CRITICAL SUCCESSION AND MERGER INTEGRATION

When a senior executive has been highly effective, especially in bringing about a much-needed turnaround, the transition to a new leader is the topic of great speculation, both internally and among the stockholder and analyst communities. And it is often highly traumatic and disruptive within the organization.

Executive Synergies has had an opportunity to assist a key client corporation with this situation. The CEO of a conglomerate operating in a pre-merger/acquisition phase realized the company had various critical needs related to executive staffing. First, the firm needed a strong handle on the competitiveness of members of its own senior management team plus how the group stacked up against the competition. Second, the CEO decided the time was approaching to step down because of an existing, highly productive relationship.

Working directly with the executive team, we developed a series of profiles identifying the strengths, weaknesses, cultural fit, flexibility, etc., of executives from both organizations. At the same time, examining the talents and abilities of people in with major competitors, thereby providing a valuable benchmark for the firm's own team. We created plans to strengthen the leadership skills of already strong managers. We helped define the role in which each person was most likely to be successful after the departure of the CEO, and defined the steps and processes likely to facilitate cultural integration of key executives in a post-merger environment.

Because of our broad business background, we were able to provide guidance to the executive team regarding the roll-out and communication of the transition to employees, business partners and the financial community. This comprehensive succession plan enabled the company to make a crucial transition smoothly, helped the team members understand their roles in the ongoing success of the company and maintained the trust and confidence of the firm's key stakeholders. As a result, this top-to-bottom guidance paid off in stability in the firm's market value at a time when it could have been most vulnerable.