Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation |  VP of Engineering

Slava Kulakov

Slava joined Crossover as a VP of Engineering two years ago. He soon found that the pace of growth at Crossover was significantly higher than other opportunities he had looked into, as he began managing large engineering organizations and projects and quickly adopted new management principles. Additionally, his new compensation (which was 2x his last salary) allowed him to revive a personal dream: to build a countryside home (called a “dacha” in Russia) on some family property. “As for me, Crossover uncovered new opportunities which were absent across my previous jobs and allowed me to finally match my work to my lifestyle.
Slava Kulakov, VP of Engineering

Your career, pre-Crossover, has taken you across the world on some interesting projects.  Why did you want to return to Russia?

I had worked for some really interesting companies before Crossover.  Ironically, I worked in both Saint Petersburg, Russia, and Saint Petersburg, Florida even!  Leading engineering teams in many different industries - banking, IT, retail - was interesting, but I was really looking for more challenges than what I was able to find in the local market in Russia.  When I found Crossover, I realized that I could grow professionally while returning to my home country, which I had been wanting to do for many years.

What has your increased compensation from Crossover allowed you to do?

In Russia, almost every family who lives in a big city has a small country-house called a “dacha,” which is where they retreat to in summer months to enjoy the countryside, pick berries and mushrooms, go fishing, bicycling and BBQ.  My grandfather bought a dacha in 1962 near a beautiful lake outside of Saint Petersburg.  It was built in 1892, and I always dreamed of building a newer, larger house nearby.  But as I grew older and started dedicating all of my time to work, the dacha became increasingly unattended and I put my dream aside.

Joining Crossover two years ago allowed me to revisit this dream.  My new salary was twice that of my previous salary, so I could invest my new compensation into a dacha-building project.  And I could live and work from the countryside.

So the decision was made, and dacha building started.

You have joked about how the management principles you have learned through WorkSmart Pro have applied to the construction of your dacha.  Can you tell us about this?

From all my engineering managerial experience I know that daily coaching is best for developers. I applied this to the construction project as well; I installed strong internet in my 100+-year-old dacha and started monitoring builders on a daily basis.  I’m doing what Crossover calls “Gemba walks” at the construction site when I’m not working as well :)

Similar Reviews