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How I Did It: Lessons from the Front Lines of Business by Daniel McGinn, Harvard Business Review

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Seventh Generation’s CEO on Giving Up the CEO Seat

by Jeffrey Hollender

Jeffrey Hollender (inspiredprotagonist.com) is a cofounder and the executive chairman of Seventh Generation, a maker of environmentally responsible household and personal-care products.

The Idea

A founder of Seventh Generation describes how he knew it was time to go—and how he made that case to his team and his board.

It happened three years ago, but my memory of the moment I knew I had to step down as CEO is indelible. On the morning after a long business trip to the West Coast, I was returning to the Burlington, Vermont, headquarters of the company I had cofounded, Seventh Generation. As I walked through our offices, with their view of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks’ ...

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