MySQL: Workers in 25 countries with no HQ
This open-source software maker has figured out how to manage a world-wide workforce that rarely meets. Is MySQL the model 21st-century company?
Few businesses are as spread out as MySQL, which employs 320 workers in 25 countries, 70 percent of whom work from home.
MySQL hires strictly for skills, assessing raw talent by watching prospective workers grapple with technical problems. CEO MÃ¥rten Mickos, who works in the 30-person home base, has hired many an engineer sight unseen. By some accounts that's just as well. "We have people with lots of tattoos," notes Widenius. "Some of them I would not like to be with in the office every day." From a safe distance Mickos will ask such questions as "How do you plan your day?" If a reply comes back that says "I always sleep until 11 A.M., and then I start working," Mickos doesn't want to hear any more. He's sold. "The brightest engineers like the calmness and coolness of the night," he says.
Naturally his final question is "By the way, where do you live?" "I'm not the sort of CEO who needs to see everybody sweat and work hard," says Mickos. "These are passionate people who aren't going to stop because somebody isn't looking."