Valve's idealised 'flat management' structure is not all it's cracked up to be, according to one of the developers fired from the studio earlier this year.
Hardware hacker and former head of Valve's hardware division Jeri Ellsworth has characterised secretive Valve's purportedly utopian structure as masking 'hidden management' cliques that operate like High School adolescents.
"There is actually a hidden layer of powerful management structure in the company," she claims. "And it felt a lot like High School. There are popular kids that have acquired power, then there's the trouble makers, and then everyone in between. Everyone in between is ok, but the trouble makers are the ones trying to make a difference."
She also spoke of a "'Weird paranoia' in the company that their culture would be contaminated - they went on a witch hunt" and a how this left her "stabbed in the back".
MCV's sister site Develop has the full story.