Imagine you are CEO and founder of a company and it is not doing that well because of your decisions.

Would you step down and make someone else the CEO who will definitely do it better? Also the new CEO only takes a monthly salary.

  • 8
    Yes, of cause, but i wouldnt make myself the CEO in the first place. Just because you are able to devlop a great product, it doesnt make you a great CEO.
  • 1
    The key factor for me would be how the transition process works.

    I hate blame game and shutting someone down unless it's evident that only harm occurs otherwise.

    Decisions were made. The decisions
    had bad consequences.

    The question should now be: How to prevent this to become a recurring event.

    When the transition process is about solving the current problems and learning from past mistakes, yes.

    Step down and work together.

    When it's blame game and fingerpointing time...

  • 0
    @Frederick Sound argument to not become the CEO in the first place. Though the options are nil if you were solo founder when starting up.

    @IntrusionCM Fair point. But in this case the only person to blame is you yourself (the CEO) and to step down is to admit you messed up. This I assume still takes a ton of courage.

    P.s. This is a hypothetical situation.
  • 0
    @M1sf3t Would you be comfortable giving someone the position of power + social validation over something that you own?

    Especially knowing that they will increase value of what you own?
  • 4
    @sudocode Yes. But the part that concerns me is that admitting can happen without stepping down.

    When you can't admit that you fucked up, then you shouldn't be a CEO or in any leading position. (Reality is different I know).

    Stepping down doesn't help. Admitting doesn't help.

    Shit's still on fire.

    So admitting and stepping down should be two very distinct things.

    And when a step down occurs, the CEO should help in cleaning up the mess.

    As a CEO you should be responsible for the errors you make. Quitting / stepping down is the exact opposite - it's just fleeing from the scene.
  • 1
    there would be some clauses ensuring that i can still work on the projects for which i founded the company in the first place, and have relative freedom in that, which is why i would have founded the company in the first place, but yes.
  • 2
    I don’t know. Maybe being a ceo wound completely change me into arrogant prick that’s pathologically unable to admit that he’s wrong.
  • 0
    @uyouthe That's my take as well. Power is addictive and it corrupts badly. So bad it makes you take decisions that are fatal for everyone especially when one solution is to be not 'perceived' as being powerful anymore.

    @M1sf3t Very sound example indeed. Another counter example can be Sunder Pichai being made CEO of Google. Though technically Larry and Sergey are still CEOs of the parent company, they did kind of enabled someone to have the power over something they created. Takes a lot of clarity to do that.
  • 1
    Mistakes are what you do to learn to make a better decision(s) later.

    The question isn't if you made mistakes (everyone has...).

    The question should be:

    "Can I do this from here on out?"
  • 2
    The first rule of being a founder is you probably don't want to be the CEO.
  • 0
    No, I'd be that stupid to not recognize that it was my fault and blame others because they don't have the exact same world view as I have or are too honest to me and I feel they just want to bash on me.

    Simultaneously, I wouldn't be able to open up to a new perspective, therefor trying whatever I know works best as long as possible, even if that means I have to educate newcomers to my world view because everyone else doesn't want to work for me.

    If that fails, well, idk man, it definetly wasn't my fault.

    It just didn't worked out I guess. Maybe I was looking into the wrong branch of industry.
  • 3
    But honestly, a good CEO of anything mainly has to have just one thing that he can do really good:

    Always question everything and allow yourself to fail. That's it.
  • 1
    I wouldnt step down, but Id seek help from more experienced people and listen to my employees.

    My ego wouldnt allow me to ever give up, but it does allow me to reflect and admit that I have tons to learn
  • 1
    Depends on how decisions were made.
    If I will solo do something I can’t fire myself cause company won’t exist.
    If I make decisions where there are people working with me in the company first step would be to think about if someone manipulated me to make such decisions and if yes fire those people first and then if it didn’t help step down.
    People’s games are not obvious.
    If I own a small company 0-20 those people are easy to find.
    If I own 20+ people company and don’t have good expensive lawyer, psychologist and making all decisions on my own I am idiot.
  • 2
    Are you asking for a friend or is this hypothetical?
  • 1
    How do you know they will definitely do a better job ?

    Is their crystal ball any better than yours ?

    I would step down, but..

    Would the CEO need to ?

    If they want to do better, shouldn't they just listen to advice given by others ?

    You could call the others "Backup CEO" maybe.

    Then, if listening to them doesn't make things better replace them with another one!

    Because, if you put them in charge, and they turn out to be even worse, can you then fire them ?

    (Ideally without any golden handshake..)

    Can't they be paid daily, rather than monthly, since a month could be a lot of money..

    And shouldn't pay be somehow pegged to how well the business is doing ?

    Eg. if its making a loss, they shouldn't get anything !

    Bare in mind, not unheard of to manipulate the variables that control pay levels and fake a company doing well, when it isn't !

    So, be careful which variables you might include to measure success !
  • 2
    I would burn down the whole thing before I would let someone take my place.
  • 0
    @SortOfTested Cheers to that! 🥂

    @010001111 A good CEO might also be highly disagreeable which highly limits the scope of what is perceived as failure and who takes the hose if it is. ( Here good != Nice )

    @Rundle Hypothetical but based on experience of working with ~dozen founders. There are no correct answers though. I don't have a clue either.

    @aviophile Lol
  • 1
    @Nanos Assuming it is 100% sure they will help the company grow in this hypothetical situation. Would you still give up the title of CEO and just sit back while someone else makes decisions for your company? ( You still own the same equity)

    @vane I think you will always 'find' someone who manipulated you even in a <20 person company. Given the condition you know you are bad at decision making, how would you ensure firing isn't another of those?

    One story:
    One of my boss fired his pre-sales marketing guy when boss himself was not able to convert those to actual clients during 1:1 interaction. 'These clients are not good'
  • 2
    @sudocode that’s the paradox that you don’t know unless you lose everything or hire someone to help you figure things out. It can be new CEO but it also can be consultant, lawyer, psychologist or business advisor, whatever’s necessary.
    Possible scenarios are endless.
    Best would be someone from outside perspective to get fresh look on things cause you’re in the game and there is 90% chance you don’t see problems clearly.
  • 0


    Would you still give up the title of CEO and just sit back while someone else makes decisions for your company? ( You still own the same equity)


    Simple answer = yes.

    I'm reminded of a discussion a little while back on the question of, what does a manager do.

    The general answer given by most folk was they was someone who told everyone else what to do.

    My answer was a bit different..

    I see a manager as someone whose it is to help their workers get their tasks done, so you in essence, you problem solve their problems and fix them.

    Very rarely do you need to tell them what to do, they already know what to do, they are trying to do it. :-)

    Your job is to help them.

    Not sit behind a desk with your feet up not doing anything, which many managers today do !

    Thus, as CEO your task is to run things well, if that means getting someone else in who can do a better job, that to me strikes me as the best solution.
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