I have just been given an offer for a promotion in my current company. My present position is as the VP of Product Development. The Company is a Software Company with a fluctuating size but currently ~25 full time people.
The offer was made by the current President for me to take on his role as he will be moving into an exclusive role as CEO.
I have been reluctant to accept the role because I am not sure I really have a gameplan in mind for how to deal with the Founders/Owners of the company, and ultimately I feel the right person for the job, would know what to do, and be much more likely to succeed.
There are 3 founders and a group of investors which comprise the ownership. The current president is one of the founders.
The other 2 founders are young (early and mid twenties), have no prior business experience, still tightly involved with developing their academic careers (the 3 owners are all PhD candidates in Computer science), and quite high on themselves for having arrived in this situation of being in a fully funded start up.
In the new position, I would be their boss on the day to day (they both hold director level positions in the company as department heads) but really their employee in every other aspect.
The investors who are backing the company are putting pressure on the 3 founders for a turn around in performance which is leading to this change. I have a good relationship, in as much as I have one, with the investors. I have a poor relationship with the 2 younger founders, and at one time had such a bad confrontation with one of them over handling a personnel issue, that I had my team taken away from me.
I would actually attribute most of the problems the company is having to the inexperience and arrogance of these 2 people, and the reluctance the current president has to really manage them (as he says he is a visionary not a manager or business leader, and is close friends with both of them). It is clear he expects me to do what he has not been able to in regards to correcting them.
So my question for this forum is, if I were to take this position, how do I set the tone and correct behaviours of people who still are essentially in charge.
My first thoughts are that this is a fools errand and not possible. I know that these fixes either need to be made or the company will not succeed. Then I think there are a number of people who would step up to the plate and welcome this challenge. If you are one of those people I am curious about how you might approach the people problem.
Ifeel confident I know what the company needs, I just don't know that I can do it with out really rustling some feathers, which I would usually be fine with if I thought people would not cross the line in their reactions.
Thank you in advance for any thoughts. I have found this forum to be of great support in the past.