Dear SaaStr: Why Do So Many SaaS CEOs Get Fired?
I think this is a bit of a misnomer.
I’ve been investing for 10 years, across multiple billion+ outcomes, and only seen 1 founder “fired” in my portfolio, and one who the biggest VC suggested they step down. And even there — the founders in the end came to the same conclusion, and remained on the board. And both companies did quite well.
And in fact in SaaS at least, almost all SaaS companies that IPO still have their founder-CEO as their CEO at IPO:
Full data here.
Now yes, of course, the ones that IPO are the outliers. Making a change at a rocketship arguably makes far less sense than say, a startup that burns through all the cash, or has a founder CEO that isn’t at this level, etc.
But the thing is, just firing a CEO that is truly giving it 110%, knows the customer and products cold, and isn’t running out of money … well firing that CEO really gets you nowhere most of the time.
VCs have figured that out. Bet on the best. And just back them.
(see you soon image from here)