4

Although I enjoy my job, the management is practically zero and when one of them are doing something, it's normally wrong or the long winded way to go about it.

The company I work for was acquired by a large corporate organisation around 1 year ago.

There is a lot of over paid, dead wood within our building and so far people from the new company have let us be. That is until recently when they placed one of their own guys in the building to work on a "project".

To cut a long story short, the place is sinking like the titanic. Slowly but surly the whole shambles is being revealed to the people responsible for our division within the group.

My worry is, there are so many poorly performing staff in certain departments that they might just clear out a whole team rather than establish the good from the bad.

I don't like the thought of my career being in the hands of the incompetent people at the top. Would there be anyone I could speak too within the corporate division that would be honest and frank about the situation?

I keep reading on various sites, that when a larger company buys a smaller company they very rarely keep the management structure the same. Can anyone confirm if this is right?

  • 2
    It's impossible to answer as each acquisition and merge is handled differently. If you are concerned, then I would perhaps start looking elsewhere just in case the worst happens. You could also talk to HR and pose the question about what their intention is. Nervous staff are not productive staff. – Jane S Apr 22 '15 at 23:54
  • "I don't like the thought of my career being in the hands of the incompetent people at the top." - As Will Smith once said, "Welcome to Earth." – Wesley Long Apr 23 '15 at 15:36
  • The question as written is probably going to be closed. However there is a good question in here of something "How can I navigate the coming post acquisition/merger cull to have the best chance of being retained?" – IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 23 '15 at 16:50
2

I think you have to look at the reason they bought the company. In my experience there are 3 reasons and your likelyhood of staying on varies for each reason.

  1. Customers. If they bought the company for the current customers and move them to other products/platforms in the company, then you are finished.

  2. Product. If they bought the company for the product, then there is a good chance you will get decent funding and direction to keep the product moving forward. I have seen in these cases management stay and management leave, but usually at their own discretion. If you can find out what if any incentives were given to the existing management in the buyout this will lend some insight. I have seen where management got stock or bonuses tied to them staying for some period of time.

  3. People. If they bought the company for the people, this is your best hope. In this scenario the company liked the processes and product quality you produced and bought the company to leverage that. In this case you may have seen some people being integrated into other teams or being asked to share insights.

It sounds to me like you were a 1 or 2 given the lack of oversight so far. If you are a grunt, then you may very well be OK. If the new company comes in and cleans house they will likely do a clean sweep in my experience, so if you are in management and don't have protection, it may be time to start shopping. Don't necessarily trust what the company is telling you either. I worked in one shop that got a new top manager who was known as a closer, someone who winds down divisions. He told us all in a company meeting how great we all were and how the company was committed to us. It wasn't 6 months and we were spun off after having some key talent bled away.

This is the last tip. If you see "good" people getting offers to move into other organizations, wether grunts or management, then the end is near for the rest of you. This is especially true if say an VP is suddenly in some new role that is far lower and being spun as a great opportunity for them. I once saw an executive VP over an entire multi-international multi-billion dollar organization move to director of engineer for some small team in another division. The sale announcement for our division came less than 6 months later.

5

Companies buy other companies for a variety of reasons, and sometimes they change management and sometimes they don't. For that matter, managers can do work that is not very visible to the workers, and they may be doing what is needed and wanted, even if it looks like they are deadwood to people under them. So if you do speak to someone higher up, keep all that in mind.

My sister worked for a company that was bought out. The reason was to eliminate the competition. Management was not changed, but in less than a year, everyone was let go and the business shut down.

I've worked for a company that has had at least 4 or 5 owners since I've worked there, and I went through the first ownership change. There was a new person at the very top (although former #1 was not removed), and everyone else stayed. There are still people in management that were there when I was there 25 years ago. Each subsequent owner is working to keep the company open and working, and the knowledge that is there is kept working.

Those are only 2 data points, but in both cases management didn't change much and the end case was vastly different. Which is to say, whatever happens most often really has no bearing on what might happen in your case. And make sure you KNOW the buying company considers your management deadwood before going above them.

Your better bet is to be awesome at what you do, pleasant and visible to all management, and perhaps keep an eye out for other job opportunities, just in case.

  • 2
    Agreed. And sadly if the company was bought a year ago and the new owner has shown little interest in its runnings, it was probably acquired to eliminate a competitor, or to obtain your customers. – Carson63000 Apr 23 '15 at 0:37
  • Thank you so much for all your comments - this forum is very helpful. We certainly do have deadwood, even the newbie from the parent company has passed comment. To my understanding the interest to buy our company came about due to a contract they tried to win. The client decided they wanted both companies to work in partnership on their account. So I guess they wanted to buy so to insure they had total control. We have sales reps who when their clients visit, do not even go down to meet them. – samantha Apr 23 '15 at 14:12
2

My worry is, there are so many poorly performing staff in certain departments that they might just clear out a whole team rather than establish the good from the bad.

They might.

Sometimes, a company is acquired just to get the customer base. And sometimes that means that the employees of the acquired company aren't needed.

More often, at least some of the employees are kept.

I don't like the thought of my career being in the hands of the incompetent people at the top. Would there be anyone I could speak too within the corporate division that would be honest and frank about the situation?

Your career (at least the part relating to your current company) is always in the hands of the people at the top - incompetent or otherwise.

Without knowing a lot about your company, it's hard to tell if there is anyone you can confide in. Your best bet is to talk with your trusted co-workers.

I keep reading on various sites, that when a larger company buys a smaller company they very rarely keep the management structure the same. Can anyone confirm if this is right?

I've been at several companies that were acquired.

Eventually, all of those companies were restructured. It was seldom for the better (for me at least).

My sense is that I joined a small company, with one particular culture, but ended up as part of a completely different company with a completely different culture. For me, the larger company culture was never something I would have chosen on my own.

I suggest keeping your eyes and ears open, and get a sense of what is happening (and how quickly).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.