When a company's leadership transitions from its existing founder to a new CEO, the period that follows is often a defining moment in the company’s culture, valuation and future. Consider the shift Apple experienced, from founder Steve Jobs to CEO Tim Cook, or Uber’s move from founder Travis Kalanick to its current CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi.

Related: What to Expect From Leadership Changes at the Top

Those transitions ushered in an era of change for both companies. And though those particular instances were highly publicized, leadership transition is something that many companies undergo.

Microsoft, Walmart, Ford, Walt Disney and countless others have all experienced founder-to-CEO transitions. And, as today’s start-up landscape continues to evolve, businesses are undergoing these transitions earlier in their life cycles. In fact, a study of 212 American startups reported in the Harvard Business Review showed that by the time those ventures were three years old, 50 percent of founders were no longer the CEO; in year four, only 40 percent were still in the corner office; and fewer than 25 percent led their companies’ initial public offerings.

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