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Read or listen to articles published in this section and via BartonRock’s Digital Careers podcast series – also featuring interviews with high profile business leaders internationally.

Is the founder of a company always the best person to be CEO?

Is the founder of a company always the best person to be CEO?

Company founders can be inspirational – as much for what they don’t do as what they do.

Stepping back and handing the reigns to a CEO isn’t a straightforward decision. But it can be what’s best for the company.

The success of the transition then comes down to the Founder taking on the right role and creating enough space to co-exist with the CEO. It’s sometimes a Chairman position but for smaller scale-ups, that can be something of a luxury and leveraging the Founder’s expertise can be critical.

After all, those skills are probably what made the company great and got the business to this point

The key for any Founder is finding that zone of true value. It’s often something that the Founder is most passionate about: product development, marketing, business development, fundraising or M&A? It is also what will add the greatest enterprise value.

Many Founders are great leaders. They just don’t always make the best CEOs. The self-awareness to recognise this and put ego to one side is an admirable quality.

If you’re a consumer and retail scale-up looking to go through a CEO succession plan, get in touch and I’d be happy to share the many examples I have managed.

About BartonRock: We are the executive search partner for scale ups and entrepreneurially driven companies within the retail and consumer sector. 

We manage the careers of leaders whose know-how and commercial acumen within digital steers the strategic direction and future survival of companies.

Our assignments search for executives who understand how to implement and lead data-centric digital agendas.

For more information visit: or contact or call +44 (0) 20 8092 6048.

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