I work in a startup company in France. Our team is composed of less than ten developers, two scrum masters, three managers and two QAs.
In France, people get their work contract definitely validated after a trial period of four months. This often means people tend to make particular efforts during those months and to release the pressure afterwards thus unveiling their true faces.
This guy arrived to develop with us about 8 months ago. He had the perfect behavior right away. Often new colleagues have something we can base our jokes on but he wasn't this kind of guy. He has directly had the most professional attitude possible. He is smart, speaks well, does not count his hours. He rapidly made his mark and identified who to twist around his finger. He is even concerned about his little defects and asks for people to help him correct them.
But over time especially since his contract was validated, our private conversations with other colleagues slightly shifted from "that guy wil go far" to "that guy is power hungry". In fact it seems everything he does will help his own carreer. By the way he seems to be openly confortable with that.
If only one person would ask a question during the meetings with the boss, it would be him.
If other people in the team do a great job and get their little moment of glory, he will find a way to at least be part of it, even if it consists in basically rephrasing the solution. He will never admit he doesn't know something.
We also noticed he does not take jokes about him really well, actually he seems not to appreciate too much self-derision or stuff that will make him look bad in any way.
He will pick easier bugs to be "the guy who fixed 15 bugs whereas other devs fixed only 5".
He adapts his speech according to his interlocutor. For exemple during meetings he will tell our bosses what they want to hear and later in a private conversation express an opposite opinion.
In the end, he is not particularly brillant at the job. But he has a remarkable capacity to make people think so, using proper communication and constantly seeking for rewarding opportunities.
In a nutshell, most of the time he is "employee of the month" but he tends to be too comfortable with demagoguery and opportunism for people to not feel any kind of unease.
I am looking for insights on how to react to the situations when the guy subtly acts for his own success instead of what would be best for all the members of the team. Is it better to confront him, to play his own game or to simply ignore ?