Entrepreneurship · Startups

What is the best way to distribute titles amongst cofounders?

Maria Garnier Operations Coordinator en Socialatom Group

September 19th, 2016

All good friends from the MBA and currently deciding who should be CEO, COO, and CTO. Any ideas or guidance as to what is the best way of assigning titles?

Sal Magnone Co Founder, Chief Architect at Angry Robot Labs, LLC.

September 19th, 2016

Maria, perhaps you could share what he's finding hard about it? Something specific to his organization or people perhaps? Otherwise, it responsibilities and experience.

Jamshed Dubash CEO - Vaspar Strategies

September 19th, 2016

Hello Maria,

Seems like an obvious answer but we did it based on peoples skills, experience, passions and perhaps most importantly capabilities. 

In my experience, one caution with multiple friends/colleagues starting a company and taking on roles is to ensure that there is one clear and final decision maker. There must be one CEO and not decision by committee. This is hard for a bunch of really smart people... 

I wish you all the best.

Cheers, 
Jamshed

Jeffrey Gross Managing Member of intellectual property firm, Entrepreneur, P/T Musician

September 19th, 2016

I agree w/ the above: it depends on how you organically work out who does what. Also important is the stage of the company.  If it's seed investment, I'd be open to a lot of creative give and take, sharing of roles.  Later on (Series A, etc), I'd want more of a sense of discipline too: clearly defined roles, though not too rigid. And clear decision processes. Also, if you're not really an operating company yet,  it's unclear what the COO does.  Might be better to have someone who wears an "interim CFO" hat, so investors have a comfort level someone has financial expertise (if they do!), is watching costs, etc.