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Founder-CEO Succession at Wily Technology Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1307 653 Words (3 Pages) Noam Wasserman, Henry McCance Harvard Business School : 805150
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Lew Cirne has been a very great CEO so far and has proved his worth to his organization over time. He was the driving force behind Wily Technology and also spearheaded strategic transformation for the organization. Moreover, he has been able to develop strong customer relationships and ensure long term sales for the organizations’ flagship products.

Being a high performer academically from an early age, Cirne had a knack for technology and pursued technological challenges with passion and ambition. When the company started, Cirne was particular about hiring the right employees for his organization and made his choices wisely. Given that the organization didn’t have many financial resources in the beginning, Cirne was very apt in spending money wisely. He soon transitioned technological leadership to one of his close friends and coworker Jeff Cobb that showed his ability to delegate and trust his team. Hiring decisions were highly democratic in nature and Cirne ensured that everybody, even the receptionists’ opinion was taken into account. Throughout his time, Cirne has demonstrated great leadership and teamwork skills along with delegation and control. These elements form an integral part of a successful entrepreneur and CEO which Cirne was able to deliver really well.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. Has Lew Cirne been a good CEO so far? Why or why not? 

  2. As Lew Cirne, Why would Richard Williams want to replace you? 

  3. As David Strom, if Lew rejects Richard Williams’ demands and threatens to leave Wily, what should you do? 

Case Analysis for Founder-CEO Succession at Wily Technology Case Solution

2. As Lew Cirne, Why would Richard Williams want to replace you?

As Wily Technologies grew, more investments and funding became the need of the hour. As this became apparent, Cirne was requested to leave the post of CEO so that a more experienced CEO could be brought in to focus on the growing business. At times it is important that the founder CEO moves into another role once the business has established itself and it requires a more experienced veteran to further grow the business. Since the company was entering a new era of development, Williams thought it was better to bring in someone who had the expertise to further bolster growth.

Cirne did agree that the world’s best speedboat captain isn’t able to pilot an oil tanker. It would be better for the organization as a whole which is why Richard Williams has suggested that the CEO be replaced. Moreover, bringing the right candidate might also bring a positive change and a new perspective to the organization. In many cases it is important to understand that organizations once founded must hire a professional CEO to manage the company and founding members take up other roles such was the case with Cirne when he agreed to take the role of CTO.    

3. As David Strom, if Lew rejects Richard Williams’ demands and threatens to leave Wily, what should you do?

Cirne was in shock when he was asked to step down from the position of CEO, even though surprised, he agreed to pursue his new role as CTO and also participated in the search for a new CEO for the organization he himself founded and built to what it is today. It is important that the new CEO has the commitment that was first injected into the organization by Cirne. Williams also wanted Cirne to give up his chairman position that he held since the founding of the organization.

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