Why There Are No Bosses at Valve

Photograph by Tim Eulitz

Earlier this week, Valve Software—the company behind the Half-Life, Counter-Strike, and Portal video game series—released its employee handbook to the public because, according to Valve co-founder Gabe Newell, somebody asked. “I’d mentioned the handbook on a podcast and one of the listeners contacted us and said, ‘Hey, can I get a copy?’ So [designer] Greg Coomer sent him a copy and all of a sudden, it got posted online,” he says. The handbook attracted a lot of attention because, in addition to offering company massage rooms and free food, Valve has a unique corporate structure rarely seen at such a large company: Valve has 300 employees but no managers or bosses at all. Newell talked to Bloomberg Businessweek about his company’s environment and how it works.

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