How do founders resign from their own companies



Okay take the case of Bezos and Gates. They both resigned from their own companies. Like how do you do that? Aren’t you supposed to like have total autonomy because the company is yours anyway. I understand the shares part, but how tf do you resign from your own property?

EDIT: I have successfully understood the whole dynamics, Thanks to those who answered

In: Economics

You own PART of the company, and you may be CEO, but these are two different roles. In fact, Gates wasn’t even CEO, just a consulting figure.

If I worked at a company and had shares in the company that doesn’t mean I have full autonomy, right?

It’s not his company, the company is a corporation (treat it like it’s own person as far as the law is concerned). The ceo has authority over that “person” or entity rather but doesn’t really own it. If the ceo resigns, the next ceo picks up that authority. At the same time, the company is also owned by its share holders, so the owner of large corporations rarely own the whole company.

> Aren’t you supposed to like have total autonomy because the company is yours anyway. I understand the shares part,

Evidently you don’t understand the shares part, because the crucial aspect of selling shares to other people is that now those other people own parts of the company. Both of the people you cite resigned from leadership while they did not own a majority share of the company.

More broadly, it makes sense to resign if there are other people who can lead better (or who are perceived as being better leaders). Also, maybe they just wanted to enjoy being rich for a while rather than working really hard to grow the company.

Once the company goes public and starts selling shares on the stock market, then usually the founder is no longer the majority owner. At that point from a legal perspective they’re no different than any other CEO. It’s just a job that you can quit. They usually still keep a role on the board of directors so they can have some influence, but they just don’t want to manage the day to day operations.

Bezos only owns like 10% of Amazon. The rest was sold in stocks to raise the money to grow the company.

Founders Syndrome – Company founders that retain too much control over the very company they built eventually stop being an asset to said company and become an active detriment to its success.

Colonel Sanders and Papa John Schnatter are two of the most famous examples. Company founders who also were the face of the company that were forced to resign in disgrace because they repeatedly said things in the media that made the company look bad.

Company founders rarely finish their tenure as majority share holders. They sell parts of the company as they get bigger in exchange for the investment that comes with it.

Since they aren’t the majority share holder anymore, they don’t have autocratic and undisputed control over the company.

The board of Directors acting on behalf of the shareholders can essentially fire the original owner.

The original owner retains their shares, and the wealth that comes with it. But they lose their position as CEO or whichever.

They don’t own the companies or have total control once they sell shares to the public. They work for all the shareholders and report to the board of directors. The shareholders and board can choose to replace them, can accept their decision to step down. Bezos owns about 10% of Amazon, and that’s a HUGE amount for a founder to keep holding in such a big company (thus why he’s the wealthiest person in the world).