How a Vending Machine Filler Became Head of Facilities At 3 Giant Companies

Flipboard's Head of Facilities | Inside Jobs

Scott Oligher has worked in facilities management for more than 20 years. He started at Google when it had just 400 employees, Facebook when it had 550, and now, he is helping the digital platform Flipboard grow as facilities manager.

Oligher got his start filling vending machines at startup companies in Silicon Valley. One of them started giving out free food, which meant he was spending hours there. He's a talkative guy, so he talked to people. They got to know him. Then they offered him a job. He learned on the fly.

A facilities manager is in charge of the company's environment and culture. It's everything from how the building looks and how events are staged to transportation. Other times he's talking to landlords and negotiating leases. When done correctly, no one knows he's been there. It's a behind-the-scenes role.

The job suits a morning person, Oligher says. He arrives before 7am to get the essentials done. Once people start coming in, you never know what the day will bring. And that's the fun part.

To get into facilities management, you need to be a jack of all trades, he adds.

"I know enough not to get snowed over by someone," he quips. "You need the ability to be adaptable and not get stressed when people say they need this fixed right now."

Oligher starts each day with a pen-and-paper list. He has a cup of coffee and goes through his plan for the day. "I don't do anything without a list," he says.

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