1 in 3 founders wont be CEO at exit

Sammy Abdullah
3 min readMar 21, 2023


When you finally exit or IPO, will you be the CEO or will someone else be running the company? It’s a great question so we dug into 191 tech IPO’s to figure it out. Specifically, we looked at the CEO at the time of IPO/exit and compared it to the list of key founders to determine whether or not a founder was the CEO at exit. The data says there is a 32% chance you won’t be the CEO. 1 in 3 is pretty high when you’re talking about such an important topic. The information is below.

General tech and SaaS have identical results. If we look at just SaaS companies or just General Tech, the ratios are nearly identical (1/3rd of the founders are not the CEO at exit).

Should you be concerned about this? Not really. The founders in these companies likely did extremely well and in these cases, the new CEO clearly did a great job as the company did ultimately exit via IPO.

As a founder, it’s important to recognize if the size and needs of the company outgrow your skillset as CEO. If it does happen, finding someone that can run your business will be a great decision. Staying in the position if you’re not the right person will at best stunt the potential of the business and at worst be fatal.

Visit us at blossomstreetventures.com and email me directly at sammy@blossomstreetventures.com. All founders and funds welcome! We invest in companies with run rate revenue of $3mm to $30mm, with year over year growth of 20% to 50%+ depending on revenue. We lead or follow in growth rounds and special situations like inside rounds, small rounds, rushed rounds, corralling investors with our term sheet, bridges, inbetweeners, cap table clean up, and extensions. We can commit in 3 weeks and our check is $1mm to $4mm. Also visit https://blossomstreetventures.com/metrics/ for always up-to-date SaaS metrics.