The world's two richest people Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos can do one thing that most company founders can't and it's contributed to their success over the years: Run their own businesses, according to billionaire David Rubenstein.
"Running companies is different than getting them off the ground," says Rubenstein in a WNYC "Freakonomics Radio" podcast. "Some great entrepreneurs are not really good at managing companies."
Rubenstein, who is the co-founder of private equity firm The Carlyle Group, says that even when founders do retain their CEO positions, it is relatively uncommon for them to be able to run the company well.
"It's a rare person, like Bill Gates, who was an entrepreneur and also was a very effective CEO for many, many years," he says.
In fact, he continues, most company founders typically don't last in the CEO position after the first five years.
"It's just a different skill set, and very few people have the skill set that Jeff Bezos exhibited or Bill Gates exhibited," Rubenstein tells the podcast. "It just usually doesn't happen."
In a 2017 interview with WSJ Magazine, Gates credited Microsoft's success to spending many late nights in the office during the company's formative years. This drive, he said, was fueled by his rivalry with Apple founder Steve Jobs.