Being a CEO for someone else?

Is there a market in being an interim or permanent (paid) CEO for other small, but funded startups? Thinking of trying this out in 2015! I have raised money, got into a big accelerator, managed people, ran startups with traction before, but no exits yet. I’m based in London.

  • Of course there’s a market for CEO’s as long as you’ve got the right experience. If you’ve proven to be able to bring in business in a specific field (especially B2B) especially if they were also startups, many tech founder led startups would be glad to hand over the CEO title to you.

    I know a guy who does this in the security field. He goes from one startup to the next taking on the CEO role, grow its customer base and selling or IPO-ing the companies.

  • If you can get VCs to install you as a CEO without having a successful exit or success running actual profitable operations, by all means – if you are interested. It is very thankless work though – you’ll get 3% to 5% but do as much work as if you were a founder.

    Did your friend have a successful exit and/or a long stint at a profitable company first?

    • I assuming you’re replying to me the first commenter.

      At the company I was at it was my friends first stint as CEO. He was marketing director before that at another co which I assume he impressed the VCS that invested in that co. Same investor. He did well though. Turned the co around got it acquired.

      As you said when a company is not doing well a CEO role is thankless. You do it for the challenge. Many accomplished CEOs would not touch it so VCs have two choices. Keep the existing non performing CEO, or get a promising but not seasoned CEO on board.

      I’ve seen this more than once.

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