Ricardo Semler

Ricardo Semler

How to run a company with (almost) no rules

Best known for his radical form of industrial democracy and corporate re-engineering, former CEO of Semco, Ricardo Semler is internationally recognised as a catalyst of change for employee-empowered leadership.
As the best-selling author of the classic Maverick and The Seven-Day Weekend, Semler advocates for leadership to rewrite their corporate narratives to be driven by values of trust, self-management and creativity. For bold innovators, Semler proposes a way to run a workplace that leads to greater productivity and greater flexibility for managers and employees alike. And for business leaders everywhere, he offers fresh alternatives to business as usual that inspire creative solutions to modern management problems.


In 1980, Ricardo Semler became head of his father’s company in Brazil. That was the moment he began his decades-long quest to create the perfect organization. He studied and then implemented ​‘corporate democracy’: a way of working that bans hierarchy, and allows employees to design their own jobs, select their supervisors and define pay levels. With success!
Under his ownership, revenue grew from 4 million US dollars in 1982, to 212 million dollars in 2003. Because of this success, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that his innovative business management policies have attracted major interest around the world.
In 2016, he co-founded ​‘Semco Style Institute’, which is intended to teach entrepreneurs and businesspeople how to implement this people-centric management style in their own companies. The institute helps people to find the right way to apply Semler’s principles until they are part of the companies’ DNA.

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