The case: “What it means to be the main co-founder and how this may change when the startup is growing”.
A startup with two co-founders, one of whom was the ‘main’ partner, with more equity and being the CEO.
The startup was growing fast and they already had about 15 employees. Towards the workers both founders were presented as the bosses. Frictions started occurring between (some of) the workers and the CEO, and also between him and the other founder.
The pre-mediation sessions provided an opportunity to discuss this situation openly, in a way that the cofounders did not do earlier, and to consider other ways of dividing the managerial responsibilities.
They ended up deciding to try a different model: the CEO would focus on external relations (investors and business partnerships), while the other founder will be the direct manager for the employees.