Situation: A CEO is transitioning her role in a company that she founded to new ventures, while maintaining a part-time commitment to the company. The company seeks a proposal as to how she will split her time and what compensation she wants during the transition. The CEO seeks guidance on the focus and content of the proposal. How do you structure a transition proposal?
Advice from the CEOs:
- This sounds like a set of half-decisions.
- The CEO envisions a transition from the current position to a transition position to a new position. The more likely scenario is that the CEO will go straight to the new position. As soon as one new venture starts to solidify, this will demand 100% of the CEO’s time.
- Given that this is most likely the CEO’s priority, the important question is what the company wants and needs from the CEO. Deliverables, time commitment and compensation should follow these needs.
- Another approach is to look at an exit package, including a long-term consulting retainer. For example, full salary for 6 months with a retainer for another 6 months. This will allow the CEO more freedom and flexibility to pursue the new ventures.
- The current negotiation is just a starting point. Here are the things to consider in the proposal to the company:
- Does the CEO need income from the current company during your transition? Will a new venture benefit from financial or professional assistance from the company?
- If the CEO is not fully engaged with the company, leadership will likely want the CEO out sooner than later.
- The company mostly will want a non-compete and the ability to use the CEO as a resource as needed.