It doesn’t matter whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 or the president of a tiny company, when you’re creating a new product line or merging with another company it’s very important that you have the backing and support of your team around you to make sure things are executed properly.
On the merger/acquisition side, one shouldn’t have to dig too deeply for reasons to go forward; management and cultural synergies should be obvious immediately. If they aren’t then you should probably go back to stage one and find another partner or idea. If you’re vision is cloudy and hard for people to understand – then you may have another problem – and quick decisions may lead to mediocrity.
There are a number of acquisitions that have taken place in our industry – and this year tech acquisitions are reaching new heights. When someone asks me to gauge the potential success and/or failure of such moves – and my quick answer is always to check with the employees. Although it seems quite unscientific, one should be able to examine the potential for success based on the employee reaction and cultural synergies.
I bring this up as we get to the official closing date of the HP Voodoo acquisition. I found out that everyone at Voodoo signed up almost immediately after receiving their offer letters from HP. That’s right, 100% of our employees signed up without hesitation.
Not only this, but we have ex-Voodoo employees knocking at the door to see if there is an opportunity for them to join back on the team. On the other side in Cupertino, I have received nothing but high praise about the deal in general – people are “high-fiving” me in the hallways as I pass. People at HP Labs are excited by the prospect of working with us, and it feels like home when I visit all the sites. This tells us that our strategy is validated by the very people who will be carrying it forward.
If you can’t draw out your strategy on a napkin for other people to understand then you better go back to the drawing board. I'm not suggesting that decisions by democracy always make sense, because they don't - but having the majority buy-in is money in the bank.
When you compare this to other mergers that have recently taken place in the industry it should be obvious which ones will be successful and which ones may face challenges.
I’d like to comment on the AMD + ATI merger because I feel it will be a hot topic of discussion now that it’s official. I will also comment on the rumors about Nvidia + Intel – which I believe are nothing more than rumors and very unlikely to come to fruition. I will be adding a second part to this blog in the near future.
In the meantime, things between HP and Voodoo couldn’t be better. The honeymoon will soon be over however - and it will be time to make good on our plans.