14: Founders Dilemma II (CEO Succession)

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Wily Technology case addresses a critical stage in a new venture's development: when the founder who has been leading the company is being replaced by a professional CEO. It examines the events, conditions, and founder characteristics that precipitate such a change, and the issue of whether the founder should remain in the company after the succession event and in what role.

Quote of the Day:
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams

Term Project:
(Policy on Term Project Assignments)

Please prepare your team's PS3 by today and post to your team's website. Depending on what you've learned in the past week, your PS2 may have been validated or changed. To explain why your PS3 looks as it does, once again prepare a report of your direct research (both primary and secondary).

  • What additional research have you done?
  • Who else have you spoken to and why? (List)
  • What did you learn this time?
Guest: Peter Fenton, #2 on the Midas List for 2015  

Study Questions (Policy on Study Questions)
  • What are the risks of removing Lew Cirne? Of keeping him?
  • What are the pros and cons of Wily's approach to finding a new CEO?
  • As Lew Cirne, why would Dick Williams want to replace you as Chairman?
Required Readings (Policy on Required Readings.)

Online Assignment (Policy on Case Analyses.) Group B only submits.
Pretend that you are Dick Williams (the incoming CEO). How will you encourage Lew Cirne to accept the deal as described on page 12 of the case (in the section "Closing the Deal") and what actions will you take to ensure a smooth transition? Please write the assignment in the first person as Dick Williams.