There was a question on here recently about somebody being worried about having taken a job at his dad's company. Somebody replied he should not worry if he does not have a C-Position. I am in a similar position, but would be taking a C-Role (CEO). I have no prior experience as a CEO, and I've just finished university. I do have a degree in the industry (CS), but I have not studied business / economics or management.

It's a small company and things are relatively straightforward. I would also have a co-founder there for quite some time, helping me out. I do not doubt that I could, in principle, do this without much experience (at least for some time; of course things can go wrong, but it's not my biggest worry right now)

However, I am worried that, should things fail, I will be in a very peculiar situation, having taken over my dad's role as the CEO, without any prior experience.

  • Are you referring to this answer, which states "it's not too important where you've worked in the past (at least for any roles below C-level"? If so, I think you may be misinterpreting what Philip is saying. – David K Jan 29 '18 at 14:10
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    Taking over as CEO just out of university with no business education at all is foolish. If you want to be CEO, get some training for that sort of thing. It is very different to manage a company than it is to program. You need to understanding accounting, marketing, human resources, etc. AS CEO, you should be doing zero programming and as a recent grad, you don't even have the experience in that to run things. – HLGEM Jan 29 '18 at 14:28
  • ... please tell me you took this opportunity instead of the advice people gave. You only learn by doing, and if it all fell apart in 6 months somehow, just leave it off your cv. – bharal Feb 22 '18 at 15:46
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    yes i did. fingers crossed. what did you mean by if it all fell apart in 6 months somehow just leave it off your cv. ? – janus Feb 26 '18 at 16:07
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    @bharal: That's what Fred Wang did, right? – A. I. Breveleri May 16 '18 at 19:09

This is might be straying a little too far into opinion-based to be truly answerable but I'll give it a go..

How this will be perceived by future prospective employers will depend largely on how long you stay in the role, how well you demonstrably did during your tenure and the role you are applying for.

If you spend a relatively short time (say less than two years) there and then look to apply for general CS-related jobs then in my opinion you'll struggle to be taken seriously for anything other than an entry-level role, and even then I'd be very wary of employing someone whose only "experience" was as CEO of daddy's company - the shift from being used to being top of the tree into an entry-level employee is huge and I'd need some serious convincing that you could take orders rather than give them.

On the other hand if you stay for a longer period of time and look to move to a more management orientated position then if you could demonstrate some good achievements from your time there I wouldn't be overly discouraged by that.

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    Agreed. You don't have the training/schooling for the job offered (with your dad) and upon leaving you won't have the experience/resume for jobs offered elsewhere (unless they want a CEO with shortcomings). Work somewhere at a job you're qualified for, rather than being the boss's son whom was gifted a job. The other choice being to stay in school and pick up the necessary education to run your business (because, presumably, it will be yours someday) - don't sink it and yourself with one stone. – Rob Jan 29 '18 at 16:51

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