On a perfect day for Scott Oligher, most of his coworkers will hardly notice the work he’s done at all.
That’s because as the head of facilities at Flipboard, Oligher is in charge of making sure everything that happens behind the scenes at the company’s Palo Alto headquarters runs smoothly. From the lights being switched on in the morning, to the air conditioning and heating working correctly, to the set up of special meetings and events, Oligher works hard to make sure all this and much more falls into place as seamlessly as possible. In many ways, facilities managers are the secret weapons that allow other staffers to fully focus on building a company’s core product.
It’s a fascinating and crucial job role, so it was great to spend time with Oligher and learn about what he does for our Inside Jobs series. As Oligher tells me in the video embedded above, he’s a 20+ year veteran of the facilities management industry in Silicon Valley. He got his start running facilities for a quickly growing startup during the dot com boom, and then moved on to work for Google during some of its fastest growing years from 2002 to 2009, and then at Facebook during a similarly booming time from 2009 to 2013. Now at Flipboard, Oligher is overseeing rapid growth once again, which keeps his daily to-do list long.
I especially liked his thoughts about facilities managers being the true go-to people at a company:
“I will never tell anybody no. I’ll say, ‘Let me find out.’ If I don’t know, and it’s not me [who's best suited for the job], I’ll find out for them. And I’ll put them in contact, or I’ll just reach out and take care of it for them. It’s just what we should do. Hey, I’m here to support everybody, no matter what it is.
That’s what I love about my job. That’s why it can be a million things at once. I’ve been asked questions where I’m like, ‘Wow, I’ve never had that before. Now I’ll go figure that out.’ And that’s the fun part of it. It’s never the same thing two days in a row.”
Check it all out in the video embedded above.
This is a bittersweet post to write, since it marks the final episode in our 12 week long Inside Jobs miniseries. It’s been such a pleasure to take a close look at some of the people who really make the tech industry tick, beyond the founders and CEOs. Here is the rundown of all our Inside Jobs episodes, including the pilot:
Producing, shooting, editing, sound, and lighting for Inside Jobs is done by John Murillo. Production coordination and creative direction is done by Felicia Williams. Original logo design by Bryce Durbin. Motion graphics and graphic design by Eden Soto.