As CEO/founder of an early but promising startup, should I consider hiring a top-notch CEO-type to take over my role?

I founded a fintech startup in Detroit suburbs, have a small team built, great early validation of our product, and starting to expand quickly…but I don’t think I’m cut out to be CEO.

I’m tempted to hire a rockstar talented individual to come on board, take over most of my responsibilities, and reduce my hours/involvement/stress significantly.  I’m confident that said rockstar has just as great of chance of making us successful.  Should I hire him and step aside? I’m even willing to part with some of my personal equity to give to him.


  • Absolutely! If you feel that is the way to go, follow your gut. I have seen many companies fail because its founders refuse to give up their position of power, so you should go for it and hire someone capable and motivated.

  • Hire the CEO but stay involved – very involved – in whatever your role will be. If your looking to find someone to take over a lot of your involvement/hours that would raise some major flags.

  • Don’t confuse someone who swam with a strong current to be a great swimmer.

    Rock stars are drastically overrated.

  • Hire them, but don’t make CEO. Make them Vp operations, president, coo, or whatever.

    Let them earn the CEO role over the course of at least 18 months, up to 5 years…

    • ++++

      Make them earn the role, and make sure their compensation/equity/options are tied to some performance milestones (and if they fail at too many milestones, they get out without any golden parachute and return all equity/options/warrants)

  • You need a good manager, a star as you said.

    Keep the decisions at the end.

    Make him start as a COO with vested equities.

  • Ive just been through this and am very happy with the experienced performer coming in and providing us with his maturity. But remember, the original risk and ideas is what it means to be an owner. Therefore, we linked the new guy’s equity and pay to performance. He is happy and we are too.

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