others to present a contrasting opinion.
+Order of introductions: At the start of meetings, CEO shadows will introduce themselves. There is no set order for which shadow introduces themselves first. Sometimes one shadow will arrive to the meeting first, and make their introduction as the first shadow to speak. During some meetings, Sid may decide the order for CEO Shadow introductions by mentioning one of the CEO Shadows first, usually the CEO Shadow who is completing their last week in the two week program.
It's important to set the correct tone, so please stick to the following introductions verbatim.
When attending Valley meetings please be sure to use the For Valley meetings intro. It can cause much confusion if you mention GitLab when Sid is acting in an individual capacity.
When attending investor meetings, please introduce yourself and hand it off to the next team member by announcing their name.
When introducing yourself in a meeting as the first shadow, say:
When introducing yourself in a meeting as the second shadow, say:
Remember, do not say that your role is to "follow the CEO around". It's about getting an overview of the functions at GitLab.
If Sid records a video to the cloud in a meeting it will eventually end up being uploaded to the Google Drive folder. Finding the video will require searching based on the calendar event name and checking the "last modified" date.
When attending events with the CEO, keep the following in mind:
The CEO often has work events that are also social events. In Silicon Valley, social and work are very intertwined. These mostly take the form of lunches or dinners. CEO shadows are invited unless otherwise specified, but there is no expectation or obligation to join.
Even in meetings where you are unfamiliar with the subject matter, there is opportunity to learn, document, and shape the evolution of GitLab's values. Re-read GitLab's values prior to your CEO Shadow rotation, and be mindful of new and inventive ways that CREDIT is lived out during the meetings you attend. You can make a merge request to propose new sub-values, which substantiate top-level values.
It's important that everyone encourages others to follow the communication guidelines, not just the CEO. As shadows, in Group Conversations and other settings, you should remind team members to:
In order to ensure continuity across CEO shadow participants. Always, cc
firstname.lastname@example.org on emails as part of the program. This ensures that even after you've left the program the response and follow-up can be tracked.
CEO shadows label the handbook MRs they create with the
It's a point of competition between CEO shadows to try to best the previous shadows' number of merge requests.
Shadows are encouraged to follow the CEO's activity on various platforms to get a complete picture of his everyday activities and where he directs his attention.
Go to the Slack search bar and type "from:@sid" and it will populate the results.
Follow Sid's Slack activity to follow his everyday engagements
This can be seen on the CEO's GitLab activity log.
See what issues and MRs Sid is interacting with
Check out Sid's Twitter account.
Sign up for Twitter notifications (Twitter account required) to follow his everyday engagements.
An ongoing shadow program with a fast rotation is much more time consuming for the CEO than a temporary program or a rotation of a year or longer. That's why most organizations choose to either have a shadow for a couple of days, or have someone for a year or more. We want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to be a shadow, which is why we rotate quickly. To make this happen without having to invest a lot of time with training, we need great documentation around the program. A quick turnaround on documentation is crucial, and the documentation will have a level of detail that may not be necessary in other parts of the company.
When traveling with the CEO, keep the following in mind:
#ceo-shadowSlack channel to ensure the schedule is on time.
The CEO Shadow Program is temporarily fully remote because of COVID-19 travel restrictions. The shadows will participate in all meetings from their usual work environment.
While remote shadows won't get to work from Mission Control or attend in-person meetings with the CEO, they will still get an immersive experience through the program. A remote rotation may also be an ideal opportunity for a team member who has been unable to travel for an in-person rotation in the past.
#ceo-shadowSlack channel so your co-shadow can assist with ongoing note-taking/tasks.
You are welcome to work from Mission Control, but it is not required to be there in person unless there is an in-person meeting, event, or dinner. It's up to you to manage your schedule and get to places on time. If you are traveling somewhere, meet the CEO at Mission Control at the beginning of the allotted travel time listed on the calendar.
If there is a day during your rotation where all meetings are Zoom meetings, you can work from wherever you want, as you normally would.
You can also work from Mission Control if you prefer.
If you decide to split your day between remote work and working from Mission Control, make sure you give yourself enough time to get to Mission Control and set up for the guest.
It's OK to join calls while mobile.
In addition, feel free to coordinate or join a co-working day with team members in the Bay Area.
To coordinate join the
#loc_bayarea Slack channel.
Shadows are welcome at Mission Control 10 minutes prior to the first meeting until 6 p.m. Feel free to ask if you can stay later. Don't worry about overstaying your welcome, if Karen or Sid would like privacy they will ask you to leave explicitly. When you arrive and depart, please make sure the door to Mission Control closes fully.
One more thing: the cat feeder is automatic and goes off daily at 10:22am PT (as well as another time, it's a surprise!). No need to be alarmed by the metallic clanging sound.
Outside of Mission Control hours, shadows have the following options:
When entering the building, the doorperson may ask who you are there to see. Don't say "GitLab" since there is no GitLab office. The doorperson will direct you to the correct lobby.
While there are two sets of keys, it's worthwhile coordinating access to Mission Control with the outbound shadow on your first day. Meeting up on Sunday evening or at a specific time on Monday morning. This will enable the incoming shadow to be introduced into Mission Control without impacting Sid and/or Karen.
The list is administered by the
ceo-shadow@ email address. Log in to Yelp with the credentials in the CEO Shadow 1Password vault to add restaurants, update notes, or remove items from the collection.
There are usually also food trucks in front of the Salesforce Tower and on the opposite side of Mission Street from the Salesforce Tower in an alley.
Occasionally, food trucks or restaurants have loyalty rewards cards. It is not required but if you get one and want to leave it for future shadows to use, please add to this list and put the reward card in the CEO shadow drawer at Mission Control.
We have six monitors at Mission Control. They show the following content:
|Top Middle||Category Maturity|
|Top Right||Is it any good?|
|Bottom Left||Category Maturity|
|Bottom Middle||Who we replace|
|Bottom Right||Remote Manifesto on how to work remotely|
Turning all screens on or off might be challenging, since a single remote controls all of them. The easiest way to do that is by covering the tip of the remote with your hand and getting as close as possible to a single screen while turning it on or off.
To configure the sales dashboards:
The wireless mouse and keyboard are connected to the bottom left TV by default because that one is visible from both sides of the conference table. To update the view on another TV, you have to connect the wireless keyboard and mouse to the desired screen. Afterward, don't forget to return it to the bottom left position for use during meetings.
Turning all screens on or off might be challenging since a single remote controls all of them. The easiest way to do that is to make a cone with the foil (a piece of foil can be found on the white TV-remote tray) around the front edge of the remote, and getting as close as possible to a single screen while turning it on or off.
Each of the screens at Mission Control use an Asus Chromebit to display the preferred content and are connected to the HDMI1 port of each TV. If you turn on the TVs and one displays a blank screen while on the HDMI1 input, the Chromebit may need to be reset. You can do this by power cycling the Chromebit (they are located behind the bottom right TV and are labeled), connecting the Chromebit to the keyboard and mouse, and logging into it using the credentials in the "CEO Shadow Vault" via 1Password. Once you have logged into the Chromecast, you can quickly find the proper content as listed in Configuring the Screens via the browser's recent history.
To check that a Samsung TV is up to date:
To screencast from an iPad or MacBook to the top left screen, switch the "Source" on the top left screen to "Apple TV" (HDMI 2).
Using the larger remote (with the white buttons), you can press the white center button in the top row of buttons; this will bring up a list of sources. There is a direction pad on the remote towards the bottom that has
< ^ > v buttons, as well as the selection button in the center.
When the TV is on the Apple TV source, you may need to change the Apple TV to AirPlay mode. The Apple TV remote is the small black one with only 5 buttons. You can click "MENU" until it says AirPlay.
To return to the normal configuration, choose "Source" then "HDMI 1".
There are two iPads at Mission Control (without password protection). You can use the duet app as a second monitor if desired. Both iPads are linked to the EBA to the CEO's Apple ID. Please verify any purchases ahead of time with the EBA to the CEO.
The printer at Mission Control is called
HP Officejet Pro 8610 and is available over AirPlay/Wifi. The printer is located in Sid's office.
Zoom Rooms is an application used for team members not in San Francisco to participate in meetings happening at Mission Control. There's a separate screen (the large one on wheels), a Mac Mini and, iPad at Mission Control for this purpose. The Mac Mini is connected to HDMI1 on the screen, and the iPad operates as a remote control for Zoom Rooms.
If the EBA to the CEO is unavailable, the CEO shadow may be responsible for handling the technical details of coordinating Zoom meetings. If using a webinar, you will need to be a co-host in order to promote participants to panelists so that they can verbalize their own questions.
When joining a podcast in Zencaster, a microphone error can be avoided by leaving your microphone unmuted for the first 30 seconds / minute.
The devices in Mission Control are configured to auto-update when new versions are available. As a precaution, shadows in their second week should confirm all software in Mission Control is up to date.
In preparation for guests (customers, investors, etc.) who will be meeting with the CEO or other team members at Mission Control, please note the following prior to the meeting start:
Suzy likes attention and will invite you to pet her. If you're allergic to cats consider washing your hands after petting. If you don't want to wash your hands every time after petting Suzy you can gently paddle pet her using ping pong paddles available in Mission Control. Check out the videos linked below for techniques! Please note the white pillow on the sofa in Mission Control is the only place to paddle pet Suzy. She really enjoys it when you gently pat her sides with the ping pong paddles when she is on the white pillow, if she steps off the pillow stop petting her. When she gets back onto the pillow you can resume gently paddle petting her. Please don't pet her after/when she meows since that reinforces the meowing which can be annoying during calls and the night. You can pick her up but she doesn't like it much and will jump out after about 30 seconds. Lastly, Suzy sometimes tries to drink out of the toilet, please make sure to leave the toilet lid down.
Everything in the fridge that is liquid can be consumed including Soylent and alcohol. The coffee machine is located in the kitchen, coffee pods are in the drawer below the coffee machine.
If the beverages are running low, start by checking the top cupboard above the oven (next to the fridge). There's a step ladder in the laundry (last door on the left down the hallway)
If items in the cupboard are also running low, reach out to the Executive Admin to the CEO list of items that need to be ordered in the
#ceo-shadow slack channel tagging the EBA to the CEO so all items can be ordered at once.
This should happen every Monday. Here is a list of items that may need to be restocked:
Lodging during the CEO shadow program is provided by the company. Executive Admin to the CEO books the accommodation based on availability and cost. You can express your preference (hotel or AirBnB) via email to the Executive Admin to the CEO in question. However, the final decision is made by the Executive Admin based on the distance from the CEO and costs. Executive Admin will provide the accommodation details no earlier than 1 month and no later than 2 weeks before the scheduled rotation.
Accommodation is provided only for the active shadowing period, it is not provided during the shadow program pause (cases when the CEO is unavailable). In case you are coming from a timezone that is more than 6 hours difference with Pacific Time, it is possible to book the weekend before the first shadow work day to adjust to the new timezone.
If your CEO shadow rotation is two consecutive weeks, it is expected you will be staying the weekend. Accommodation is provided during the weekend.
Airfare can be booked according to our travel policy or spending company money policy. In case your shadow rotation includes time without shadowing, it is possible to expense airfare to fly home and back within the continental USA. If you are from outside of the USA, it is also possible to expense airfare during the time without shadowing because of the possible high cost of lodging in San Francisco if you chose to stay at a different location.
At San Francisco International airport (SFO), all rideshare apps (Uber, Lyft, etc) pick up on level 5 of the parking structure. When coordinating travel from SFO to Mission Control with other Shadows, GitLab team members, or Sid, arranging to meet on level 5 of the parking structure is most efficient, as each terminal has its own baggage claim area.
Shadows are able to expense food and beverage during their rotation and should follow our spending company money policy. Previous shadows have created a recommendation list of their favorite food places to help.
Childcare is provided during the active shadowing period and will be reimbursed via your expense report. You must book the childcare yourself and it is advised you reach out far in advance as childcare "drop-ins" can be limited depending on the week. Currently, GitLab doesn't have a "Backup Care" program so you must tell the childcare it is for a "drop-in". Depending on your hotel accommodations, finding a nearby daycare is most convenient or a daycare nearby the Millennium tower. Some childcare facilities will require payment at end-of-day or end-of-week via cash/check only so request an invoice/receipt for expense submission purposes.
Past Childcare facilities that have been accommodating:
Our top priority is the health and safety of our team members, please refer to the current travel policy. The CEO Shadow program is classified as non-essential travel and travel to San Francisco will not be required during the time frame specified in the policy linked. CEO Shadows joining the program should plan on participating in the program remotely and matching the CEO's schedule which is primarily in the Pacific time zone unless the CEO is traveling to another time zone. If you have questions please use
#ceo-shadow in slack and @ mention the Staff EBA to the CEO
GitLab co-founder and CEO Sid Sijbrandij answered questions in a YouTube livestream from Sam Altman, as the two discussed considerations for implementing a CEO Shadow program in other organizations. Key takeaways are documented below.
CEO Shadow program alumni are welcome to join the
#ceo-shadow-alumni Slack channel to stay in touch after the program.
|Start date||End date||Name||Title||Takeaways|
|2019-03||2019-04||Erica Lindberg||Manager, Content Marketing||CEO shadow learnings video|
|2019-04||2019-05||Mayank Tahil||Alliances Manager|
|2019-04||2019-05||Tye Davis||Sr. Technical Marketing Manager||Without a shadow of a doubt: Inside GitLab's CEO shadow program|
|2019-05||2019-06||John Coghlan||Evangelist Program Manager||5 Things you might hear when meeting with GitLab's CEO|
|2019-06||2019-06||Cindy Blake||Sr. Product Marketing Manager||CEO shadow learnings video|
|2019-06||2019-06||Nnamdi Iregbulem||MBA Candidate at Stanford University|
|2019-06||2019-06||Clinton Sprauve||PMM, Competitive Intelligence|
|2019-06||2019-07||Lyle Kozloff||Support Engineering Manager|
|2019-07||2019-07||Marin Jankovski||Engineering Manager, Deliver|
|2019-07||2019-08||Danae Villarreal||Sales Development Representative, West|
|2019-08||2019-08||Daniel Croft||Engineering Manager, Package||GitLab, CEO Shadow August 2019 week one, mind blown|
|2019-08||2019-08||Emilie Schario||Data Engineer, Analytics||What I learned about our CEO's job from participating in the CEO Shadow Program|
|2019-08||2019-08||Kenny Johnston||Director of Product, Ops|
|2019-09||2019-09||Eric Brinkman||Director of Product, Dev|
|2019-09||2019-10||Danielle Morrill||General Manager, Meltano|
|2019-10||2019-10||Mek Stittri||Director of Quality|
|2019-10||2019-11||Kyla Gradin||Mid Market Account Executive|
|2019-10||2019-11||Clement Ho||Frontend Engineering Manager, Monitor:Health|
|2019-11||2019-11||Brendan O'Leary||Sr. Solutions Manager|
|2019-11||2019-11||Gabe Weaver||Sr. Product Manager, Plan: Project Management|
|2019-11||2020-01||Chenje Katanda||Technical Account Manager|
|2020-01||2020-01||Dov Hershkovitch||Senior Product Manager, Monitor|
|2020-01||2020-01||Keanon O'Keefe||Senior Product Manager, Plan : Portfolio Management|
|2020-01||2020-01||Dylan Griffith||Staff Backend Engineer, Search|
|2020-01||2020-02||Brittany Rohde||Manager, Compensation & Benefits||How the CEO Shadow Program boosted my individual productivity during the COVID-19 Crisis|
|2020-01||2020-02||Nadia Vatalidis||Senior Manager, People Operations|
|2020-02||2020-02||Diana Stanley||Senior Support Engineer|
|2020-02||2020-02||Chloe Whitestone||Technical Account Manager|
|2020-02||2020-02||Sarah Waldner||Senior Product Manager - Monitor: Health|
|2020-02||2020-03||Shaun McCann||Support Engineering Manager||CEO Shadow AMA with Support Engineering|
|2020-03||2020-03||Lien Van Den Steen||People Ops Fullstack Engineer|
|2020-03||2020-03||Michael Terhar||Technical Account Manager||The HyperGrowth Calendar|
|2020-03||2020-04||Christen Dybenko||Sr Product Manager|
|2020-04||2020-04||Scott Stern||Frontend Engineer|
|2020-04||2020-04||Stella Treas||Chief of Staff|
|2020-04||2020-04||Bradley Andersen||Technical Account Manager|
|2020-04||2020-04||Cassiana Gudgenov||People Operations Specialist|
|2020-04-28||2020-05-08||Betsy Church||Senior Talent Brand Manager||Reflecting on the CEO Shadow Program at GitLab|
|2020-05-04||2020-05-15||Darren Murph||Head of Remote||GitLab CEO Shadow recap — key takeaways and lessons learned from a remote rotation|
|2020-05-11||2020-05-22||Emily Kyle||Manager, Corporate Events|
|2020-05-11||2020-05-22||Candace Williams||Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Manager|
|2020-05-25||2020-06-05||Sophie Pouliquen||Senior Technical Account Manager|
|2020-06-01||2020-06-19||Jackie Meshell||Senior Product Manager, Release Management||Recording 📹: Four things I learned as a CEO Shadow|
|2020-06-15||2020-06-26||Wayne Haber||Director Engineering, Defend||Video and Blog: What is the GitLab CEO shadow program? Why should you apply to participate? How did I see the GitLab values in action?|
|2020-06-22||2020-07-03||Jim Riley||Area Sales Manager - Public Sector|
|2020-06-28||2020-07-17||Hila Qu||Director of Product, Growth|
|2020-07-13||2020-07-31||David DeSanto||Director of Product, Secure & Defend|
|2020-07-20||2020-08-10||Tim Rizzi||Senior Product Manager, Package|
|2020-08-10||2020-08-21||Amy Brandenburg||Technology Alliances Manager|
|2020-08-17||2020-08-28||Sam White||Senior Product Manager, Defend|
|2020-08-24||2020-09-04||Mike Miranda||Account Executive, SMB|
|2020-08-31||2020-09-11||Francis Potter||Sr. Solution Architect|
|2020-09-07||2020-09-18||Shawn Winters||Acceleration SDR|
|2020-09-07||2020-09-24||Chris Baus||Engineering Manager, Fulfillment|
|2020-09-21||2020-10-02||Philippe Lafoucrière||Distinguished Engineer, Secure & Defend||Take Aways, Retrospective|
|2020-09-28||2020-10-05||Madeline Hennessy||Area Sales Manager, SMB - US East||Takeaways & Suggestion|
|2020-10-05||2020-10-23||Michael LeBeau||Strategic Content Lead|
|2020-10-19||2020-10-30||Edmond Chan||Sr. Solutions Architect|
|2020-10-26||2020-11-06||David Fisher||Acceleration SDR|
|2020-11-06||2020-11-13||Fernando Diaz||Technical Marketing Manager||4 Things I've Learned as a CEO Shadow|
|2020-11-09||2020-11-20||Dan Parry||Mid-Market Account Executive|
|2020-11-16||2020-12-04||Lis Vinueza||Business Systems Analyst|
|2020-11-30||2020-12-11||Kevin Chu||Group Product Manager|
|2020-12-07||2021-01-08||Charlie Ablett||Sr. Backend Engineer, Plan|
|2021-01-04||2021-01-15||Tanya Pazitny||Quality Engineering Manager, Secure & Enablement|
|2021-01-11||2021-01-22||Michael Preuss||Senior Manager, Digital Experience|
|2021-01-18||2021-01-29||Traci Robinson||Sr. PMM, Regulated Industries|
|2021-01-25||2021-02-05||Parker Ennis||Sr. PMM, GitLab CI/CD|
|2021-02-05||2021-02-16||Shane Rice||Manager, Search Marketing||CEO Shadow learning recap|
|2021-02-15||2021-02-26||Lauren Barker||Sr. Full Stack Engineer, Digital Experience||CEO Shadow takeaways from Barker|
|2021-02-22||2021-03-12||Jessica Reeder||All-Remote Campaign Manager|
|2021-03-08||2021-03-19||Robert Kohnke||Marketing Strategy and Performance, Data Analyst|
|2021-03-15||2021-03-26||Sarah Daily||Senior Marketing Operations Manager||Interview with Sid: Non-Technical Roles to Technical Roles|
|2021-03-22||2021-04-02||Darwin Sanoy||Senior Solutions Architect, Alliances|
|2021-03-29||2021-04-09||Anthony Ogunbowale - Thomas||Named, Account Executive EMEA|
|2021-04-05||2021-04-16||Katie Gammon||Executive Business Administrator|
|2021-04-12||2021-04-23||Pilar Mejia||Distribution Manager, Public Sector||3 habits to maximize your work day: CEO Shadow insights|
|2021-04-19||2021-04-30||Joanna Shih||Quality Engineering Manager, Ops|
|2021-04-30||2021-05-07||Jacie Bandur||Learning & Development Generalist||CEO Shadow takeaways from Jacie|
|2021-05-03||2021-05-14||Mikołaj Wawrzyniak||Backend Engineer, Product Intelligence|
|2021-05-10||2021-05-21||James Komara||Area Sales Manager|
|2021-05-17||2021-05-28||Joshua Lambert||Director of Product, Enablement|
|2021-05-24||2021-06-04||Melissa Ushakov||Group Manager, Product Management - Plan|
|2021-06-01||2021-06-11||April Malone||Sijbrandij Personal EA|
|2021-06-07||2021-06-18||Taylor Medlin||Solutions Architect - Commercial|
|2021-06-14||2021-06-25||Vincy Wilson||Quality Engineering Manager, Fulfillment, Growth & Sec|
|2021-06-21||2021-07-02||Simon Liang||Principal Internal Communications Manager|
|2021-06-28||2021-07-30||Christine Lee||Strategy and Operations Director|
|2021-08-02||2021-08-06||Tye Davis Shadow Alumni||Manager, Technical Marketing|
|2021-08-02||2021-08-13||Nuritzi Sanchez||Sr. Open Source Program Manager|
|2021-08-09||2021-08-20||Neil McCorrison||Frontend Engineering Manager, Secure|
|2021-08-16||2021-08-30||Christina Hupy||Manager, Education Programs||CEO Shadow Reflections|
|2021-08-30||2021-09-10||Sarah Bailey||Solutions Architect Manager|
|2021-09-07||2021-09-17||Kris Reynolds||Manager, Field Enablement Programs|
|2021-09-13||2021-09-24||Darren Murph Shadow Alumni||Head of Remote|
|2021-09-20||2021-10-01||Christen Dybenko Shadow Alumni||Sr. Product Manager|