“CEO” is an acronym all of us have heard before – whether from watching TV, a movie, or working for a corporation. CEO is defined as “the highest-ranking executive manager in a corporation of organization. The CEO has responsibility for the overall success of an entire organization.” Sadly, in the United States, CEOs have such a terrible rep (and usually for good reason), CBS has created an entire reality show around them called Undercover Bosses. In the show, leaders of companies – like The Coffee Bean, Build-a-Bear Workshop, and Orkin – are “undercover” as employees to see how toxic the work environments they reign over truly are. This is successful for two reasons: most employees don’t know what their CEO looks like, let alone their name, and the CEO has never seen what their employees go through.
Twitter user AJ Navarro said “when I think CEO, I think of someone who usually doesn’t care about the average employee.” Another Twitter user, Ethan Venable straight up said “Corporate Elimination Officer.” Another issue is their status usually gets to their head, leaving them “out of touch” as games reviewer Scott Jenkins put it: “Most CEOs I’ve dealt with are incredibly bright people, but too far removed.” It’s really sad that people are instantly correlate CEOs with negative emotions – but not all CEOs are terrible.
A Gazillion employee [who wished to remain anonymous] chimed in. “A CEO is someone who is only out for themselves and the bottom dollar and whatever amount they can get out of it, particularly in the Silicon Valley. Dave Dohrmann is an exception, believing in the current integrity of Gazillion and doesn’t seek to transform the company beyond what we are currently capable of doing. Not all CEOs are like him – he views Gazillion as an extended, but close knit family.”
QA Tester Christian Griffith really appreciates Dorhmann and everything he does. “I used to think CEOs were aloof people there to make one big thing and bail. When companies are sold to a venture capitalist, CEOs are usually puppets meant to squeeze out every last penny. Gazillion helped me change the way I saw CEOs – some people, like Dohrmann, care about the power they hold and make sure they play a part in helping the company grow. These kinds of people have pride in their product and look at the long term plan.”
Dave Dohrmann is different. He expresses genuine joy when his team succeeds, and makes himself completely accessible when he’s in the office. One of COO Jeff Lind’s responsibilities is to keep Dave informed about what’s going on in the studio. He told me he doesn’t want to get all the information from Jeff, but actually wants to go around the studio and hear it from the team himself.
Take notes, corporate leaders, because Gazillion is destroying stigmas and corporate norms one by one, and it’ll soon be the standard. Stay tuned to The Ultimate Crossover for the interview with Dave Dohrmann.