When we last saw HBO’s Silicon Valley crew, they were staring at an empty chair where CEO “Action” Jack Barker used to sit. All questions as to who would take the seat as CEO of Pied Piper were left unanswered. It was clear a shift was coming in the power structure of the fictional company.
In fact, the impending sense of a struggle for ultimate authoritative power reminded me of another hit HBO show, Game of Thrones, which my colleague Lauren Whitehouse recently wrote about comparing the world of Game of Thrones to the factions within IT. Though it’s not exactly the Iron Throne, Action Jack’s empty office chair wields a lot of influence around the Pied Piper headquarters and is a symbol which demands respect. And those who rule their respective empires from both seats have a tendency to get “axed” (see Richard Hendricks, Jack Barker, Aerys “The Mad King” Targaryen, Joffrey Baratheon, pretty much every potential king or queen in Game of Thrones).
So, the question remains: who will rise to power and become CEO of Pied Piper?
There are more than a few options, some of them more likely than others. Richard may be the most obvious choice. He is the founder of Pied Piper, after all, and he is the current CTO of the company. However, he’s already tried his hand as CEO and was swiftly removed from his role once venture capitalist Laurie Bream became involved in the company. His social skills can also be a bit… let’s say, lacking.
The next person with a claim to the title of CEO is none other than Ehrlich Bachman. Ehrlich has the gift of gab, and has proven useful when dealing with people who try to take advantage of the trusting sensibilities of Richard. He might be just a little too rough around the edges, though, for a company looking for a clean break from an erratic predecessor.
If Pied Piper is truly looking for consistency, the go-to guy has to be Jared Dunn. Jared has always had Richard’s back no matter what. He even left his cushy position with Hooli to join Pied Piper where his living quarters consist of a rat-infested garage. Sure, the rest of the team may not respect him, and would walk all over every idea he had as CEO, but hey, at least he’s consistent.
However, if the startup is looking to mix things up, I know someone who has been mixing things up quite a bit lately. Ever since Dinesh introduced a certain gold chain to his wardrobe, his confidence has been off the charts. Now, if he could just get everyone to stop laughing at him for a few seconds he might gain some traction as CEO.
If none of the other options that are already ingrained in the Pied Piper culture work as the CEO, we are left with Gilfoyle. Gilfoyle probably couldn’t care less who the CEO is. He probably doesn’t even want to be CEO. Which makes him the perfect candidate. He doesn’t care what people think of him. He doesn’t care if someone questions his authority. He doesn’t even care about profits…
On second thought, maybe Pied Piper should look outside the organization for their new CEO. They need someone who fits into the culture and is undeniably a square. At this point, the characters vying for the Iron Throne in Game of Thrones are better options to be CEO of Pied Piper than anyone already at the startup. Jon Snow already proved death can’t stop him, maybe he should try his leadership skills in the cutthroat world of Silicon Valley.