Pied Piper is the fictional company depicted in the HBO series Silicon Valley. It’s an autonomous peer-to-peer network that involves distributed storage powered by universal compression… and a bunch of other technical mumbo-jumbo. Basically, it’s a tech start-up in the tech hub of America.
Founded by Richard Hendricks, many employees, investors, and even bosses have come and gone as Richard and his team have tried to get the company off the ground and navigate the Wild West of the tech space. They’ve fended off competition, including the mega-conglomerate Hooli; dealt with eccentric investors, leaks, safety issues; and everything else that could possibly stand in the way of a successful tech start-up.
In the last season, things seemed to finally be looking up for the company. How will it turn out in the upcoming sixth and final season? We’ll have to wait and see. For now, here’s a look at the best Pied Piper employees, leaders, or board members from its humble beginnings to now, ranked.
10 Erlich Bachman (Investor, Board Of Directors)
Okay, so Erlich is no longer a part of Pied Piper, nor is the character even on the series anymore. However, when he was part of the team, he really was part of the team, even if he was clueless (or high) half the time.
He didn’t really handle the business, though he often tried to have a say or be more involved than the others wanted him to be. Either way, his incubator is what helped Richard and the team get Pied Piper off the ground in the first place. So that means he deserves a spot on this list.
9 Dang (Lead Designer)
You might not recall Dang, who only goes by his first name. But he was (or maybe still is?) the lead designer for Pied Piper. He was integral to helping the team reluctantly design “The Box” when Richard’s product was essentially hijacked by Jack Barker and about to be marketed as yet another white-labeled black box.
According to his resume, Dang has an artistic sensibility honed from his time at the Bronx High School for the Arts, among other institutions. Some of his most notable design jobs include a leading brand of high-end humidifiers and the overhauled Amtrak trains. Okay, so not the most exciting resume. Still, Dang showed promise, potential, and a quiet patience, despite what ridiculous demands were thrown at him.
8 Carla Walton (Former Platform Engineer)
While she did end up leaving the company, Carla was a brilliant coder who was an excellent addition to the team. You know she had to be good since she was recommended for the job by both Gilfoyle and Dinesh.
Despite her Girl With the Dragon Tattoo look and attitude, she broke down any walls that suggested women couldn’t be as good coders as men. “I’m not a woman engineer,” she said at one point, “I’m an engineer.” Plus, when she was on the team, she helped add some much-needed estrogen to the otherwise testosterone-filled Hacker Hostel.
7 Ron LaFlamme (Attorney)
Okay, so Ron isn’t technically an employee at Pied Piper, but he is employed by Pied Piper to serve as the company’s attorney. A laidback, typical California Millennial, he isn’t the suit-and-tie kind of lawyer. But he knows his stuff.
He’ll deliver the worst news possible as if he’s simply telling you someone took your parking spot, then bill you a handsome amount for his legal expertise and advice. But realistically, Pied Piper has had to rely on Ron on numerous occasions, even if it was just for sound (albeit expensive) advice. And he has gotten them out of a jam many a time.
6 Nelson “Big Head” Bighetti (Majority Investor)
“Big Head” has been there since the beginning, working alongside Richard at Hooli when he came up with his compression algorithm and decided to leave the company and try and make it on his own.
Nelson is an enigma who constantly gets rewarded for doing (and knowing) nothing. Yet he has a horseshoe around his neck, which makes him an important part of the Pied Piper team. As long as he’s involved, they should be okay. Even if he’s just walking around aimlessly, slurping on a giant Big Gulp.
5 Monica Hall (Chief Financial Officer)
While Monica only joined Pied Piper officially at the end of season five, she has been a part of the team in some capacity since it was devised. As an associate partner at Raviga, she worked closely with her boss Laurie Bream, often reporting news back to the Pied Piper team that could help them.
She has been more integral to the company’s journey thus far than the team, or even she, realizes. As CFO, with her deep understanding of the investment business and intimate knowledge of Pied Piper and their technologies, she is one of the most valuable members of the team.
4 Dinesh Chugtai (Co-CTO, Senior Programmer)
He comes across as goofy, but Dinesh really is a seriously talented programmer who, in between exchanging snarky remarks with Gilfoyle, is busy helping ensure Piper Piper runs smoothly.
While, as they say, everyone is replaceable, given Dinesh’s very technical skillset and his tremendous aptitude, even in Silicon Valley, it would be tough to replace him. Not only for his programming abilities but also for his dedication to Richard and the company.
3 Bertram Gilfoyle (Co-CTO, Senior Systems Architect)
He might be an oddball Satanist who rarely cracks a smile and carries a pessimistic view of the world, but Gilfoyle, as they call him, is critical to ensuring that Pied Piper is not only operational but also highly secure.
Immensely talented, he makes no bones about letting everyone know how valuable he is. He’s confident in his abilities and has, more than once, proven them. While he might not appear to be as dedicated a team member as some of the others, he would likely miss working alongside Dinesh, spewing constant insults at him. Gilfoyle and Dinesh are really ranked in a tie, as together, they make a winning team that Pied Piper needs.
2 Jared “Donald” Dunn (Head Of Business Development/CFO)
How could anyone possibly compete with the loyalty and dedication of Jared Dunn? He handles all of the business and financial aspects of the company and is fiercely loyal to the team. If he was told to jump off a bridge to save Pied Piper, he very likely would without skipping a beat.
Leaving his cushy job at the mega-conglomerate Hooli to help Richard get his technology off the ground, Jared isn’t about the money, which is exactly what you want in a model employee. He is in it for the passion, camaraderie, and being a part of the team. And while other members of the team have a far better knowledge of the technical side of things, they wouldn’t be able to function as a cohesive unit without Jared.
1 Richard Hendricks (CEO, Founder)
It all started with Richard. He is the most valuable member of the team as the software designer and creator of the Pied Piper app and algorithm. Without Richard, there is no Pied Piper.
While Richard isn’t exactly great at running the business end of things, he surrounds himself with amazingly smart people, namely the other folks on this list. And that’s what makes him a great leader, even if he fumbles his way through being CEO half the time.