A quick time-line, covering what should be all of the relevant details:

  • 7 years ago: Was hired by original company. We'll call it Acme Corp.
  • 18 months ago: Had been on-board for nearly 6 years at this point and was getting ready to move on to greener pastures (things had been a bit bumpy recently). Had a few possible opportunities lined up, but my boss at the time (Let's call him Peter) apparently caught word of it and offered me a significant raise. This raise increased my salary by about 35%, and he said that there would definitely be another "significant raise or promotion in the future" if I kept up the good work.
  • About 14 months ago: Peter and a few others are fired due to some bad stuff they did on the company's dime and time. "Felipe" becomes my new boss. Large-scale re-structuring of Acme's upper management; replacement of all C-level employees.
  • About 9 months ago: Acme Corp. is acquired by "Globex Corp.", a much larger company with a global workforce. Although most of the company is located in the United States still, the new headquarters--including Felipe's boss--is a few time-zones over. The new HQ is also in a location where the average salary for someone in my position is roughly half of what I'm currently earning. Most of Acme Corp.'s original workforce is laid off in the acquisition, but Felipe and myself are transitioned into Globex.
  • About 3 months ago: Felipe does a performance review on me. I've been putting in lots of effort to produce good, high-quality work and towards improving my own trade; my previous raise and the promise of another was a big motivating factor. While I received good marks from Felipe on my performance review, I did not receive a raise. I begin to worry at this point.
  • About 1 month ago: Felipe quits. His boss--let's call him "Vincent"--becomes my boss. As previously noted, he lives thousands of miles away and I've only met him once.
  • Now: In the near future, due to many shifts in management, the company is looking to do additional performance reviews.

So, long story short, my manager's predecessor's predecessor promised me a raise for my continued employment and hard work at Acme, and that was the primary driving factor towards me suspending my job-search. 18 months have come and gone, the position of my manager has changed hands twice, and I haven't gotten any additional raises or promotions. In fact, there has been a lot of very loud whispering and moaning among my ex-Acme peers that raises for us are completely off-the-table because of the average salary in Globex's geographical HQ location being so much lower than Acme's, although none of those whisperings have any "official substance".

How do I bring this up the promise of a raise with my current manager?

Should I bring up the promise of a raise with my current manager?

Was I a fool to think of the promise of a raise as something I was virtually entitled to?

Does Globex have any obligation to follow through on the promises Acme made to its employees prior to the acquisition?

Should Globex's average salary have an impact on me, even though I'm thousands of miles away from their average employee?

(P.S.: Yes, I know that maybe I seem a bit "shallow" for calling off my job search in the interest of a bigger salary. However, before my original raise, I was making a massively-lower-than-average salary for someone in my position, so it felt justified that I be brought up to par with my position at the time, at least. Plus, I needed the additional income if I'm ever to be able to afford a halfway-decent place of my own in my current location.)


2 Answers 2


If, as you say, the company was acquired by a much larger company at some point after you were promised the "significant raise or promotion in the future", then I think it's fair to consider that promise to now be completely obsolete.

Given that you now not only have a new employer as of nine months ago, but also a new boss as of one month ago, I think you need to consider the slate completely clean, and approach your goal of getting a raise based on that.

You need to go into this next performance review ready to make your case as to the excellent value you are bringing to the business, your lengthy tenure and associated deep knowledge of the business, and your history of excellent reviews.

And, as you did eighteen months ago, have a sniff around for potential alternatives, so you know how much bargaining power you truly have. If the rumours are true that nobody at Acme is going to be getting any raises, then you may need to return to your original plan of moving on to greener pastures. Seven years is a long time to spend working in one place.


It sounds like the offer of a subsequent raise was unspecified: how much and when, and verbal. Even without the changes of managers and companies, a verbal offer like that is worth about as much as the paper it is written on. When managers change, even a written offer of a raise can be shaky. With company changes, that nebulous offer from the past almost certainly no longer exists any where but in your memory.

So, if you still consider yourself underpaid, you'll need to make an argument with current management for why you should be paid more. The other option is to again start looking.

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