Reply To: Leading the change: Should the previous leader remain in the organization?


Yes – it can be a blessing and a bane to retain the previous leader. If done right, the previous leader can help to integrate the businesses, imprint relationships between the merged entities, and create a reason for key talent to remain with the business. If done wrong, there will be a cancer growing before the ink is even dry on the closure documents. If not addressed quickly and promptly, it will likely metastasize and kill the entire business. Prior to deal closure, during human capital due diligence, the risk/reward of retaining previous leadership should be evaluated. Retention should always be conditional upon smooth integration and attainment of clearly articulated measurements. The position held by previous leadership and their total rewards package should recognize the value of their prior contributions and be tied to the success of the future merged business. This will aid in motivating continued success and reduce the risk of destructive behavior. All of this should be discussed, negotiated, and agreed upon before closing the deal. Any equivocation and the transaction team should make the hard call to either remove previous leadership or walk away from the deal.

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