22 Oct PRESS: New York Times – “Finding a Balance When the Buck Stops Here. And Also Here.”
Greg Smart and Tom Gordon made the same call in Fayetteville, Ark., in 2004, soon after starting Slim Chickens, a franchiser of restaurants that sell freshly prepared Southern comfort food.
“We had our first annual meeting for our S corporation and someone had to be the C.E.O.,” said Mr. Smart, who had no qualms about deferring to Mr. Gordon.
Initially, the decision was a technicality. Today, however, the founders say that a clear chain of command has been essential to building the business, which has nine company-owned locations, five franchise locations and 50 units in development. “We’re still equal partners,” Mr. Smart said, “but we have one clear voice at the top of the organization communicating with the rest of the team. For us, it eliminated the possibility of people in the organization playing us against each other.”