Who wins the title of CEO?


May 29, 2023 | 00:03

(WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for the “Succession” series finale.)

After four seasons, “Succession” has come to an end – and Waystar RoyCo has a new CEO.

In the 90 Minute series finale, creator Jesse Armstrong concluded a series of conflicts, but ultimately set out to answer the question everyone has been asking since the Season 1 premiere in 2018: who will succeed Logan Roy (Brian Cox) as CEO?

There were several ways the ending could have played out: Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) could have filled his dad’s shoes – as Logan might or might not have wanted from the look of the underline/bar on his official document, Kendall and Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin) could have remained co-CEOs, GoJo could have acquired Waystar with Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) in the lead and appointed Shiv Roy (Sarah Snook) as CEO, as well as many other possibilities.

In the end, the hole left by Logan Roy’s death could only be filled by one person.

Spoilers for Season 4, Episode 10, “With Open Eyes” are below, so stop scrolling now if you don’t want to know who got the crown.

Who is the new CEO of Waystar RoyCo?

While it was always assumed that Logan Roy’s successor would be down the family line, it didn’t exactly turn out that way.

Neither Kendall, Roman, Shiv — or Connor (Alan Ruck), for that matter — ended up heir to the media mogul’s throne.

After Matsson decided he wasn’t going to appoint Shiv as CEO of the company, an unsuspecting person informed her who it would be.

“Shiv, you should probably know: it’s me,” Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) told his wife.

Tom, played by Matthew Macfadyen, picked up the win.
Macall B. Polay/HBO

What happened with the GoJo deal?

As noted above, Greg found out while translating a conversation into Swedish that Matsson wasn’t actually planning to give Shiv the CEO title, as he had promised.

After finding out she was screwed, Shiv went back on board with her brothers to block the deal with GoJo.

Still, when it came time to vote at the board meeting, it all boiled down to a six-six tie – with Shiv as the tiebreaker. She excused herself from the room to think about what she really wants: to stand behind her brothers or her husband and father of her child.

In the end, Shiv decides Kendall isn’t cut out for the job and tells her, “I love you, I really love you but I can’t stomach you.” Roman agrees and everything falls apart for the siblings, bringing up the past and hitting each other where it hurts the most.

As Kendall and Roman argue over various past events — such as Kendall’s role in the waiter’s death at Shiv’s wedding and Kendall’s adopted children technically not being part of the ‘bloodline’ — Shiv will vote for the deal. GoJo, putting Waystar in the hands of Matsson.

Which brother Roy would have been CEO if they had blocked the deal?

As usual, much of the episode saw Kendall, Roman, and Shiv battling over which of the three should be named CEO in their concrete plan to present to the board. All three shared that Logan promised them the title and the company at one point or another.

After back and forth, Shiv and Roman decide their options are to kill Kendall or give her the CEO. They say the murder is “too much administration”, so they decide that he would be the one to take over.

Brian Cox as Logan Roy in “Succession”

What happens to the Roy siblings in the end?

The end of the episode shows Tom walking into Waystar like he runs the place – because he does.

While at the office, Tom promises his cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun), “I got you,” essentially giving him security in the company.

As for the siblings, Shiv is seen driving away in a car with Tom, oddly placing his hand over his as he offers his hand to hold. It is assumed that their marriage will remain alive in the end and they will eventually have their child together.

Roman ends up in a bar with a martini, perhaps feeling the weight of his father’s pressure lifted off his shoulders.

And in the final shot of the entire series, Kendall – who told his siblings that if he didn’t get the business he thought he “might die” – is seen walking through a park and sitting on a bench watching the sunset the day he learned he won’t be CEO. Logan’s bodyguard, Colin (Scott Nicholson) follows him from afar, watching over him.

Kendall may not have gotten his dad’s business, but he did get Colin — whom Logan referred to earlier in the season as his “best friend.”

The entire “Succession” series is now streaming on Max.

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