Chief of Staff Network
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I’m Max Bray, and I’m Chief of Staff at Founders Forum, Europe’s premiere founder community, and a family of businesses that exist to support entrepreneurs at all stages of their journey.

The recent furore over Boris Johnson’s Chief of Staff (CoS) appointment echoes a broader debate in the offices of CEOs and tech founders; namely, that as of November 2020, the position has rapidly become the must-have next hire for any self respecting founder, CEO or senior minister.

In fact, a Google for Chief of Staff roles in the UK highlights more than 50 current open positions, everywhere from early-stage start-ups, funds and family offices, through scale-up successes Revolut, Depop, to institutions such as the University of Warwick and Track and Trace UK. …


As business becomes more and more complex, the demand for the Chief of Staff role is continuing to increase, especially in the technology industry. In a role that’s part time business operations leader, part time program manager, part time communicator, and full-time dot connector, there are a lot of moving parts!

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So, what exactly are the tricks of the trade for being an effective Chief of Staff? What types of career paths lead professionals to this role? How do Chiefs of Staff drive business impact across leadership teams during times of major business transformation and/or crisis? All of these questions and more are answered by a panel of Silicon Valley-based Chiefs of Staff who are working with industry-leading executives and teams every day to help shape the future of their organizations!

Link to panel: https://vimeo.com/456000769


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Last year we surveyed the CoS Tech Network to those in the role to better understand their fair market value. The 2019 survey analysis can be found here. The CoS role can be tricky to negotiate salaries, equity, and other benefits given the wide variety of definitions it assumes among small and large companies and various degrees of experience. As Dan Ciampa noted in his HBR article The Case for a Chief of Staff, despite having the same title there are vastly different levels reflecting a Chief of Staff’s responsibilities and engagement with the executive team. …


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The first 90 days are critical to establishing the right frameworks and relationships that will set up a Corporate Chief of Staff for long-term success. I interviewed 12 Chiefs of Staff to learn how they approached their new roles. While these Chiefs all came from different backgrounds, worked at companies of vastly different sizes, and had different expectations for their CoS role, they all followed some common tactical best practices.

Much of the corporate CoS role is about indirect influence, as the main working relationships for a CoS are typically not his direct reports. For a CoS, success in the role requires not only working well with one’s executive, but also having credibility across the senior leadership team (SLT) and with other employees. …


As I passed my 30 day mark as a Chief of Staff to the CEO of Hugging Face, I looked back to see how much my role and responsibilities have changed. Because this was my first foray into the CoS role and the first time my CEO had worked with a CoS, it felt a little like finding our way in the dark. We knew where we wanted to be and a general idea of how to get there, but there was still a lot of figuring it out along the way. In this blog post, I’m going to share my first four weeks on the job as an example of how a CoS might spend their time. …


I served as Chief of Staff to the CEO at Opendoor as we scaled from 200 to 800 employees in a year. Here’s an overview of the role, when and why the role is valuable, and how to make it a success for both the Chief of Staff and the executive.

This post includes 3 parts:

  • Part 1: Overview of the Chief of Staff role
  • Part 2: FAQs for potential Chiefs of Staff
  • Part 3: FAQs for executives considering hiring a Chief of Staff
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Before working at Google and Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg was Chief of Staff to US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers

Part 1: Overview of the Chief of Staff Role

What is a Chief of Staff?

A Chief of Staff is the right-hand person and force-multiplier to an executive, often the CEO. This can mean many things depending on the needs of the company and executive, and can change over time, but typically encompasses managing the executive’s priorities, overseeing staff/internal operations, and spearheading special projects. …


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Our updated 2020 survey results are now available here.

CoS Compensation Data

The Chief of Staff has become an important position for high growth startups and enterprises of all sizes. The role notably takes many different forms depending on the business/executive and draws candidates from all backgrounds and professional experiences. In the CoS Tech Network, we’ve seen dozens of VC-backed companies hire their first Chief of Staff within the past 12 months. Having compensation data to support a competitive offer is important for prospective candidates setting out to find a CoS position and executives seeking to hire a CoS.

We shared a very simple compensation survey with our community. The following is a snippet of the findings and insights from that data. If you’re a Chief of Staff and would like access to the full dataset, you should request to join the community here! …


What comes after? (Part 1)

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Part 1 of this essay seeks to unravel some of the challenges Chiefs of Staff face in navigating towards the next position inside their existing companies, within new businesses or as founders themselves.

As Chief of Staff roles have sprung up across the tech and media companies, one burning question that every COS finds themselves asking, almost from Day 1, is what comes next. Aside from the vast differences in responsibilities and scope within companies, Chiefs of Staff also come from a range of backgrounds. The rapidly changing set of tasks and challenges in a business or team has an impact on the type of exposure and skills a COS gains over time. …


Now that you know more about the role of a corporate Chief of Staff (CoS) from Part 1, you may be interested in becoming one yourself. The good news is that there are an increasing number of “Chief of Staff” roles. A search on LinkedIn turns up over 2,000 Chief of Staff job postings across the United States. The bad news is that every company defines the CoS role differently, so it’s hard to understand what exactly companies are looking for and if your background fits.

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I analyzed the backgrounds of 50 current CoS’s based on their LinkedIn profiles. The key takeaway is that there is no consistent career path for a CoS. …


Companies big and small are increasingly hiring “Chiefs of Staff” to support their CEO, COO, CTO, or other key executives. Although the the Chief of Staff role differs widely, at its core, having a Chief of Staff allows the executive to scale, and it gives them back their most important resource: time.

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I worked for Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, for 4 years, and was his Chief of Staff for 2 of those. During that time, I had the benefit of meeting and learning from many other Chiefs of Staff. I want to share those insights here.

In this 5-part series, I’ll…

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Chief of Staff Network

We are a collective group of operators serving in a unique role.

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