Do Founders Control Start-Up Firms that Go Public? Jesse Fried, May 2018, Paper, “Startup founders, who generally must cede control to obtain VC financing, are widely believed to regain control in the event of an IPO, à la Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Indeed, the premise that founders expect to be able to reacquire control if there is an IPO underlies the leading finance theory for why venture capital cannot thrive without a robust stock market. But little is known about how frequently founders regain control via IPO. Using a sample of over 18,000 VCbacked firms, we show that founders generally do not reacquire control via IPO. In almost 60% of firms that go public, the founder is no longer CEO at IPO.Link