B2B CEOs vs. B2C CEOs

B2C and B2B are two different kinds of businesses and they call for very different CEOs.

CEOs all need to set the vision, build a team and raise the funding.

But there is something fundamentally different here.

The B2B CEOs sell. Many of them went up the ladder through the sales track. They are great salespeople and quite often they can be quite effective task managers that drives the sales pipelines. Think Salesforce. Or Linkedin. Both produced awful software products but no one can argue against their market share or valuations.

The B2C CEOs, however, are product designers by heart. They are very sensitive to the product and they are obsessed with getting the user experiences right. Quite often they have a background in engineering. Having worked with a couple over the years, I can testify that they are every bit awkward and introvert just like a typical engineer. Want some examples? Ev Williams (Twitter), Steve Chen (my boss, YouTube and Paypal) or Reed Hastings (Netflix, Pure software) are great examples here.

Of course, the best CEO excel in both. Like Steve Jobs.