Company Flattens Organization; CEO Now Has 4,322 Direct Reports
ATLANTA – Following the trend of flattening the organization, Palmetto Supply, Inc. took the bold move of removing all middle managers within the company. CEO Joel Vanderberg now directly manages all 4,322 employees himself.
“Middle management has often been viewed as a bureaucratic layer within the organization that was costly and had little value-add,” said Vanessa Hillborough, EVP of Human Resources. “Sure, we could reduce it, but why not completely eliminate it to get the biggest bang for our buck?”
Vanderburg didn’t seem concerned about the large number of direct reports. He strolled through the corporate office wearing a t-shirt that read “Span of Control is My B—-.”
“I’m really good with names and faces,” he said while referring to most employees as “buddy,” “rock star,” or “friend.”
When asked about many managerial tasks such as annual performance evaluations, Vanderburg was unfazed.
“Haven’t you heard of copy and paste? I have IT working on a program right now to automate the process and can crank out all the evals overnight,” he said.
But what about coaching and developing employees?
“Let’s face it, most managers didn’t like the coaching and developing subordinates,” Vanderberg told us. “Most avoided it altogether so why be bothered by it? It’s a win-win. Well, not for employees. They’re not in that equation.”
“The big benefit to employees is that they now have a direct link to the CEO. Few companies can claim that,” said Hillborough. “Of course, that direct link will be routed through the call center in Costa Rica and then handled by a case management team in Bangladesh, but conceptually, employees will love it.”