In 2001, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin brought in CEO Eric Schmidt to help them scale the booming business they had on their hands. Google was then doing more than $100 million in revenue and was three years from going public.
Though Schmidt was impressed by Page and Brin's intellectually rigorous interview process, he was not terribly impressed with his first day on the job.
Schmidt's title made him part of the C-suite — in name only. "My first office at Google was an 8-by-12 office, just enough room for me and my desk and my little chair," says Schmidt, speaking with Linkedin co-founder Reid Hoffman on the podcast, "Masters of Scale."
To further confuse things, the then-CEO walked in to find he had a roommate.
"I said 'Hello.' He says, 'Hello.' I said, 'Hi, I'm Eric.' And he goes, 'Hi, I'm Amit.'"
"Now, as a new person coming into the company, it's very important to not create a cultural faux pas," says Schmidt.
"Like it would be incorrect to say, 'I'm the CEO. Get the heck out of my office.'"