CEO Preferences


This page is mainly as a guideline for the Executive Assistants (EAs) to our Chief Executive Officer (CEO). It is intended to be helpful, feel free to deviate from it and update this page if you think it makes sense. If there are things that might seem pretentious or overbearing please raise them so we can remove or adapt them.


Thanks to Mårten Mickos for the inspiration for this section. All good idea's are his, all bad ones mine.

I am a visual person much more than auditory, and I am a top-down person much more than bottom-up. This means that I love written communication: issues, email, Google Docs, and chat. Feel free to send me as many emails and chat messages as you like, and about whatever topics you like.

If you have a great new idea or suggestion for me, I appreciate if you can convey it in a picture or in written words, because I learn by seeing more than I learn by hearing. I don't mind if you send me or point me to plans that are in draft mode or not ready. I am happy if I can give useful feedback early. It doesn’t have to be perfect and polished when presented to me.

In written communication, I appreciate the top-down approach. Set the subject header to something descriptive. Start the email by telling me what the email is about. Only then go into details. Don't mix separate topics in the same email, it is perfectly fine to send two emails at almost the same time. Try to have a concrete proposal so I can just reply with OK if that is possible.

I get many email on which I am only cc'd on, I would very much appreciate if you started emails intended specifically for me with "Sid," or some other salutation that makes it clear that the message is for me.

I have accounts on LinkedIn and Facebook. I will not send invites to team members on those networks since as the CEO I don't want to impose myself on anyone. But I would love to connect and I will happily accept your LinkedIn and Facebook friend request. You can also find me on Twitter as @sytses.

Pick your brain meetings

If people want advice on open source, remote work, or other things related to GitLab we'll consider that. If Sid approves of the request we send the following email:

We would love to help but we want to make sure the content is radiated as wide as possible. Can we do the following?

  1. We schedule a 50 minute Zoom video call that is recorded by us, uploaded to Youtube as a private video, and shared with you.
  2. You write up a draft post within 48 hours after the interview in a Google Doc and share that with us with suggestion or edit rights for us.
  3. You can redact anything you don't want to publish.
  4. Our marketing department will work to publish the post.
  5. A great examples of this in action are the first two times we did this and Both got to nr. 1 on Hacker News.

The EA should follow up to make sure the draft post is submitted.



For meetings or lunch/dinner appointments, always make sure to add the address in the invite of the location where it’s scheduled and make sure to plan travel time (in a separate calendar item, just for Sid) before and after the meeting in case another meeting or call should follow. Favorite restaurants of Sids are: Basil Thai in SoMa for lunch, Heirloom Cafe for dinner and Odd Job for drinks.

Hiring process


EA does research for the best option for a flight and propose this to Sid before booking. Current preferences for flights are: * Aisle seat * Check a bag for all trips (longer than one night) * Frequent Flyer details of all (previously flown) airlines are in EA vault of 1Password