I’m a senior team leader in a big multinational IT company, call it A. After month of negotiations, A bought a small (just less than 200 employees) IT company (call it B) located in eastern Europe because of B’s very interesting assets and products. In B the acquisition was wildly opposed but A didn’t realized it.
The very first day of the acquisition about 50-60 employees of B resigned. Now, after less than a month, a total of about 160 employees of B resigned (including 7 out of 8 member of the board of directors, all HR/administration staff except 2 or 3 juniors at their first job, a lot of managers and more or less all team leaders, senior developers and developers). Some of the former clients of B already filed lawsuits against A (the new owner of the business) because their projects cannot be completed.
Originally I was appointed by A to be a member of the “integration team” that was supposed to gain all knowledge on projects of B and integrate B workflows and project management styles into the ones of A. Now this is not possible anymore. But A wants to salvage as much as possible from B projects.
I’m desperately looking for an advice: how can I retrieve knowledge on projects where nobody worked on them is available, there is no documentation at all (if never existed or intentionally erased, I don’t know) and all codebase is in native language of B employees? And how can I be professional where B remained employees are at best not collaborative (when not openly hostile and disruptive)?
As suggested in comments I put some details directly here.
- Company A is based in Asia, I am from Europe (total different country, culture and language of B)
- Company A created a team for acquisition with layers, members of the board and of the acquisition office. I was not part of it and I don't know directly anybody of that team
- I don't know the exact acquisition process, but I found out that A pays all the money to B in advance
- I think that members of the board of B took the money and ran away. I don't think that their opinion after the acquisition was completed has any importance
- All employees of B directly involved in the acquisition process (both members of the board and of the acquisition office) are among the 50-60 that resigned the very first day. Company A opinion is that they vastly contributed to create the worst picture of A as possible among other B employees
- The first 50-60 that resigned didn't serve any notice period (at least the most). Employees that resigned later, served 1 or 2 weeks. During notice period no knowledge transfer happened because no IT of A was supposed to join B for at least two month (the first members of the "integration team" were supposed to be HR and administration people, after one or two months IT should have join them)
- Rumors say that former B member of the boards and senior managers use the money received from acquisition to found a new company calling their former employees