The real top dogs: five corporate canines on the executive team

It's no longer enough to be able to shake hands and follow orders. What these office pets do to earn their keep

The Roman emperor Caligula took a novel approach to selecting his executive team, apocryphally conferring on his horse Incitatus the status of counsel, one of the highest political offices in the empire. Closer to the present day (and with much lower stakes), companies with whimsical office cultures have chosen to follow Caligula’s lead and appoint some four-legged executives of their own—in this case, dogs.

Allowing employees to bring their dogs to work can boost morale and help productivity, CB reporter Lisa Evans discovered:

Employees are generally happier with a dog in the workplace,” says Liz Palika, author of Dogs at Work. So happy, they may even be willing to take a pay cut to work for a dog-friendly company: a survey conducted by Modern Dog magazine revealed that 65% of readers would take a job for less money if it meant they could bring their dog to work. While opponents of dog-friendly workplaces might say pooches are a distraction to employee productivity, Palika says the opposite is true. “Employees often volunteer for overtime because no one needs to rush home to walk the dog,” she says.

READ: Will work for biscuits »

But finding the perfect combination of competent, cuddly and cute isn’t easy. With the competition for top-tier canine candidates growing, we assembled a list of the top dogs of the corporate world.


(Insightrix Research)

(Insightrix Research)

Chief Morale Officer, Insightrix Research

Talk about an underdog: when Saskatoon-based Insightrix’s co-owner and president Corrin Harper first met Presley, he was a homeless pup wandering down the highway. Now, he’s responsible for morale and security at the company. “My job is to lay under Corrin’s desk, sleeping and ensuring that all meetings stay on track,” his profile page says. “I do this by getting up and stretching as a gentle hint that the meeting has gone on long enough, and now it’s time to pay attention to me.”


(Instagram: livefredtastic)

(Instagram: livefredtastic)

Chief Barketing Officer, Spring

With more than 3,000 followers on Instagram and shoots for Fashionista and Burger King under his collar, Fred is fast becoming a sought-after brand endorser. He’s got good management: Fred’s human, Cannon Tekstar Hodge is Director of Social Media at the New York mobile shopping platform Spring. Fashionista’s Chantal Fernandez was particularly appreciative of his skillset: “[Fred] knows how to perfectly balance sunnies on his nose like a seasoned pro.”




Chief Happiness Officer, SoundCloud

Goron’s classic unbuttoned polo and no-pants combo makes his the resident style guru at the San Francisco office of the audio distribution platform according to his colleagues (or at least the company’s Google+ account). He’s also active on Instagram.

Stephen J. Cogswell


(Fast Company)

Director of Events, GreenBiz Group

Organizing events are a major part of Oakland, CA, sustainability consultancy GreenBiz’s work, and Cogwsell is integral to the company’s publicity efforts. “Cogswell’s name is used to send out hundreds of thousands of email communications for GreenBiz,” GreenBiz told Fast Company. “So well-known is Stephen J. Cogswell, that customers often ask to speak with Stephen, not knowing he’s our office dog.” Cogswell is also on Twitter.

Lenny Lavigne



Recruiting, Wistia

Another canine with a taste for the camera, Lavigne features in many of the in-house videos of Cambridge, MA-based internet video hosting and analytics company Wistia. In an interview for dog blog Napa’s Daily Growl last year, Lavigne expressed the hope that his co-workers would show more appreciation for his efforts: “Give me treats, damn you!”




Office Dog, Vine

The Twitter-owned video-sharing service is looking for a workplace woofer. Qualifications listed on the job posting  include familiarity with the WABS (woof, arf, bark, sniff deploy!) protocol and a computer science degree from an ivy league school. Despite the lofty educational requirements, Vine asserts that it is an equal opportunity employer: “All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to breed, color, paw size, ear length, pound history or any other characteristic protected by law applicable to the state in which you work.”