My father just passed way and I and my sister are planning to run the company as co-Presidents.
How common are siblings leading companies as a co-CEO's? Is that practicable?
Co-presidents are rare in corporate America. They have worked in some family businesses with a fair amount of difficulty, usually when the relationships are quite positive and each has a clear niche or area of responsibility. For example, in some small companies, one may focus on internal operations and the other on sales and marketing. I prefer to offer an objective assessment of the two candidates, using an inventory such as the Devine Inventory, which measures 33 business competencies compared to business leaders across the country, and other objective tools. Then the one who demonstrates administrative/executive skills can manage the home office, while the one with the sales personality can focus on generating new business. If the appointment of co-presidents represents an effort to avoid family conflict, good luck. Most businesses in today's economy need the most competent leadership available to succeed. As the business grows, bankers, employees and customers will expect there to be one leader who signs on the dotted line. If you insist on trying this, set up a term of office within 2-3 years, so outcomes can be reviewed by objective measurements.
Ellen Frankenberg, Ph.D.
The Frankenberg Group
800 Compton Road Suite 27
Cincinnati, Ohio 45231