His Son Blows up After He Announces He’s Leaving the Business to His Protégé and Not Him!

A 50-something business owner recently asked Reddit if he was wrong for turning the company over to his protégé instead of his children. Here is the full story.

He Was Planning to Retire

The OP started a business in his late 20s after his two kids were born. Now in his late 50s, the man is ready to retire and is making plans for what to do with the business.

When the OP’s son was in high school, he asked his dad for a job in the family business. Dad was happy to have him there, and soon enough, the boy asked if his friend Sam could work with them, too.

The OP hired Sam, and, for a while, the two boys worked together and learned the ropes of the business. But after a few months, the OP’s son got bored and quit. Sam stayed on and really dug into the work.

The OP’s son went on to college, where he studied finance and then went out into the corporate world.

His Son Worked In Other Places

After working at a few different places, he got laid off and had trouble finding another job. So he asked the OP if he could work at the family business again.

Of course, his dad was thrilled to help his son out and to have him back in the fold. The younger man does great work, and the three of them get to work together again, just like in the old days.

But, while the son was off at college and working other jobs, Sam stuck with the OP’s company.

After 15 years on the job, Sam knew everything there was to know about the business. It was him who had been working directly under the OP all those years, after all.

He Knew Who He Wanted to Take Over the Business

So, when it came time to retire, the OP knew exactly who he wanted to take control of the business. He had decided years earlier that Sam was the right man for the job.

After he and his wife talked through the details, they  invited Sam to dinner, along with their son and also their daughter. While they ate, the OP told the trio that he was going to retire, and then he laid out his succession plan.

Sam would take OP’s place as the boss and own 60% of the company. Each of the OP’s kids would get 20% of the company, and of course, the son could continue to work there as long as he wanted.

This didn’t go over well with OP’s son, who blew up at his father. He felt disrespected because his dad chose Sam over his own son. And besides, the son said, he was the one who went to school to learn how to run a business.

Sam Knew How to Run Things

The OP stayed calm and pointed out that Sam had stuck with him through thick and thin. And, though it was true the son went to school for business, it was Sam who truly knew how to run this particular business.

The OP’s wife and daughter tried to smooth things over, but OP’s son stomped out of the restaurant and wouldn’t speak to his dad for weeks.

In the following weeks, the OP met with his daughter to see if she had any ideas about how to make things right with her brother. She dropped a bombshell on her dad.

It seems her brother had told her that he felt like their dad considered Sam to be his real son. That stung the OP and really made him wonder if he was doing the right thing.

He Wanted to Give Them Financial Security

The OP’s daughter offered to give some of her share in the business to her brother to make things better.

But the OP wanted her to have some financial security, too. And besides, she had worked in the business at various times over the years, just like her brother had.

The OP was eventually able to sit down with his son a few times, and the son admitted he didn’t want to run the business. But he felt like the ownership split was the OP’s way of saying he considered Sam to be his real son.

OP insists that’s not the case, but his son said he quit the first time because he was jealous of the attention his dad was giving Sam. 

He Should Split the Business How He Sees Fit

Most Redditors support the OP and his decision to split the business how he sees fit.

Some others, though, think it was fine to leave Sam in charge but that kids should have kept financial control of the business.

And a few suggest that OP caused a lot of unnecessary drama by turning his decision into a big announcement over dinner.

Did He Make the Right Call?

What do you think of this story? Did the OP make the right call in how he split the business? Or should his kids have taken more of it?

And could he have avoided most of the strife with his son if he had handled the transition in a more low-key way?

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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

Source: Reddit