Great post by Reid Hoffman. Two parts stand out to me — first:
So as it turns out, Ben was right. You always do want a Founder-CEO. But that person doesn’t always have to be the Founding CEO. Being there at the start isn’t the only path to being a founder. “Founder” is a state of mind, not a job description, and if done right, even CEOs who join after day 1 can become Founders.
More recently, Marissa Mayer joined Yahoo at the Lou Gerstner phase—everyone acknowledges that Yahoo! needs to be remade. While her success is far from certain, if she does succeed, she will be viewed as a re-founder, not just a management caretaker.
I like the idea of a “re-founder”. It doesn’t happen often, but companies can be rebooted and brought back from the dead and I think the teams that do that (assuming it’s not the original founders) deserve a distinction equal to being a founder. I suppose “savior” works too, but it sounds too dramatic.
In college, a group of guys and myself “re-founded” our fraternity, which had been kicked off campus and was basically dormant for a few years. In some ways it was easier to restart it, but in some ways it was actually much harder.