Working for your kids

More and more retirement-age executives are taking jobs at their children's companies - here's how three of them are managing.

Steve and Ben Lancashire
Son and father have done a good job defining their roles.
American Relocation Systems
Steve and Ben Lancashire
Steve Lancashire bought a Mayflower moving franchise in Austin in 1995 and changed its name to American Relocation Systems. Then he hired his father, Ben, a retired CEO of Inland Container Corp., and put him in charge of payroll, accounting, taxes, insurance, and long-term financial strategy.

"I knew the moving business," says Lancashire the younger, a former Mayflower executive, "but I really needed his expertise on everything else."

Says Ben Lancashire: "The natural tendency, especially for someone with my corporate background, is to try to take charge. But I backed off and stuck to my part of it. Now I rarely challenge his decisions. He has some pretty darn good ideas."

Ben Lancashire is gradually stepping aside after almost 12 years of working for son Steve's moving company. "He's learned a lot about general management," says the elder Lancashire, who is 78. "I can play more of an occasional consulting role now."



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