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CEOs Swap Roles for One Week


What happens when two tech CEOs swap jobs? Rand Fishkin of Moz and Wil Reynolds of SEER Interactive are finding that out as we speak. Until tomorrow, they’ll be doing each other’s jobs at their company HQs in Seattle and Philadelphia.

Rand and Wil 

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As John Cook points out at Geekwire, no wives were swapped as a result of this change — but just about everything else was, including calendars, email accounts, blogs, even apartments. Both CEOs will listen to each other’s pitches and provide feedback to each other’s teams.

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Just about the only thing they won’t do is something with lasting impact on the company — meaning, they won’t fire anyone during CEO Swap, or make strategic decisions that would change the direction of the company.

“If there’s anything incredibly pressing that needs the other’s input, we’ll make sure to drop the other a line,” says Fishkin. “Email replies will also include a note about the swap and that it’s being answered by a temporary CEO, so as not to panic our mail receivers.”

So what’s the goal of all this? In short, getting the chance to see their companies through a new set of eyes.

“This swap is a chance for each of us to be exposed to something very new and unique, and letting our respective teams and companies benefit (or suffer!) from a fresh perspective,” Fishkin writes in his blog. (Caution: there’s a very interesting piece of art at the end of that post that may or may not be safe for work.)

It’s also possible that the two CEOs will come away with some fresh ideas about work. For example, when Reynolds was laying out his rules of the road for the experiment, he mentioned that he thinks it’s important for a CEO to be willing to do anything — and he means anything.

“You want my job, Rand? You gotta take out the garbage,” he writes. “…Why do you need to take out the garbage? It’s symbolic if you (me) aren’t above doing anything to help us succeed, then no one else should be either.”

Tell Us What You Think

Who would you want to trade jobs with for a week? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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