The CEO and cofounder of a shaving company with 5 million customers explains how he and his co-CEO stay on the same page at all times
- Harry's, a razor company, was cofounded by co-CEOs Jeff Raider and Andy Katz-Mayfield in 2013. They have known each other for 15 years.
- Today, Harry's has five million customers and has raised nearly half a billion dollars. Just this year, the company raised $112 million.
- If the co-CEOs disagree, they present the issue to their advisors in a unified front.
The cofounders and co-CEOs of Harry's have known each other for 15 years.
Jeff Raider and Andy Katz-Mayfield began developing Harry's, a razor company, in 2011 and launched the company in 2013 as co-CEOs. Even today, they remain equal partners in the business."It's us, doing this together," Raider said on an episode of Business Insider's podcast "This Is Success," adding that "creating unnecessary hierarchy would just complicate that dynamic."
"And so we feel like it is a partnership, and that our titles just reflect that partnership," he continued. "We're also not precious about titles. I've never been like, you know, 'Oh I'm this title or that title.'"
Today the company has five million customers and has raised nearly half a billion dollars. Just this year, Harry's raised $112 million.
Back when Harry's was in the beginning phases, Raider and his co-CEO had to figure out the best way to ship their razors, find a distribution partner, negotiate rates, and figure out the right protocols and processes. It was, Raider said, "just way too much for any one person to do."
Notably, this is not Raider's only experience in co-leadership: prior to Harry's, he was one of the four cofounders of Warby Parker, a company that also uses a co-CEO model.
Working through disagreements as cofounders and co-CEOs
If Raider and Katz-Mayfield disagree and cannot come to a logical solution, the co-CEOs present the issue to their advisors."There are times when we disagree, but we have a tremendous amount of mutual respect for each other. And so our disagreements are never personal. It's always just sort of objective, like what is the right answer to this specific question," Raider said.
Raider noted that they shared a respect for each other's perspectives, as well as the ability to drive the business together. "When it came to strategy, where are we taking the company, what do we want to build in the long term, I think that's where we spent more time together," he said.
Raider joked that he and Katz-Mayfield finish each other's sentences and with all the time they spend together, their corporate email should have been Jeff and Andy at Harry's, instead of individual addresses.
"I think having cofounders and co-CEOs in a company is great if you feel like you've got a great relationship with that other person and your skills complement each other well." Raider said. "And it was helpful for us to be able to kind of divide and conquer in that way; trust each other, in an implicit way, that we were going to execute well on our individual pieces, and then, obviously, align on the areas of intersection on sort of the general vision for the business."