How to choose a CEO for your startup

There are numerous reasons why the founder of a startup might not want to become its CEO as well. Many founders have a knack for coming up with good ideas and being successful in the entrepreneurial process, but don't necessarily have the right skill set to take their companies to the next level once they become more established. According to entrepreneur Ryan Himmel, "It is my belief that sometimes the people that build the ship aren't necessarily the best people to sail it." 

What's more, studies have shown that founders who do not attempt to take on the CEO role end up with more equity value than those who hold onto control. According to an analysis completed by Noam Wasserman of Harvard Business School, "controlling for company size, age, and other factors, the more decision-making control kept (at both the CEO and board levels), the lower the value of the entrepreneur's equity stake."

So how should you go about finding someone who will be better than you are at guiding your company? First, come up with a list of traits and skills that you lack but wish you had, so that you can seek them out in candidates. In addition to these skills, anyone you choose should have a strong established history of leading businesses through the early stages. Engaging an executive search firm can be a great help during this time, as they have wider networks to allow you to access candidates who you might not be able to reach out to on your own.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people – for all company functions, across many industries and globally.

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