Lemon #59. How big should the titles be?

Lemon #59. How
should the titles be?

While reading ‘The hard thing about hard things’ from Ben Horowitz, we learned about how big the titles should be.

«Should your company make Vice President the top title or should you have Chief Marketing Officers, Chief Revenue Officers, Chief People Officers, and Chief Snack Officers? There are two schools of thought regarding this, one represented by Marc Andressen and the other by Mark Zukerberg. 

Andressen argues that people ask many things from a company: salary, bonus, stock options, span of control, and titles.  Of those, title is by far the cheapest, so it makes sense to give the highest titles possible. The hierarchy should have President, Chiefs, and Senior Executive Vice Presidents. If it makes people feel better, let them feel better. 

Better yet, when competing for new employees with other companies, using Andressen’s method you can always outbid the competition in at least one dimension. 

At Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg purposely deploys titles that are significantly lower than the industry standard. Senior Vice Presidents at other companies must take tittle haircuts down to Directors or Managers at Facebook. Why? First, he guarantees that every new employees gets releveled as they enter in this company. In this way, he avoids accidentally giving new employees higher titles and positions than better-performing existing employees.  Second, it forces all the managers of Facebook to understand and internalize Facebook’s leveling system, which serves the company extremely well in their own promotion and compensation processes.» 

Ben Horowitz @ The hard thing about hard things.

Jorge Moreno

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