When I joined this at-the-time growing company, we were a group of 8 senior developers. After the m&a, we had layoffs, some IT was affected but morale was basically destroyed to the point where each and every developer left, one by one, until there is only me. They don't have the best documentation ever, and I am pretty much the only one that currently knows how everything runs and where everything is.

How delicate or strong is my position? What should I be on the lookout for?

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    Any idea of the real motive behind the merger ? Any hints whether they really care, like do you have work relationships with that bigger company or none at all, do they plan to replace the coworkers that left or just suck out the knowledge and let your products die ? That's what I'd try to find out to make up my mind, AFAIC. Commented Mar 4, 2015 at 14:31
  • They built the company, made it look pretty and sold it, pure and simple. They don't seem to be in a rush to replace anyone or to have new layoffs (I hope) and they do need the products, they can't run the company without them.
    – user1220
    Commented Mar 4, 2015 at 14:45

2 Answers 2


It sounds like management is not incredibly concerned about maintaining the original company's knowledge or infrastructure. Either that, or they don't understand the requirements.

Also, why was morale destroyed? If developers were the stars of the show before, and then just a cog in the machine after, some don't like the lower status and look for greener pastures. Was it that simple, or were there more issues involved?

I would bring this to your manager as a "What if I were hit by a bus?" problem. Don't try to leverage your position. At worst, you'll confirm what you already suspect: That your original company's intellectual property wasn't a big concern of the M&A, and they're willing to let it fall by the wayside. However, you may be letting the sun shine on something they were unaware of, and may find yourself a department head.

Whatever you do, don't approach it from the idea of leveraging more money or authority out of them. Bring it to them as being honestly concerned for the company's well-being, and go from there. Someone who's genuinely concerned is someone they can trust with authority. Someone who's in it only for themselves is someone they need to figure out how to get rid of.

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    Well, I can't go into specifics for obvious reasons. But most of it was that they built almost everything, it was a successful startup that ended up sold to a much larger company wanting a foothold on their market and they can't really do it without the knowledge. I am not really trying to leverage anything, I like there, what I do, I would not have any problems sticking around and contributing. But when someone is on the fog of it all it is nice to have some outside perspective, thus the question.
    – user1220
    Commented Mar 4, 2015 at 3:07
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    OK, given that, you definitely need to use the "What if I were hit by a bus?" approach as soon as possible. Commented Mar 4, 2015 at 3:10

Getting "acquired" is always wierd.

The bottom line is: how are you getting along with the new owners? If you are meshing well with their people and becoming an active member of their organization, then treat it as a new job. If you are like a space alien or leper or something, look for a company where you will fit in better.

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