Companies with co-CEOs see either long-lasting success or unceremonious failure. And the latest company to try the model out is WeWork, as cofounder Adam Neumann announced he would step down from the role on Tuesday.
WeWork's new co-CEOs, Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham, will face plenty of challenges as they work to stabilize the startup as it heads toward a public offering — chief among them the hurdles specific to power-sharing arrangements. While companies across industries have relied on CEO pairings to guide massive ventures, the track record on this practice is mixed at best.
Companies with co-CEOs have sometimes struggled over extended periods to refine their strategy and establish clear lines of power, say those who study executive structures.
While it's been said that the co-CEO strategy is dead, several companies, like eyeglasses-darling Warby Parker and investment firm KKR demonstrate otherwise. Companies like Deutsche Bank and BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion, however, have both had co-CEOs step down simultaneously.
Here are six co-CEOs who found the perfect balance and led their companies to success, and six who couldn't play nice and ended up off the job.