Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2007 (Revised October 2009)

Les is More, Times Four

by Noam T. Wasserman and Rosy Fynn

Abstract

"I've had enough! I've decided that I need to resign," read the email from the founder of Webpoint to the company's board of directors. Les Trachtman, the CEO of Webpoint, has to figure out how to react to the founder's "it's Trachtman or me" ultimatum. Webpoint was Trachtman's fourth job as CEO, and in each case he had been hired as the first non-founding CEO, taking over from the founder-CEO of a tight-knit founding team. Trachtman had first taken over from a mother and son team, then from two brothers, then from a wife and husband team, and now from serial co-founders who were best friends. From these ventures, Trachtman had learned how to manage founders who had strong relationships, but those experiences had not prepared him for the current situation.

Keywords: Conflict Management; Management Succession; Entrepreneurship;

Citation:

Wasserman, Noam T., and Rosy Fynn. "Les is More, Times Four." Harvard Business School Case 807-173, June 2007. (Revised October 2009.)