The right CEO can make or break a business, says Stephen Lowry of Frog Capital in an article in TechCityNews. He cites academic research that found that successful CEOs of PE-backed firms have about 30 common characteristics and these can be identified through a structured process put in place by investors.
Unstructured discussions with management teams are unlikely to reveal the make or break qualities. Lowry says a CEO has to be able focus on hiring great people and developing a high-performance leadership team; be able to provide and allocate resources and capital to support the business plan; and position the business strategically to partners.
Good execution skills trump good interpersonal skills. What Frog Capital looks for is a CEO that is bold, responsible, open to feedback, and can handle the independent nature of being the CEO of a rapidly growing company.