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HomeBusinessEntrepreneurshipThe Pros and Cons of the Co-CEO Model

The Pros and Cons of the Co-CEO Model

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their very own.

When it involves the co-CEO model, somebody remembers the expertise and mentions Oracle. And some individuals point out — an organization that carried out the 2 CEO mannequin, cancelled it and returned to it once more. Proponents of the twin strategy say that two heads are higher than one. Opponents assume the co-CEO mannequin is doomed and that it is a non permanent answer appropriate for startups solely.

Over the yr with the twin mannequin, we’ve got achieved a 155% progress in GGR. In this retrospective, I’ll share my expertise as a co-CEO and spotlight the strengths and weaknesses of this strategy.

Why did we swap to the co-CEO mannequin? In 2020, we anticipated progress and made plans to scale the . In 2021, the variety of staff had grown by 30%, and the complexity and capabilities of the technological options used within the product have grown too. For instance, we completed the event of the Parimatch platform, which might course of greater than 20,000 transactions per second — that is 4 instances greater than our outdated platform might.

Related: These Co-Founders Insisted on Being Co-CEOs Despite It Costing Them Funding

The international plans required a deal with strategic points whereas sustaining the tempo of progress with out compromising operational work high quality. So, the concept got here as much as assemble the Supervisory Board. The Supervisory Board aimed to steadiness the shareholders’ objectives, enable the C-level to deal with business development methods and launch administration sources from every day operations. It was primarily as a result of the competence of staff and the built-in processes made it attainable to shut points with out the CEO’s participation.

Once, our former CEO, and now a member of the Supervisory Board, Sergey Portnov, stated: Any project needs an impulse. Pushing an idea is like rolling a rock up a mountain — it requires constant effort. As soon as you are distracted by operational work, the stone rolls back. The whole project turns into Sisyphean labour — which it shouldn’t be.

When Portnov left the put up of CEO and have become the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Roman Syrotian and I shared his duties. At that point, we had labored within the firm for greater than 5 years and knew our areas nicely. Becoming co-CEOs, we retained our areas: I turned answerable for finance, authorized, communication and admin working actions, and Syrotian targeted on IT product and advertising and marketing working actions.

Here are the execs of a number of CEOs:

Two heads are higher than one

Syrotian and I’ve totally different life paths, experiences, training, strengths and weaknesses. But we complemented one another, saved our areas of focus and didn’t spray ourselves on each cog within the firm’s mechanism.

While I used to be negotiating with companions in Limassol for investments within the IT sector of Cyprus, Syrotian in Kyiv led the enlargement of the Parimatch model product line and the event of a brand new platform.

In making difficult decisions, we started to research deeply earlier than deciding or elevating a problem for consideration to the Supervisory Board. It was simpler for us to rearrange a brainstorm, the place you may all the time ask somebody for an opinion. We inspired one another throughout demanding selections or discouraged doubtful undertakings. It is feasible that someplace we misplaced pace however bought extra cheap options in return. And that is essential, as a result of the dangers develop with the enterprise.

Related: I’m U.S.-based, But My Co-CEO Is in Europe. Here’s How We Make It Work.

Days turn into longer

We all know the sensation of a scarcity of hours in a day. Indeed, on a type of late-night work evenings, you thought it could be nice to clone your self and do twice as a lot.

The co-CEO mannequin doesn’t present such a possibility, however the variety of working hours for decision-making will increase. In addition, in contrast to a clone, with correct distribution of duty areas, you’re going to get a greater outcome, as a result of everyone seems to be answerable for their competence areas.

We’ve even bought an inside joke: “Now we can hold parallel meetings in different parts of the world, and each of them with Parimatch Tech CEO.” And that is true, as a result of we make twice as many last selections.

Deep dive into particular areas

No spraying. You immerse your self in your areas of duty and develop in them. Then, you share the information gained via the sieve of your small business generally conferences —n o pointless idea, solely the required information right here and now. Since Syrotian and I’ve retained our areas of responsibility, which don’t straight intersect, we had no controversial factors of affect.

Less depending on one individual

Let’s face it — everybody goes via tough instances. And once you run a enterprise, business metrics rely in your situation and relationships with colleagues. In these onerous instances, your private difficulties can decelerate important selections, additional affecting the enterprise.

When there are two of you, then the dangers turn into fewer. In unexpected circumstances, you may cowl one another or have a relaxation and spend time with your loved ones and not using a everlasting work course of. There will all the time be an knowledgeable individual with expertise and authority on the helm.

This is very true for making delicate selections related to personnel and reward techniques. We paid specific consideration to those points and tried to succeed in a whole mutual understanding, which impacted the purity of the choices made. As a outcome, with the twin strategy, selections will not be made primarily based on the subjective view of just one individual.

Now, listed below are the cons of the co-CEO mannequin:

Relations with shareholders turn into harder

There are fears that the co-CEO mannequin will blur the road of duty, creating dangers of failure to attain the business goals. But for the presentation of reporting to shareholders, it’s pointless to have one individual from whom the result’s required. You may also talk about outcomes, dangers and techniques with the dual-CEO mannequin. If shareholders want only one consultant, distribute this function between you and your companion, and work on it.

Syrotian and I have been fortunate with this. The peculiarity of Parimatch Tech lies in the truth that shareholders are concerned within the strategic duties of the corporate virtually every day. Therefore, we will say that the transition to the co-CEO mannequin didn’t introduce any modifications however served as an impetus for the plan’s implementation. We started to speak with shareholders much more and synchronize as one group.

Related: Why Co-CEOs Are a Bad Idea for Early-Stage Startups, Almost Always

Possibility of confusion about roles and tasks

It’s essential to ship a transparent construction to staff to keep away from future misunderstandings. Despite the clear directions, it takes time to get used to the truth that one other individual is answerable for a selected improvement space. It could possibly be a large number initially, however it can seemingly go later.

Lack of pace

There are instances when it’s good to make selections on the spot, and each minute counts. In such circumstances, with the dual-CEO mannequin, you would possibly lack decision-making pace. It would require further time to approve it together with your companion for each important resolution. If you may have reverse ideas in regards to the matter, add the time for a compromise. All these strikes generally result in missed alternatives.

Co-CEO is a short lived mannequin

Indeed, the co-CEO mannequin is used as a short lived answer for enterprise restructuring or when firms undergo stages of M&A and transformations. In such circumstances, the mannequin works till these points are resolved, and two CEOs act concurrently — or the co-CEO mannequin can work geographically to supply a bodily presence in several elements of the world.

But what on this world lasts without end? The co-CEO mannequin is topic to the identical dangers because the one-CEO mannequin. With the consolation relations between CEOs, the competent setting of expectations together with the distribution of duty and authority zones, the co-CEO mannequin will present its effectiveness sooner or later.

Nowadays, the co-CEO mannequin is turning into extra widespread — generally it’s known as a partnership, and generally one of many co-CEOs will be Chairman and so forth. This strategy is widespread in LLCs, regulation corporations, accounting corporations, VCs and early-stage know-how and analysis firms.

If you might be contemplating switching to the co-CEO mannequin, listed below are some notes from my expertise:

  • It is essential to comply with the widespread and unified business values — if there are any controversial factors within the imaginative and prescient, they have to be resolved in a single day. Otherwise, it can result in a cut up within the firm.

  • It is crucial to debate and perceive that one of many leaders is not going to attempt to “hog the covers.” If there’s a probability that it’s going to occur, it can occur. But even in such a scenario, there’s a manner out. You can comply with the Salesforce path — they’ve CEO #1 and #2.

  • Forget in regards to the multiple-CEO mannequin if your organization or model is constructed on the founder’s character.

And lastly, the co-CEO mannequin could possibly be a short lived answer. You can all the time swap again to lone chief if it matches higher for your small business. In the Parimatch Tech case, the struggle compelled us to modify again to the one-CEO mannequin, as a result of we have been in want to hurry up the operational and decision-making processes and turn into extra versatile. Now Syrotian is specializing in the enterprise as a Supervisory board member. As for me, the brand new struggle actuality and franchise withdrawal from Russia compelled business diversification and structural modifications, so I’ll face these challenges along with my group because the CEO.

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