Point Nine Land
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Point Nine Land

Can a startup have two CEOs?

Photo by Vincent van Zalinge on Unsplash

So… can a startup have two CEOs?

1) Faster decision-making

2) Clear responsibilities

3) A Co-CEO setup makes it harder to attract top VPs

  • Even if they don’t have first-hand experience with dual CEO setups, they may have been in other similar situations where teams or departments didn’t perform well because they’ve suffered from slow decision-making and poor accountability.
  • They want to know who they’ll be reporting to.
  • They might wonder if you let your ego stand in the way of doing what’s best for the company and if you’re able to make tough decisions.

“Engineering VPs are in high demand because of the sheer number of options they have. A great engineering manager can start their own company, join a tech giant like Facebook, consult, teach, or can join any one of dozens of other startups who are also also looking for their perfect VPE, like you are.

If a candidate is good enough for you to hire, many other companies would also like to hire her, so if you want a great VPE, you need to know why yours is the company she would choose.”

  • What are the motivations for Co-CEO? Does it come from an honest conviction that this is the right way to run the company, or are they just avoiding conflict or delaying making a decision?
  • What steps have they already taken to mitigate some of the problems of being Co-CEOs?
  • How will they make certain hard decisions? What if one of them isn’t performing? What if a key executive isn’t performing? What if they have a fundamental disagreement?



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Christoph Janz

Internet entrepreneur turned angel investor turned micro VC. Managing Partner at http://t.co/5WJ3Pepbcv.