Jon Fortt co-anchors Squawk Alley on CNBC, and has covered technology and innovation for more than 15 years. Fortt Knox brings you rich ideas and powerful people. Guests include Intel CEO Bob Swan, Accenture CEO of North America Julie Sweet, Olympic champion Michael Phelps, and Hip-hop legend Q-Tip. Join Jon's conversations with power brokers on how they made it, what they value, and what makes them tick.
WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann resigned from the CEO role this week, in the face of skepticism about the coworking startup’s plans to go public. There are questions about the business model – we’ve addressed some of those here on Fortt Knox. There are questions about his eccentric leadership style. And there are questions about the way he’s maintained control of the company while taking lots of money out of it.
WeWork is in the headlines this week, but we’ve lived through versions of this story before. Uber’s board of directors pushed co-founder Travis Kalanick out of the CEO role to get the IPO done. The Google founders brought in Eric Schmidt early on as CEO to act as adult supervision. The biggie: Apple cofounder Steve Jobs was effectively forced out of Apple in the ‘80s only to come back a decade later to save the company.
We love founders. Their stories and personalities live at the heart of companies. But sometimes they’ve got to go. When? When is firing a founder a mistake?
With me this week, tech chronicler Steven Levy of Wired magazine, who has covered big companies, big ideas, big personalities – his most recent book was about Google. Also with me, Walter Isaacson, biographer of great founders and inventors including Steve Jobs, Ben Franklin, Albert Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci.