by Justin Menkes | 6:00 AM July 4, 2012 | Harvard Business Review
A chief executive had a dilemma. After working in a fast-growing company as COO, he accepted an offer from venture capitalists to start his own company. Within five years he had built a new enterprise generating revenues over $300 million and profit margins so high that his company had compiled a substantial cash reserve with which it was poised to go on an acquisition run. His passion, strategic and analytical brilliance, and relentless focus on practical results made him a rare, virtually unstoppable force in industry.
So what was his problem? He was irreplaceable, at least according to his board. It was the board's fundamental responsibility to protect the shareholders' interests with a viable succession plan, and for this they simply had no acceptable answer. They demanded that he find a solution.