Tag Archives: Downsizing

My Worst Nightmare – Sell or Downsize? Fifteen Considerations (Part 2)

Situation: The Company is losing money and has been approached about a merger. The CEO’s ideal outcome would be to get cash on the table, integrate with the merger partner and continue business. The other alternative – downsizing – may hurt company morale. What are the best options available?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • The downsizing experience is wrenching, but results were far more positive than expected.
    • A 10% cut resulted in a 30% increase in productivity.
    • Employees once thought to be critical were not missed post-layoff.
    • The employees generally understood more about the situation than the CEO knew, and those remaining responded positively to a restructuring that allowed them to keep their jobs.
    • Some companies used a layoff as an opportunity to cross-train employees and increase company flexibility.
    • If concerned about loss of key talent, consider rehiring a laid-off employee on a consulting basis for a limited period.
  • Smoothing the layoff process:
    • Communicate with the employees. Let them know the truth, and share enough of the situation so that they understand.
    • Challenge employees to come up with ways to save money or make processes more efficient and cost-effective. This can have a remarkable impact.
    • Consider a cross the board salary reduction as a temporary alternative to layoffs.
    • Position as a layoff to restructure expenses – keeps you on the right side of employment law.
    • Obtain assistance from a personnel consultant who can help to handle the process effectively.
  • Summary: If you can save expenses, return to profitability and stay independent you will be happier than you may be post-merger.

Key Words: Merger, Negotiation, Ownership, Downsizing, Mitigation, Layoffs, Profitability 

My Worst Nightmare – Sell or Downsize? Fifteen Considerations (Part 1)

Situation: The Company is losing money and has been approached about a merger. The CEO’s ideal outcome would be to get cash on the table, integrate with the merger partner and continue business. The other alternative – downsizing – may hurt company morale. What are the best options available?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • The realities of mergers:
    • 70% of mergers fail, and the merger process often leaves founders with a minority stake in the company.
    • Experience of others with partners has been disappointing – better to control your own destiny.
    • Look at all alternatives before you jump into a merger. You founded the company and have brought it this far. The company will be a different company following a merger, and not the company that you founded or have led to date.
  • Message to your potential merger partner:
    • Be a reluctant bride.
    • “We are making improvements to return to profitability and I’ve joined a board of CEOs who are consulting me through the process.”
    • If the partner sweetens the offer to keep the merger on the table, make sure that you get 51% of the merged company and retain control of your own fate.
  • Reconsider downsizing – Others have found the downsizing experience wrenching, but with far more positive results than they expected.
    • More on this in the next ceo2ceos blog.
  • Summary: look more closely at your situation before your jump into a merger. If you can save expenses, return to profitability and stay independent you will be happier.

Key Words: Merger, Negotiation, Ownership, Downsizing, Mitigation, Layoffs, Profitability