What should you do when your department is bought out?

January 12, 2015 3 mins read
What should you do when your department is bought out?

In recent times, different industries have suddenly revealed that one of their corporations, or a portion of that corporation's business activities, have been bought out by a company.

Whether it's due to a forced merger or a strategic partnership, the business sectors that have been bought out will no doubt be forced to adapt to a series of modifications in the head organization’s structure. Redundancies or adjustments in positions are both relatively commonplace when it comes to mergers. Should the department in which you work be bought out, how should you react?

1. Firstly, calm down and think about the position that the purchased business activities occupy within the new owner's entire business platform.

If we take a general look at company merger cases over the years, some brands have benefited from mergers while others have gradually faded from public view or have even virtually disappeared from the market. If your department is to be merged into the new buyer's core business activities, or has been bought in order to serve as a new growth point that will make up for weaknesses in their platform, then your value within that department will no doubt be recognized and taken into consideration.

2. Next, analyze your individual role within both your department and the overall organizational structure of the buyer.

In numerous situations, relevant employees will receive general information regarding a merger before it occurs. Consider developing a prior understanding of the buyer's business activities through your personal connections. By taking into account your position within the original company, comprehensively analyze the different steps that you can take in order to maintain that position (or even obtain a higher position) throughout the organizational changes that are to occur. Usually, high-level management staff are the first to be laid off due to their high salary costs.

3. Additionally, consider whether or not the corporate culture is compatible with the new boss' style.

Generally, the buyer and the purchased department belong to the same industry (or at least similar industries), so it shouldn't be difficult to obtain information from personal connections who move in the same circles as you regarding the buyer's corporate culture, the patterns in their business activities, or the management style of their executive staff. Should the corporate culture of the two companies (or the style of their bosses) be entirely different and you have no idea of how quickly you'll be able to adjust, then perhaps it's time for you to assess just how far you'll be able to progress within the new business platform.

If, during your analysis, you decide that your situation in regard to at least two of the three aspects presented above is precarious, then I would advise you to pay attention to new job opportunities in the time leading up to the merger. That way, you can avoid the highly undesirable scenario of being laid off without having another job

Marlon Mai's picture
Marlon Mai
Managing Director, Greater China