Does the Combination of a Startup CEO Plus a Multi-million Dollar Corporate CEO Result in Better Return on Investment?
There is little debate needed to ascertain that the skills from both an up-and-coming startup CEO combined with the experience of a seasoned CEO from a corporate company would do little to hurt the return on investment of any business. Startup CEOs bring energetic and fresh perspectives on how to maximize profits. They come ripe with innovative ideas and typically have a more comprehensive understanding about how digital technology can foster new opportunities for businesses.
On the other hand, if you take the experience of a CEO with — let’s say — 20-plus years of experience in the corporate sector, you’re getting the reliability of an executive who has a much better insight for developing strategies that work for organizational structures. Corporate CEOs have a discerning awareness about how to build teams that can execute ideas. They have knowledge on key areas to focus on and they are privy in how to use market research to enhance a business’ brand. I cannot think of a Board Committee that would not appreciate the talents of both a startup and a corporate CEO combined.
However, there are times when one outweighs the other. For instance, 19 years ago, an investor for a telephone company successfully talked the company into replacing its CEO with one who had more experience at managing teams and instituting processes. It took five months of persuasion before the founding CEO, stepped down to make room for the more experienced CEO.
Contrastingly, in 2015, Africa’s MTN Group named Rob Shuter, a 48-year-old, as the company’s new CEO, replacing Sifiso Dabengwa, who is almost 15 years his junior.
The reality — and the secret — to building a sustainable business is the team. Running a successful business takes a village, and the people around you will either make our break the company.