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I have been a Director of Software Engineering for a large (3000+ employee) company managing a few development units (200 software development lines) for about 10 years. 5 years ago I have been promoted as a Senior Director and they gave me 30 more development products.

Our company (3000+ employees) has recently acquired a smaller company (300+ employees, 10 development products).

To my surprise their local Director of Software Engineering has been promoted to supervise the ENTIRE engineering organization (3000 + 300 employees) and both development teams. He is a nice guy overall and we have great personal relationships and he has assured me that he will not touch anything that I have been doing. Still it feels a bit weird. That guy knows virtually nothing of my world of my 200 development lines, but I have a pretty good idea what they do. Yet, I have to report to him. No discussion, no brainstorming, no "what if" scenarios have been played - the Big Bosses just made that announcement. Does it make sense for me to appeal that decision? Shall I go to HR? Does it make any sense to complain to people above? Or shall I just swallow the pill and continue to work as if nothing has happened? Or it is a big signal that I am not really valued and I need to seek the greener pastures?

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    If this came as a big surprise to you, you clearly do not have good relationships with the business decisionmakers. You didn't think to bring the integration plans up yourself with people? Sounds to me like you roll passive so sure you got second seat.
    – mxyzplk
    Jul 9, 2023 at 21:39
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    That CEO just cashed out on the merger and he didn't care what happened.
    – Nelson
    Jul 10, 2023 at 3:41
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    OP: In the past you've said, "some of the questions under my profile do not represent MY employment - my friends have asked me to post their questions here". Are your several questions in the last day all from your own workplace? (c.f., comments here: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/49852/…) Jul 10, 2023 at 14:11
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    Frankly, I can think of at least one case where I'd have been happier if the bigger company was moved under the smaller company's management chain rather than the reverse... Relative size is independent of leadership skills and style.
    – keshlam
    Jul 10, 2023 at 16:46

3 Answers 3

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When there are Mergers, it can often happen that people negotiate themselves into positions that they'd like - using either the buy-out process or the chaos of a merger to get what they want.

Without knowing all the ins and outs of what was negotiated, its nigh impossible for us to give any clarity.

It could be a condition of the sale or it could be a tactic to retain him after he expressed a desire to leave or it could be he knows something that the new company sees as valuable and wants to keep him around.

I wouldn't start attributing it to any Malice or ill-will towards you. Let the dust settle and then see where the winds are blowing.

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Does it make sense for me to appeal that decision? Shall I go to HR? Does it make any sense to complain to people above? Or shall I just swallow the pill and continue to work as if nothing has happened? Or it is a big signal that I am not really valued and I need to seek the greener pastures?

You are hurt.

Take a deep breath and think about things rationally. You still have the same job you had before. Someone else just got a promotion that you think you should have. It happens. It happens a lot when an aquisition occurs.

Do not "appeal that decision" unless your company has a history of changing promotion decisions because someone complains.

Do not "go to HR". HR almost certainly has no authority here. You would just come across as a whiner, and perhaps as a trouble maker.

You get to decide if someone else being promoted is a signal to you or not, and if it's troublesome enough that you want to leave a 10 year job or not. Nobody here knows your situation well enough to make that call.

Based on your other questions, it's obvious your company is going through some merger-related upheaval that is affecting the CEO, CIO, and perhaps others. Don't take it personally.

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You still have the same job as before, you just have a new boss, who was put in position by the bigger bosses. As such, appealing the decision/complaining to the people above makes no sense - they only just decided that this person was to be your superior, why would they change it now just because you moan?

Unless you've got cast iron proof that you were overlooked because of some legally protected characteristic, you have nothing to complain to HR about either.

Being the boss in the bigger company pre-merger doesn't entitle you to be the boss after the merger. Why did your big company need to merge with the smaller one? As you're expert on both, you will know better than random internet people, but I'd bet that LittleCo had a product or market position that BigCorp's board determined is strategically important but realistically could not build a competitive position itself. In such a situation, is it any wonder the seniority goes to the person who knows about the critically important thing over the Senior Director of 5 years standing who missed the boat?

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  • not sure about the "missed the boat" remark. Yes, the LittleCo has about 10 development products, but the BigCo also has 200 products in development that nobody has complained about!
    – user33445
    Jul 9, 2023 at 21:00
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    @user33445 There are many different reasons why someone is placed into a position. In many cases, the reasons are not obvious to those who were passed over.
    – David R
    Jul 10, 2023 at 14:34

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