Co-CEOs is an unusual leadership approach whereby, rather than splitting senior leadership positions out in a more conventional model, where a CEO would generally be accompanied by a chief operating officer or a chief technology officer, two CEOs work side by side.
This model, which Guenther Eisinger undertook when starting his remote onboarding business 18 months ago, has operated virtually ever since. Though the leadership role is shared, their separate roles are clearly defined – with one side of the partnership responsible for technical, products, sales and marketing, and the other controlling operations, people, legal and finance – while ultimately working towards the same goals.
The concept of Co-CEOs is not unusual in German-speaking parts of the world – for example, Bitpanda is an Austrian unicorn with two CEOs – and also in The Netherlands you find companies that embrace this unconventional setup, DSM being one of the prominent examples with Co-CEOs Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze at the steering wheel.
As businesses are evolving and redefining themselves, particularly with remote working, traditional organisational structures are evolving too. With this, comes the opportunity to create new structures at senior level as well, though, with a co-CEO model, there are possibilities, concerns and considerations that need to be taken into account.