The Rise of the Founder Less Companies.

Wisdom V Mupudzi
4 min readDec 7, 2019

One of the criticisms of the late Former President of Zimbabwe, was the inability to appoint a successor in time. A man who was betrayed by his right hand man in 2017. Whether he was planning to appoint one or not, that’s another deal. If he was planning to, then unfortunately, he was a day late and a dollar short! Current President Emmerson Mnangagwa, took over with the backing of the army and like they say, the rest is history.

Ain’t it interesting that the Church as we know it, began with Jesus recruiting his twelve. I’m not going into the history of the church, but bottom line, it was the twelve, or rather eleven ( not including Judas of course)that saw the growth and evolution of the church after the death, birth and ultimate resurrection of Jesus.

Well, we know Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Co Founders of Google, have announced news of their stepping down from the multi billion dollar company that is peeking into joining the Trillion Dollar Club. Of course,these guys are walking away with billions in terms of their stake in the company that is Alphabet. Announcing their departure, apparently the firm’s shares rose 1.5 per cent. Each thereby adding more than U.S $800 million each to their net worth. Each owning about 6 per cent of the conglomerate. New Alphabet CEO being, Sundar Pichai.

Well lets not forget that Tim Cook is at the helm of Apple as well. Whilst Steve Jobs contributed immensely to the foundation and rise of Apple as a brutal force, Tim Cook is running with the mantle to continually forge Apple as one of the greatest giants on the earth realm when it comes to technology etc. Apple having joined the streaming warfare through Apple TV, this is the continual evolution and expansion that was synonymous with its founder Steve Jobs. Speaking of streaming warfare, in Australia, its basically ‘savage’’ at the moment. We have Stan, Youtube Prime, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, Netflix etc So it will be interesting to see how this landscape will look like over the next 2/3 years, as according to experts, Australians can afford between 3- 4 services per household.

Lets talk about another company worth billions. Microsoft has Satya Nadella at the helm, who took over from Steve Ballmer in 2014. Of course, Bill Gates stepped down to take on a new role as technology adviser back then in 2014. I believe this is an exciting trend we are seeing here.

I believe this is leadership par excellence, as it shows maturity and naturally requires planning, introspection. For a person like Bill Gates, he is someone who has been incredibly shaping the philanthropic landscape through his foundation. If you also consider the lives changed, one gets the sense that maybe Microsoft was the vehicle into his true calling, changing lives and communities. Transforming lives at that levels requires, tons of cash, and leadership. Good thing is Bill doesn’t have to beg, or anything like that. The money is already there through his foundation.

Bill Gates with Barrack Obama ( photo courtesy of Google)

I believe this is one of the challenges of leadership. Knowing when to let go. More so if its your baby. Any founder of a company, an entepreneur in any shape or form, know the process of ‘giving birth’’ to something, nurturing etc. So this new trend of Founders that step down and allow the respective companies to grow into new levels of success tells us a lot of about the awesomeness and character of the founders and also ‘ what time it is’ in the market place.

Many founders were caught unawares and had to had successors appointed immediately after the death, or ill health of the founder. You can see this across areas like politics, mega churches and the lot.

Key take away, being its important for any founder not to leave things too late. Its better to think that ahead and start planning, grooming, potential successors. When the need arises, you will have a good pool to choose from. To our original story, the new Alphabet CEO has been with the company for over 15 years.

We live in a world where people are ‘seduced’’ by the next opportunity and things like loyalty are hard to find. So I think, its also another good trait to consider when one starts to look at successors. Loyalty, performance etc Having said that, each successor will have their own criteria but hey, its better to be proactive than leave it too late.

Will leave you with a thought, if for example, the former president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe had appointed a successor, way before time, somewhere within his 37 year reign. Was Zimbabwe going to be in the current state?

On that note, you have an Uncommon Destiny!

Wisdom V Mupudzi

(Wis,is an Award Winning Author, Digital Publisher, Book Coach who encourages people to unleash the leader within and manifest their purpose. You can download your Free Ebook on the Power of Passion by going here

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Wisdom V Mupudzi

Award WinninAuthor, Book Coach. I help leaders and entepreneurs accentuate their voices in the market place through the power of a Book