Founders: When should you step down?

Our panel of founders on finding the right time to step aside and find a successor.

by Orianna Rosa Royle

Jeff Bezos announced in February that he is stepping down as chief executive of Amazon, the business he started nearly 30 years ago, overseeing its growth into a $1.7 trillion conglomerate that dominates multiple industries. Taking on the role of executive chairman, Bezos said now is the “optimal time” to stand aside as CEO.

Just one month prior, Monzo founder Tom Blomfield announced his plans to exit the challenger bank he founded in 2015. Having not enjoyed scaling up from a “scrappy start-up”, topped with the mental toll of the coronavirus pandemic, it was Bloomfield’s time to hand the reins over to someone who is good at growth while sparing his own mental health.

Stepping down from any role isn’t easy to do. But bidding farewell to the company you built from the ground up requires a deeper level of self-awareness than stepping down as the CEO of someone else's company. 

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