Wind Mobile founder Anthony Lacavera has started 12
businesses, six of which he has exited. His exits have ranged in value from the
$6 million he got for one of his recent start-ups to $1.3 billion when he sold
Wind Mobile. He did it by following two key CEO Exit Strategy tips.
what kind of company you are running
Lacavera has owned hyper-growth unicorns and
lifestyle businesses and urges entrepreneurs to be clear about their long-term
prospects. Lacavera started a business supplying hotels with internet access
and understood the company would be a good cash generator, but would never sell
for a mint. He ran the business for almost two decades and used the cash it
generated to fund various other ventures. Recently, he finally sold the
business, which was generating $1.5 million in pre-tax profit, for $8 million—a
relatively modest 5 times earnings, which was fine by Lacavera, because it had
served its purpose of funding other companies along the way.
role of CEO and owner are not the same
Lacavera encourages entrepreneurs to separate the
role of CEO and business owner. Even though they may be the same person, they
have different functions and, at some point, your business may be better served
by separating the two roles. Entrepreneurs who are comfortable handing the
reins to a professional manager may do better in the long run than those who
need to control everything.
Lacavera had great success, which is visible in the
fact that he has won just about every business award there is, including 2010
CEO of the Year, Top 40 Under 40, Deloitte Technology Fast 50, and Canada’s
Fastest-Growing Company. One of the top secrets to Lacavera’s success — knowing
when to bring in a CEO to replace himself in any of his ventures.
For more information on the Value Growth Partners
ceo exit strategy, contact us today at (312) 525-8382 or visit our CEO Exit Strategy page.