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Surviving a Merger or Acquisition October 2, 2007

Posted by Darth Sidious in Career Management.

When being acquired by another company the first things you’ll hear is that you’ve been acquired because the company believes in the great talents of its people, and that the acquiring company has no intent to disrupt the culture or structure that has made it so successful. Because why would they want to mess a good thing up?

That’s said merely to keep the masses calm and at bay, and to keep their guard down. But the next thing you’ll hear is that they want to create “stronger synergies” between the companies, tighten the bond to allow for greater sharing and collaboration, and standardize technology for economies of scale.

What this translates to is that they want to trim off the fat (e.g. duplication, starting with the marketing, HR, and finance teams), and migrate your technology platform over to theirs.

When a company acquires another, it’s rarely for its people. What they’re interested in is controlling the product (either because they don’t have one similar, or they do have one similar and your product competes with theirs and is hurting their sales), and/or to buy customers and thus market share.

Similarly in the Galactic Empire, when we use the Dark Side of the Force to take over a planet we don’t care about its citizens. We want its natural resources and technology.

So how does one survive a merger or being taking over by the Empire?

Through value.

Similar to the post on not being difficult to manage, providing exceptional value to the acquiring company will ensure your continued tenure. Employees will have a natural instinct to resist the acquiring company, and make it difficult for them to execute the merging of the companies.

But if one thing holds true in the universe, it’s that change is inevitable. And just like we wrote on being difficult to manage, if you stand in the way of change, you will be removed as obstacle.

However, if you embrace that it is happening and support it as best you can you will earn a reputation as one who provides value through your services.

To your former colleagues you will be seen as selling out – but that is just short sightedness on their part. If they choose to be fed to the Panna Monster, that is their choice. But management needs people that can execute tasks reliably and support the goals of the corporation.

And the reality is that the selling out has already occurred long ago by top level staff – YOUR executive management allowed this to happen in the first place, so who really are you trying to support by resisting the acquiring company?

The acquiring company is going to have talented people such as yourself, and although you may have specific Subject Matter Expertise (SME) and be a Single Point of Knowledge (SPOK) for certain things… no one is irreplaceable.

You’re the new kid on the block now; your previous time means nothing. You have to earn your reputation all over again. Suck it up and accept it. Do what it takes to survive and win.

Become invaluable to the acquiring company.

Darth Sidious



1. mergers and acquisition companies - July 10, 2012

I don’t think so that merging is an embarrassment. There is a chance to every employ to tackle the new situations and they get experience by working with other companies employees.

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