Maverick: The Success Story Behind the World’s Most Unusual Workplace. Ricardo Semler. Warner Books.

Maverick: The Success Story Behind the World's Most Unusual Workplace Book Cover Maverick: The Success Story Behind the World's Most Unusual Workplace
Ricardo Semler
Warner Books
September 1993

How would you like to work in a company that has no receptionists, secretaries, standard hierarchies, dress codes, or executive perks… a company that lets you set your work hours and even your salary, and asks you to review your boss… a company whose ways of doing business are totally opposite of those of most corporations? How would you like to work in a company that not only breaks all the rules, but succeeds?

Can’t be done, you say?

It can if you think like Ricardo Semler, the Maverick CEO who turned his own company into a model for the 90s and beyond. In Maverick, Semler will tell you how he changed his company and how you can change yours… If you dare!

The extraordinary true story of 34-year-old CEO Ricardo Semler and of the rebirth of his family-owned Brazilian manufacturing company, Semco, Maverick is a chronicle of corporate change – a change so vast and successful that Semco has been visited by over 400 corporate representatives from around the world who want to see it in action.

In 1980 21-year-old Ricardo Semler took over the reins of the company’s father founded and built. Ricardo proceeded to break every rule of doing business, firing an entire echelon of upper-level managers. Once he opened the floodgates to change, Semler never – even when he was tempted to – closed them again.

Semler’s management system allows employees to work at home, study and discuss the company’s financial statements, may corporate decisions, take over the cafeteria kitchen, start their own business with company assets, and redesign the products Semco builds and how they are built. The result: in ten years of constant experimentation – a time period in which Brazil’s economy faltered – Semco has achieved a growth rate of 600 percent.

In chronicling Semco’s inner revolution, Semler shows how his radical ideas and strategies, as well as his nuts-and-bolt specifics, can be applied to any company anywhere. For instance, he includes actual forms like the questionnaires that Semco’s employees use to grade their managers. And he openly challenges the way almost all corporations to business today. Destined to be read, re-read, and hotly discussed, Maverick is a landmark book about people and their companies, and how they both can achieve unimagined new heights of success.

Ricardo Semler is the CEO of Semco S.A., a manufacturer of industrial equipment that employs several hundred people and that has moved from 56th to 4th in its industry. Mr. Semler is also a board member of SOS Atlantic Forest, Brazil’s foremost environmental protection entity, and regularly undertakes adventure travel: his trips include retracing Marco Polo’s route through Asia, ballooning over Tanzania, and rafting down the Nile. He lives in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with his wife.