Will You Stay or Will You Go?
A big question facing any CIO going through a merger is whether he or she will still have a job when the deal is done.
Granted, the CIO at the company that's doing the buying usually has an edge, but even then there's no assurance of job security, consultants say. The best way to secure your professional future is to be well prepared, says Jeff Shaffer, leader of the IT advisory practice at Crowe Horwath. "The CIO who is prepared for the M&A helps prepare for his or her own success, because if you're invaluable to the integration, you're at the very least guaranteed to have a role through the integration process," he says.
Ken Piddington, CIO at Global Partners, says CIOs improve their chances of staying on post-merger -- even if they're from the acquired company -- if they've built a standout IT organization with the kind of talented leaders and staffers that any company would want to keep on.
"If you've done a great job and built world-class IT, you've positioned yourself to be the IT department of choice," he says.
But even if you're not retained as the post-merger CIO, how you handle yourself during the transition can be critical to your future, Piddington says. "You've got to be a team player. You just don't burn bridges," he says. "This is a small field, and you might end up working for the same people down the road."
— Mary K. Pratt