- On Tuesday, $1.1 billion GitLab announced it hired Todd Barr as Chief Marketing Officer and Michael McBride as Chief Revenue Officer.
- Barr was most recently at Red Hat, while McBride comes from security startup Lookout.
- GitLab says that these execs will help it scaling and preparing for an IPO in November 2020.
- Barr and McBride were drawn to GitLab because of its all-remote workforce model and open source mindset.
As it prepares to go public in November 2020, $1.1 billion code-sharing startup GitLab announced on Tuesday that it is hiring two new executives into its highest levels of leadership.
Michael McBride, who was previously at the security company Lookout, is joining GitLab as Chief Revenue Officer. Todd Barr, who was most recently at Red Hat, joins as Chief Marketing Officer.
"The company grew tremendously," McBride told Business Insider. "We’re in a new chapter of growth that is global. We’re serving markets all over the world. It’s also very horizontal. That scope is a new sort of stage for us."
McBride and Barr both see challenges ahead for GitLab in terms of competition, as companies like Microsoft’s GitHub and Atlassian are delivering similar products. GitLab, like its rivals, helps large teams of programmers all work on the same code at the same time, making it possible to build ever-larger software products.
Although GitLab is growing quickly, the team can’t underestimate this challenge, they say. GitLab has sought to set itself apart by focusing on continuous integration, the term for the tools and mindset around delivering more code, more quickly. Still, there’s a lot of room to grow.
"In the [continuous integration] space, we’re further ahead, but in the security space, we’re still building," Barr told Business Insider. "I think the challenges will certainly be competitive. We’ll have to compete on many different fronts with well-established players."
Ultimately, GitLab has emerged as a leader in the market for software for developers, and both Barr and McBride jumped at the opportunity to help a fast-growing startup widen its scope. GitLab just closed $20 million from Goldman Sachs in December, only a few months after it had raised $100 million.
"I’ve had the luxury of working for well-led and very high-growth companies, and GitLab is a unique organization," McBride said. "Not only in how we run it but also the opportunity we have. It’s a lot of fun to sell and deliver products that actually make our customers’ lives better."
The all-remote culture
McBride found out about the opportunity through an investor he worked with in the past. When he learned about GitLab’s all-remote model, where it has no offices and everyone works from home, he was hooked.
Similarly, the remote culture was a major draw for Barr, who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. What’s more, coming from open source pioneer Red Hat, he was a fan of GitLab’s open source mindset, where everything about the company — including its planned timing for an IPO — is viewable to all employees.
"I’ve had great roles and great opportunities, but most of the opportunities that come my way are, ‘hey, move to San Francisco,’" Barr said. "I look for companies that respect that community and respect that ethos of open source. Sid is one of those people who understands the value of open source and makes sure we get positive value from the contribution."
McBride and Barr see this culture as one of GitLab’s competitive advantages, because hiring talent is not limited by geography.
"The companies with whom we compete for talent — we’re not having to compete in the same San Francisco zip codes," McBride said.
Now that MacBride has been at GitLab a little over eight months, the effectiveness of the company, despite being all-remote, has surprised him.
"I’ve worked in very high performing organizations, all of which had some combination of in-person and remote, but the all-remote is incredibly efficient," McBride said. "The speed at which we deliver has been impressive."
As GitLab prepares to go public in the next two years, McBride and Barr say building effective teams and hiring top talent will be crucial for the company’s growth. They look forward to building teams without the constraints of location.
"We want to grow the size of our community," Barr said. Those are ultimately our goals… Ultimately we want to build an organization we’re proud of as well."
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