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Family Business Magazine Blog

A recent article in The Practitioner -- an online publication of the Family Firm Institute, an organization for professionals who advise and study family enterprises -- pointed out the difference between "firm survival over time" (continuity of a family business through the years) and "longevity of a family enterprise" (a family's ability to create wealth and value over generations).

The Practitioner article -- by Pramodita Sharma, the Sanders Professor for Family Business at the University of Vermont's School of Business Administration and a visiting scholar at Babson College -- argued that family enterprise success can be defined in ways other than leadership transfer from one generation to the next. "Both the creative destruction of firms and pruning of the enterprising family are integral parts of longevity of an enterprising family ....," Sharma wrote. "Recent reviews of the research on succession, governance, professionalization and performance all point in the same direction -- that one size does not fit all and the overarching numbers of ‘success' are insufficient to capture the complexity and heterogeneity of family enterprises and their pathways to success."

Family Business Magazine's cover subjects for May/June 2014, the Power family, sold J.D. Power and Associates to McGraw-Hill in 2005....Read more

Free Feature Article

We recognize family and non-family chief executives who are leading their businesses with a view toward long-term success.

This year, business leaders in all sectors were tested as the COVID-19 pandemic challenged them to keep revenues coming in and circumvent supply chain disruption while taking measures to ensure the safety of employees and customers.

A family business chief executive must have the talent to steer the business to growth and profitability while maintaining family engagement and harmony, ideally promoting good governance to help smooth the way. Family business CEOs in 2020 have had to emphasize resilience in communicating with a stakeholder group that includes family members not employed in the family company.

The exceptional CEOs recognized here include non-family executives, members of the founding family and married-ins. The family CEOs are members of the first through fifth generations. The non-family CEOs include long-tenured employees who worked their way up as well as those recruited from outside to be the next leader.

However they made their way to the C-suite, these chief executives clearly have earned the respect and admiration of the family business owners.

Robert J. Underbrink
Non-family
King Ranch Inc., Houston, Texas

Underbrink graduated in 1983 with an agriculture degree from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. In 1984, he was ...Read more

Feature Video

 

Todd Immell, Principal, Ernst & Young LLP discusses robotics processing automation operating models for family offices. Final installment in a 4-part series.