Non-Founders CEO, Transitions and Priorities


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This may be your first time reading this newsletter. If so, welcome! If not, you already know it. Alex made it And if you read last week’s issue, you also know I’m taking over. This makes me more like a CEO than a founder. So today’s topic is also personal. Anna.

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Our colleague Brian Heater wrote about Peloton’s below-expected earnings earlier this week. But besides the number of bikes and subscriptions that fitness companies sold or didn’t sell, it was this quote that caught my attention.

“Reviving is hard work. It is intellectually challenging, emotionally exhausting, physically exhausting, and exhausting. It’s a full-contact sport.”

This is an excerpt from letter to shareholders Written by Barry McCarthy, CEO of Peloton since February. McCarthy’s predecessor, John Foley, resigned when the company he co-founded laid off 2,800 people, about 20% of its workforce worldwide.

Since then, McCarthy’s job has not been easy. The new CEO focused on three priorities, he said. Stabilize cash flow 2. Put the right people in the right roles 3. Grow again.” It’s too early to say whether he will eventually succeed or not, but Peloton’s position is not unique.

Peloton has enjoyed a strong tailwind during the pandemic and is now one of several tech support companies facing a “market shock”. This list also includes Netflix, Robinhood, and Zoom, for example.

Airbnb is a related but slightly different case. The company hopes that the lodging market will benefit from the “travel rebound of the century.” But CEO Brian Chesky told TechCrunch that he plans to reinvent himself.

Unlike Peloton, Chesky is the founder CEO who will lead Airbnb through this transition. However, not all founders have the stamina or the right combination of skills to do this after years of being in the lead. This is one of the reasons why CEOs change so often, and the tech sector can’t act like it never happened.

The CEO cult takes many forms, one of which is a dual-class stock. This stock structure is part of a broader myth that the founding CEO should rule forever. And, of course, no one wants to lose control of the company or get fired from the board. But also the founder CEO I want to step away.

There are many reasons for lead founders to leave. Colleague Natasha Mascarenhas said, “Ex-managers always leave after an acquisition. on twitter. (She was referring to health company Ro, which has lost more than its fair share of employees since the takeover.)

Founders may want to leave before the exit, even if the IPO appears to be on the card. Sometimes for the company. sometimes for yourself. And sometimes both. That’s all when Monzo founder Tom Blomfield has been candid about the misfortunes that caused him to resign, yet is full of praise for his successor.

No doubt about it. Handing over a loved project can be bittersweet. And the view of having to stuff big shoes can be burdensome for new reps. But it’s not uncommon, so let’s stop pretending. Shall we make the most of it?



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