Founder relationship is much like building a solid foundation of trust, respect and mutual support to build a successful partnership. co-founders share control, decision making and ownership.difference of opinions are the normal part of the conversations.
while it seems to be uncomfortable to talk about who majorly makes a decision in a particular segment, who owns what percentage of the company but communicating openly about these things, in the beginning, will keep you aligned with your partners as the company grows.
Even if your company is in good health, there is a possibility that your cofounder might decide to leave. There can be multiple reasons: your partner wants to grow more, wants to work in a better company, facing financial burden or family pressure, wants to use different skills and can decide to part ways. however, it becomes essential to reduce the risk of your business failing if your partner decides to leave unexpectedly.
The very first thing you should do when you get to know about the cofounder leaving is to communicate with your team and stakeholders. you should be open about this and avoid negative connotations about the person.
you should make your investors aware about everything as they possess legal rights to know everything inside the company. Informing them about the situation like cofounder is crucial and imperative. These are the circumstances requiring quick adaptability and actions. Informing the investors might help you since investors along with the money bring years of experience and expertise on the table. Their veteran advise might help you to steer safely through the situation.
Facilitating a smooth exit
If your co-founder is not a member of your board, the exits are generally smoother with no risk to the future. However, if your co-founder is a member of the board, your board will need to vote on your co-founder’s termination.
It is important to consider that your co-founder might not leave on the agreed terms and could come back with alternative demands based on personal motives. The last thing you want to deal with is a messy exit, so it’s very important that in any co-founder exit scenario you set a meeting with the organisation’s attorney. Your attorney can make sure to handle all aspects of the exit according to legal best practices and help the organisation avoid future legal disputes.
You must discuss with your team with a degree of transparency. It's your duty to keep their morale high. You need to involve your team and investors for the tough process of shifting responsibilities, in this way they will remain engaged and they will feel confident. it's your job to keep your employees motivated.
A co-founder leaving the company can feel like a big loss, but it certainly does not have to mean the end on a bitter note. The important thing is that you terminate the relationship fairly and with full transparency, and make sure to engage with the appropriate professionals to avoid mistakes and potential legal problems in the future.