Bill Lumbergh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
William Lumbergh
Office Space character
Bill Lumbergh Office Space.jpeg
Lumbergh (played by Gary Cole) in Office Space
Created byMike Judge
Portrayed byGary Cole
In-universe information
OccupationDivision Vice President, Initech (formerly)
Division Vice President, Initrode (currently)

William Lumbergh is a fictional character, who appeared initially in the Milton animated shorts, and later was portrayed by Gary Cole in the 1999 film Office Space. A caricature of corporate management, Lumbergh is a division vice president of the software company Initech, based in Texas, and serves as the main antagonist of the film. He drives a blue Porsche 911 SC with a vanity license plate "MY PRSHE". He wears formal, solid-color day dress shirts with Winchester collars and suspenders with a belt—a fashion faux pas—as well as an MIT college class ring. According to his Initech employee's personnel file, Lumbergh graduated from MIT with a BS in physics.

Lumbergh is a micromanager who is focused on busy work and paperwork, notably TPS reports. He has been described as "the antithesis of the motivational management leadership ideal".[1] He greets subordinates with an unenthusiastic "What's happening?", and when asking an employee to do an unpleasant task, starts the sentence with, "I'm gonna need you to", or "If you could go ahead and", as well as ending these requests with "that'd be great/terrific" and "mmmkay?" A Wharton Journal article said that the character "brilliantly exposed the emptiness of linguistic conventions at work."[2] Social historian Joe Moran writes that Lumbergh's "non-confrontational" communication style "masks the reality of management coercion".[3]


  1. ^ Green, Doyle (2010). The American Worker on Film: A Critical History, 1909-1999. McFarland & Company. pp. 191–92. ISBN 978-0-7864-4734-3.
  2. ^ Cole, Douglas (February 12, 2007). "Why we should remember Bill Lumbergh". The Wharton Journal. Wharton School. Archived from the original on 12 March 2007. Retrieved 26 February 2007.
  3. ^ Moran, Joe (2005). Reading the Everyday. Taylor & Francis. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-415-31708-5.

External links[edit]