“Leave Your Ego By The Door” – When Is The Right Time For A Founder To Stand Aside?

March 29, 2021

The Panaseer Team

“My role is to do the best that I can for the business,” says Nik Whitfield. “I said to our first investors, I will only stay on as CEO for as long as I am the best person to run the company.”

A computer scientist by training, Whitfield founded cybersecurity company Panaseer in 2014, and until January of this year, he served as CEO, overseeing a period of rapid growth in both Europe and North America. But times change. With a Series B funding round underway, Whitfield decided it was time to step sideways into the role of chairman, allowing a new chief executive to take charge of scaling up the business.

The appointment of a first non-founder CEO is always watershed in the development of a young company – but it can also be a difficult and perhaps even traumatic life event event for the individual who is standing aside. In the popular imagination, the term successful entrepreneur equates with characters such as Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson or Jeff Bezos who have steered their businesses from humble startups to global leadership while remaining firmly in the driver’s seat. In reality, a great many entrepreneurs step down when their own skillsets no longer align with the requirements of a fast growing company.

Read the full article from the Forbes.