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"How mergers go wrong"
How mergers go wrong
Melissa T. Littlefield
How mergers go wrong.

The article "Merger Brief: First among equals" describes one of the biggest mergers in the American corporate history. In 1998 Citicorp, the world's most profitable company, merged with Travelers. Despite that differences in size of each company's success in operations and the fact that Citicorp was dominant in that merger, both executives, John Reed of Citicorp and Sandy Weill of Travelers, claimed that it was "merger of equals", becoming co-chairman and co-chief executive. For their merger strategy, they have adopted "Noah's Ark" approach to a top management, when every top-level position was made of two employees coming from both Citi and Travelers. Nevertheless, there has been some resistance from employees of involved companies; for example, some of Citicorp's staff wanted their services to continue under Citi's brand rather than switching to anything new. Furthermore, two ambitious executives, having their own points of view and own visions and strategies, got involved in scuffles, but their relationship worsened and led to misunderstanding and miscommunication in top-management. Consequently, they were forced to split their duties: Weill was taking over day-to-day operations and Reed taking charge of strategy. Further, disputes and tension between two executives led to Mr. Reed's retirement which he was forced into by the board. Sandy Weill then became a sole boss of that enterprise, and this fact had immediate impact on corporate structure. The new company was rapidly becoming "Weill's creature" which means that the most of the Citicorp's employees took off key positions in organization and became occupied by Travelers' employees. In spite of all the problems mentioned in the case that relate to HR, it indicates that company is being successful, sustaining growth, and increasing profits and stock price.

Although the merger seems to be successful, based on financial indicators, I believe that in the long...

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