I manage a DevOps team of ca 10 engineers in ~150 headcount software development company. One of my team members (call him Joe) has been with the company pretty much since its inception 10+ years ago, longer than anyone else apart from the owner.
Joe doesn't seem to have any ambitions to move up to middle management, he seems to be happy doing what he's doing in the team. However because he's been with the company for so long he tends to ignore the rules, processes and even the company structure. And he gets away with it because when he needs an exemption, decision, or anything "nonstandard" he can go right to the owner and gets it approved on the spot. Or he simply ignores what he doesn't like.
Quite often that's against my and my team's decisions - for instance we settled on using Slack for communication, alerts, etc. He doesn't bother logging in most days and insists we call him or email him if needed. Or we have all-team work planning meetings every 2 weeks, but again he can't be bothered as he says he knows what he's got to do.
That puts me in an an awkward position - he's in theory my "subordinate" but in reality he ignores me, and everyone else in the management structure and goes right to the owner if feels like it. I'm not in a position to go to the owner's office and deal with it the same way Joe can. After all I've been with the company for only a little over a year, Joe has been here 10x longer. I can only bring it up with my direct line manager but he doesn't seem to be able to do much as Joe is under sort of "protection" from the owner.
What should I do? Even though I don't have any personal issues with him or his work performance it's causing some tensions in the team ("Why do I have to do XYZ when Joe doesn't") and I'm not sure how to approach it.