Hello everyone. I wanted to take a few minutes to explain a bit about how Gaia “upper management” works. I’m seeing a few posts in the forums regarding the issue and the trend I’m noticing is a lack of knowledge on exactly what some of the roles are and their responsibilities. First I would like to speak a bit about what the role of a CEO is. In reading many posts from Gaian’s it is clear to me that many do not understand what exactly a CEO is supposed to be doing. A CEO’s responsibility is to the business, it is not to be directly interacting with the “consumers.” His task is to make sure the company is operating viably and remains solvent. He handles negotiations with outside parties that help ensure and secure the companies future. He handles company policies, internal office moral, etc. The CEO reports to, and acts as the company liaison to, the Board of Directors It’s actually pretty unusual to have a company CEO directly interacting with the end consumer. The CEO is not the one who makes day-to-day product decisions, nor is he supposed to be. He handles the above and sets the general company direction. If he is getting involved at the product level, then someone isn’t properly doing their job. He ensures there is a company there in existence. I’ve seen many people talking about how the CEO is “hiding” from Gaian’s. That’s not accurate as that implies he’s supposed to be interacting with the end consumer, but that is not his responsibility. Does that mean he can’t come on of his own volition to interact with you guys? Of course not. I’m just saying that the fact that he hasn’t been interacting much at all shouldn’t be a big revelation, or a sign that he doesn’t care, it’s normal.
Just to give you guys some reality on what the management structure for a company like ours is, let me “break it down” for you ...Hammer Time... sorry, couldn’t resist...
At the very tippy tippy top, we have the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), whose responsibilities I listed above. Reporting to him are people like the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Human Resources (HR) and Finance Departments. In some companies other outlier roles may also report to the CEO. HR and Finance are pretty self explanatory so I’ll move on to the COO. The COO is, as the name suggests, in charge of the operations of the company. (please see COO Wiki
for further details.) The short of it is, the COO works with the CEO to set various targets for each of the products. These targets vary from monetary goals, to acquisition and retention goals. Those targets are then passed on to the Producer to be planned out and executed on. Beneath the producer you have the department directors and beneath them you have team leads.
Some people are of the viewpoint that management is hiding behind “puppets” and avoiding you, that however, couldn't be further from the truth. For those of you who have been wishing management was seeing their ideas, and wondering how they could get their feedback to management ...Well for better or worse, it has been. Gaia management has not only been seeing your feedback, your ideas, your views, your outrage when it occurs. Management has been in there, on the “front lines”, interacting with you guys for quite a while now. One of the members of senior management is posting in the forums daily. Another is always reading feedback. Heck even Gaia Online’s highest executive is on the forums daily, and even posts periodically! The point I want to get across is that management is there and management is listening. You won’t always like the decisions they make, and they won’t always make the decisions you want made. But rest assured, at least the way things are now, management is listening.
So there’s your personal tour of how the upper management strata at many game like companies works. Obviously there’s a lot more that each of these levels of management does, but for the sake of brevity I covered the key points to address what I was seeing in the forums.
Until next time...