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Chief of Staff

The Chief of Staff is a very talented individual who serves as a trusted advisor and confidant to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for up to 36 months. The Chief of Staff 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 fast-growing unicorn 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 might work on can be found in the Chief of Staff handbook page.

Chief of Staff Q&A Video with the CEO

Responsibilities

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. Over the course of a rotation, the mix will shift from majority directed work to majority leadership work.

Directed Work

  1. Create investor updates, pitch decks, speeches, conference submissions, and presentations on behalf of the CEO.
  2. 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.
  3. Draft blog posts and articles out of recorded meetings and handbook content.
  4. Ensure upcoming meetings are relevant, well structured, and that the preparation is complete and correct.
  5. Ensure action points coming out of meetings (i.e. executive, OKR, key, or incident meetings) are implemented.
  6. Reinforce communication guidelines.
  7. Help create mecefu-terms.
  8. Steward the CEO Technical Evangelism Process.
  9. Prep for the CEO Group Conversations
  10. Moderate the e-group meetings.
  11. Keep this job family up-to-date.

Leadership Work

  1. Initiate and guide the OKR process according to the OKR schedule
  2. Review OKR suggestions during the scheduled OKR meetings and outside of the meetings.
  3. Brief CEO visitors on GitLab before they visit.
  4. Help contribute topics for the E-group offsite.
  5. Serve as a proxy for the CEO by attending meetings in place of the CEO and making decisions on the CEO's behalf.
  6. Chief of Staff will participate in every E-group meeting. The person will not be an executive or part of the e-group.
  7. Act as the communication arm for the CEO with team members, clients, investors, community members, and other stakeholders.
  8. Act as a sounding board to the CEO for new ideas and initiatives.
  9. 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.
  10. Run special projects that are urgent and important, for example building a company wide compensation model.
  11. Lead all many-function efforts.

Requirements

  1. Capacity to become a senior leader at GitLab.
  2. Proven ability to quickly learn new things.
  3. Concise written and verbal communication.
  4. Based in San Francisco, CA, USA to attend in-person external meeting meetings at mission control. For internal GitLab meetings, this role can work from anywhere of your choosing (estimated 80+% of the time).
  5. Structured about how to prioritize work and time.
  6. Able to make a clear business case for proposals.
  7. Master’s degree in Engineering or Business Administration or equivalent experience.
  8. Experience with data analysis.
  9. Proven success in project coordination and reporting.
  10. Proven track record of effectively interacting with senior stakeholders on cross-functional projects.
  11. Experience leading a team.
  12. 4+ years combined experience in:
    • Senior operating role at a significant fast-growing startup,
    • Strategy consulting,
    • or Venture capital.
  13. 2+ years people management experience.
  14. Operational experience in a previous role.
  15. Ability to use GitLab

Preferred Requirements

  1. Knows how to use git.

Rotation

Rotation is 24 to 36 months with the following tentative schedule:

  • 2-3 months of onboarding,
  • 18 months of execution,
  • 1 - 4 months of recruiting your replacement and waiting for them to start,
  • 2 - 3 months of onboarding your replacement and interviewing at GitLab for senior leadership positions.

Risks

The Chief of Staff 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.

Performance Indicators

Hiring Process

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.

  1. Qualified candidates will be invited to schedule a 25 minute screening call with a Recruiter
  2. Next, candidates will be invited to schedule a 25 minute interview with the CEO
  3. Then, candidates will be invited to schedule a 50 minute interview with the Internal Strategy Consultant and a 50 minute interview with the Senior Engineering Manager, Infrastructure (second team member)
  4. In tandem, candidates will be asked to complete a project
  5. Next, candidates will be invited to schedule a 50 minute interview with the Chief Revenue Officer and a 50 minute interview with the EVP of Engineering
  6. Then, candidates will be asked to complete another project
  7. Next, candidates will be invited to a 80 minute face to face interview with the CEO
  8. Finally, candidates may be asked to do another call with a Board Member, CEO Mentor, or other industry professional

As always, the interviews and screening call will be conducted via a video call. See more details about our interview process here.

References

About GitLab

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:

  1. Work with helpful, kind, motivated, and talented people.
  2. Work remote so you have no commute and are free to travel and move.
  3. Have flexible work hours so you are there for other people and free to plan the day how you like.
  4. Everyone works remote, but you don't feel remote. We don't have a head office, so you're not in a satellite office.
  5. Work on open source software so you can interact with a large community and can show your work.
  6. Work on a product you use every day: we drink our own wine.
  7. Work on a product used by lots of people that care about what you do.
  8. As a company we contribute more than we take, most of our work is released as the open source GitLab CE.
  9. Focused on results, not on long hours, so that you can have a life and don't burn out.
  10. Open internal processes: know what you're getting in to and be assured we're thoughtful and effective.

See our culture page for more!

Work remotely from anywhere in the world. Curious to see what that looks like? Check out our remote manifesto and guides.

GIT is a trademark of Software Freedom Conservancy and our use of 'GitLab' is under license