It’s been a while since I came up with this question so I’m not 100% on the full parameters of what I intended. From what I remember, I just wanted to know if some companies do not have CEOs and if they have a flat structure. Valve is famous for this.
So I figured why not dig a little into Valve. Apparently, having a flat structure like this has its own drawbacks. A former employee of Valve alleges that this kind of structure creates cliques like high school that manage the organization in absence of management.
But something didn’t quite seem right, how can a company run without a CEO? Isn’t a CEO a legal requirement of incorporation?
So I typed in “valve ceo” and lo and behold, Lord Gabe Newell appears from my Google search. But if you go to his Wikipedia page, it lists him not as CEO but as “Managing Director” but that’s just British for CEO.
Now, maybe this role that Lord GABEN plays as Managing Director is purely legal and has no bearing in the day to day affairs. But that leads back to my question of: is a CEO a legal requirement of incorporation?
Yes. It is. According to this article, some kind of executive leadership position is required for every type of corporation except for an LLC.
Apparently, Valve was an LLC at one point, but that is no longer the case.
(After doing further “research”, I found that 37Signals and other companies also have a flat structure.)
So, in conclusion, some companies do not have a hierarchical management structure, but unless they’re an LLC they are required to have a CEO.