Learn when executive placement makes sense for startups from an experienced Silicon Valley investor.
Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, writes in TechCrunch that “there sometimes comes a point in your company’s growth trajectory when you need to hire a CEO or president from the outside to get to the next level.” Khosla outlines how to identify when executive placement makes sense.
“The first stage of a company’s growth is one in which leadership generally happens in a ‘hub and spoke’ style, where the leader/CEO/founder(s) is (are) at the center of most decisions,” Khosla notes, and “many things are in flux as the collision of the founders’ vision and the real world is still working itself out.” Once a company moves into the second stage, Khosla recommends that founders ask themselves if they can still manage the CEO job or if it’s time for executive placement. At stage three, “the CEO becomes more of an orchestrator to make sure that each leader is driving functional excellence.”
Overall, Khosla suggests that founders ask themselves, “what are you, as the founder, doing well and what don’t you have time for?” If bringing in an executive with greater management experience makes sense, then pull the trigger and hire a CEO from the outside.