Unchallenged Series #1: To the victor, the spoils…. leadership roles should go to those who acquire?
…as if being acquired is anything more than a reflection of financial muscle and / or stakeholder desire. For many leadership teams, the prospect and experience of M&A is neither positive or a sensible strategy to enhance the value of the business with which they have been entrusted. Much is made of the strategic rationale and of the thorough planning required in deals…the reality is that for many a CEO, deals are highly opportunistic and potentially a distraction from the very real challenges that his / her business faces. In a PE scenario, the current trend around ‘buy and build’ is often short term and externally driven with little thought for the actual capability of the leadership team to deliver an integration programme successfully.
Why, therefore, does the presumption continue that the acquired leadership team should be immune from an objective review / comparison in terms of their talent and experience with that of the acquired?
It’s potentially a colossal loss of talent and misses a significant trick in itself with the integration itself…that of maintaining some connection for the acquired employee base. Incredibly helpful as you start to navigate your way around the reality and not the fiction created in the business case / due diligence process!
If you’ve bought the business for something which is uniquely theirs, it seems a little foolish to potentially remove the architects…especially on the basis of some misguided loyalty to those around you. Hardly in the best interests of the shareholders!