But a boss-free setting had blind spots. Shortly after Wanstrath slid into the CEO chair at the beginning of 2014, Julie Ann Horvath, a developer at the startup, said she faced gender bias and was pressured into leaving by the previous CEO, Tom Preston-Werner, and his wife. After an internal investigation found that he’d acted inappropriately, Preston-Werner resigned as president. Wanstrath penned a blog post acknowledging “challenges” facing efforts to create an inclusive work environment and promised to institute new HR policies.
The mess highlighted that GitHub’s six-year experiment in self-government had come up short. Wanstrath told staff of the switch to bosses the month after his co-founder’s departure, and the software engineering department began assigning managers in the spring. The company hasn’t publicly discussed the change in detail until now. “We’re building a tool for software developers, but we’re also hacking on the future of work,” says Kakul Srivastava, GitHub’s vice president of product management. “That hacking has taken us down some pretty interesting paths, and we’re a better company because we went down those paths. But not all of those paths were the right paths.” (Source)