“The company must be set up so it can run without me.”—Sir Richard - Succession Plus

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“The company must be set up so it can run without me.”—Sir Richard

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“The company must be set up so it can run without me.”—Sir Richard

By , July 26, 2010

As HR Magazine goes on to say “few companies have so publicly revolved around one man; Virgin is Branson and Branson is Virgin.” With that in mind, it stands to reason that any business owner or leader could learn something about succession planning from a man who has focused much attention on himself as the centerpiece of his companies branding and management. I often ask our clients can they leave the business today ( without a mobile phone / PDA / Blackberry ) and travel thru sub Saharan Africa for three weeks without worrying about what is going on in their business at home – when they get back is the company still growing, are clients still being serviced and are bills being paid. The article makes it clear that Branson sees the challenge of planning for the future as a question of management succession For Branson, it’s about getting out of the way and trying not to let his reputation stifle the people he hires:. “I have to be willing to step back now.” Interestingly and consistent with our view Branson is not planning to retire anytime soon – he has a succession timeframe of at least 5 – 7 years.

Craig West

Craig West

Managing Director | Succession Plus

Craig West is a strategic accountant who has over 20 years’ experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice, provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners. Following 6 years of study to gain two masters degrees, Craig focused on Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for business sales advising on strategic management of tax issues. This experience formed a very strong view that business owners (and often their advisers) were unprepared and unaware of the steps required to prepare a business for exit.

Craig now acts as a strategic mentor for mid-market business owners and has written four critically acclaimed books on employee incentives, succession planning, asset protection and exit strategies. Craig has conducted numerous seminars and keynote presentations throughout Australia & internationally, including adviser education programs for the Institute of Chartered Accountants and CPA Australia.