It is the goal of many entrepreneurs to keep the business within the hands of their family. From the standpoint of firm survival, passing leadership and ownership from generation to generation represents a degree of persistence. Herein lies a paradox. The longevity of family firms is imperiled by the process that is necessary for their continued existence: succession. On one hand, family firms can experience stability as a result of internal succession. On the other hand, the extrapolation of the existing strategy can threaten the firm. It is this phenomenon - the way to the future for family businesses - that the present dissertation seeks to understand. The focus hereby lies on buyouts, the popular succession option whereby the incumbent management or external managers buy the company. The thesis examines the implications of leadership and ownership fluctuations on strategic change and growth. 118 buyout-entrepreneurs evaluate changes in those variables from a retrospective perspective.