Executive Hires: The Case for Extreme Referencing

For CEOs, especially first timers, one of your most difficult tasks will be hiring truly great executives. There is no substitute for experience in hiring. I learned this the hard way as a first time entrepreneur with absolutely no hiring expertise. And yet, after hiring more than 100 people – and making a lot of mistakes – by far my best executive hire was my last one: David Yu, now CEO of Betfair.

The key lesson? If you are a young entrepreneur you need to surround yourself with investors, advisers and executives who are experienced and talented, especially when it comes to hiring other top executives.

An engineer will have a body of work that can be evaluated and tests that can be given. Technical talent can be evaluated for the first 90 days and replaced if they disappoint. … Read More »

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