In this issue
Ever since the Rigas family’s criminal self-dealing at Adelphia Communications Corp. became front-page news in 2002—at the same time that scandals at Enron and WorldCom were making headlines—family-controlled public companies have received as much media scrutiny as their non-family corporate counterparts.
The Koss Corporation has been a public company for more than 40 years, yet many of its customers still think it’s a privately held family business. That’s an easy mistake to make; the business carries the family name and is family-run. As it happened, Koss Corporation—a leading designer and manufacturer of stereophones and related accessory products that’s headquartered in Milwaukee—became a public company more by chance than intention.
Your company name. How can anyone but you and your family know what it really means? The years of toil; the late nights and weekends; the time devoted to building a dream; the blood, sweat and tears; the integrity, the ethics, the reputation built and achieved over decades, the standing in the community. It’s more than just a name; it’s your legacy. How can you protect its meaning and ensure it continues to stand for all you have built over the years?
Research shows us that the average tenure for a CEO at a successful family-owned business is roughly 25 years. For large, publicly traded firms, the average tenure is only seven years. One can easily surmise why this discrepancy occurs. Most next-generation family CEOs succeed their parents when the next generation is in their 40s. In publicly traded firms, the next CEO normally is selected from a group of managers much closer in age to the departing leader and with much more general management experience.