When Founders Hire a Boss and Give Up Control

About 80 percent of founders of fast-growing companies eventually sell or step aside, but some bring in a new boss and continue to work at the company. Photograph by Image Source

In 2008, Lynda Weinman and her husband, Bruce Heavin, were feeling overwhelmed by the fast-growing online education business they had launched 13 years earlier. Initially intended as a way to teach Weinman’s design students to post their portfolios on the Web, the duo had transformed lynda.com into a “$24 million-a-year” venture attracting “a lot of investor inquiries,” she says. They hired management consultant Eric Robison to help them sort through their challenges. After a month, Robison came to them with a proposal—he would quit his consulting practice and become lynda.com’s president and CEO.

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