How to regain control of the family business when siblings fight

How does a first-generation owner step back in when the business transition to the next generation is negatively impacting the entire family?

After 35 years of growing his business from $0 to $80 million, a first-generation owner-founder (we’ll call him Mike) has named his son Tim — the second of four siblings — as CEO. Within three years, Tim has been incrementally running the company more and more to his own advantage and to the detriment of his siblings.

For example, Tim is taking excessive cash bonuses, employing his wife and children, and not sharing financial or strategic information with his siblings. He recently fired his youngest sister and cut his eldest brother’s salary by 10 percent for “poor performance.”

The company and profits are growing, but Mike’s children are fighting to the point where they can’t be together during holidays. Yelling matches erupt within minutes of them arriving to the celebration, then dinner is awkwardly silent.

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