Vacation – To Tell or Not To Tell

In the past 3 or 4 days, I have received blog notices from Brad Feld, Fred Wilson and Steve Blank that they are on vacation.  For Fred and Steve, I think the purpose was to let their readers know to expect fewer or no posts while they are enjoying a break (actually Fred’s is apparently a combination of work and vacation).   For Brad, I think the purpose is to share his travel adventures, the status of his marital workings with Amy (his wife), his woes of getting adequate internet access on his phone, and what restaurants he is enjoying :).

All this vacation news got me thinking about CEOs and other executives giving notice about their vacation plans.  While I think it is kind of funny that Brad, Fred and Steve feel compelled to let the world know that they are on vacation, the more important question to me is whether or not a startup board should know the vacation plans of the company’s executives.  Assuming the answer is yes, what level of detail is needed?

I would seem to me that knowing at least a month in advance is probably best.  Knowing where they are going would be good (but some folks might find that intrusive).  But honestly, if someone is visiting Somalia it might impact some planning activities.  I also think it is helpful to know whether or not the executive plans to be online while away or otherwise reachable.

As I write this, it all sounds like common sense.  But I remember one instance where an executive took off suddenly just prior to the closing of a financing without notice.  It caused some anxiety to say the least.

The flip side is true to me as well – key board members should make sure that they tell the CEOs when they will be on vacation.   I will be out the week of July 25th, but will be online and otherwise reachable on my cell.

Anyway, I am interested to know what you think.  Just don’t send pictures from your vacation……

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