Founder-Ceo Succession at Wily Technology

9042 Words Apr 8th, 2013 37 Pages
Founder-CEO Succession at Wily Technology
Lew Cirne sat stunned in his chair, digesting what Richard Williams had just proposed. As the founder, CEO, and chairman of Wily Technology, Cirne (pronounced "Ser-nee”) had worked hard to build the skills necessary to lead a start-up, had developed Wily’s early technology single-handedly, had hired 50 employees to help him build the company, and had successfully spearheaded a strategic transformation of the company. He had led the company to the point where he had convinced several important customers to buy WiIy’s flagship product and had successfully raised two rounds of financing from top investors.
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But even with the most brilliant technology team, no one could explain how the operating system as a Whole behaved. Each person knew their own little piece, but no one had the visibility to be able to see the big picture. Without adequate visibility, even the best systems are going to have problems. Part of the epiphany for me was, how can I make this complex, object-oriented software system visible, so we can see how the whole system will perform? I thought, there's an opportunity here to make the potential a reality.
Cirne loved the technical challenges and ”the fact that people came to work excited every day,” but he felt restricted by the narrow specialization his role demanded in such a large company. In addition, he wanted to start building the skills he would need to play a central role in a start-up: ”I wanted to learn how to be a founder or an early employee of a new company. I wanted to gain breadth, compared to my more focused role at Apple.” To do so, Cirne wanted to
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