How to Fire Yourself as CEO and Hand Over the Reins

Entrepreneurs start companies to solve problems. A founder identifies a pain point, develops an innovative solution, raises money, hires an engineering team, and pushes the product to market. Yet the drive and skills that can propel a founder to early success aren’t necessarily the same ones required to scale a business or run a large public company as CEO. Sometimes, the founder has to step aside to make way for another leader with a skill set better suited to continue to grow a company.

The shift requires a CEO to be self-aware and for both parties to take steps to make the transition seamless. But making the hard choice to move on can be key to keeping the company on the right path and maximizing value for everyone involved. How does the new chief executive maintain momentum while asserting leadership and building the necessary rapport with existing executives and employees alike?


Successful startups are on a journey, and each stage requires somewhat different skills. I spoke with several tech CEOs about the competencies leaders need in each lifecycle, and how they led to change that made their companies stronger.


1. Ensure everyone is on the same page.

Sometimes, a leadership transition in the early days of a company may be the best thing for the business.

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