Photo: Red Hat. Used by permission.
This ordinary cubby is where Red Hat’s CEO, Jim Whitehurst, runs his billion dollar company.”I work in a cube,” he told Business Insider. “It’s a little bigger than the average cube in the office but not by much …only a touch bigger as I do have a table in here.”
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He couldn’t have it any other way.
At Red Hat, the top brass don’t layer themselves in the trappings of power — mainly because they don’t hold all the power. The collaborative nature of writing open source software has made Red Hat’s culture unique for a company with 4,300 employees. It’s something between a democracy and a commune. Whitehurst calls it a “meritocracy” where an employee’s power is earned based on merit and respect, not a title.
So, the boss gets a decent salary — Whitehurst earned $7.4 million last year — and an office big enough to hold a table and not much more.
The unassuming cubby has become the latest office fashion for CEOs of billion-dollar companies. Meg Whitman made her executives give up their cushy offices and move to cubbies — where they can talk to each other by hollering.
Mark Zuckerberg also famously works at a table in the middle of the Facebook bullpen.