Aventis Merger Strategy & CEO Leadership Case Study

Pages: 4 (1325 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business - Case Studies  ·  Written: April 9, 2019

A CEO needs to be chosen – the Board needs to drive this forward, and select the person who is most visionary, and most capable of bringing the various stakeholders together around the vision. The US decision will likely be based on pragmatic considerations – if Aventis is to grow, it cannot headquarter in Kansas City, and will not be able to start a new facility greenfield. This doesn’t mean shuttering Kansas City, but does mean setting up the headquarters elsewhere.

Aventis Solutions and Action Plan

Aventis needs to define a vision, and that most likely starts with selecting the most visionary senior leader to be the new CEO. Right now there is little for anybody in the company to rally behind, and this is resulting in turf-defending, resistance and hostility. With a leader and a vision, the new company can start to take shape. Communication of the new vision is going to be essential. It has to start at the top, but be brought to group or unit levels through their leadership. Thus, there has to be buy-in and any leader not willing to buy in should be jettisoned. The company has a rally around competition with its rivals, not internecine competition. The vision should rally around product goals, national market share goals, and other objectives that individual units can come together around.

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The new CEO must make clear what each side is going to bring to the table, in terms of the culture. This has to be sold as a merger of equals, where each side is contributing something valuable – the specific synergies need to be made clear to all the stakeholders, in order to facilitate buy-in for any higher vision or purpose. Such an approach gives everybody at least one reason to feel good – something that nobody seems to be feeling right now.

Case Study on Aventis Merger Strategy & CEO Leadership Assignment

The American decision has to be made on a pragmatic basis – this is the nature of doing business in the US. Plus, doing so gives a proper, rational basis for the decision. It might be that Aventis ends up with a CEO from one company and a US headquarters from the other. There should not be the impression of winners and losers, but rather a goal-focused decision, such as “we can’t grow the way we plan to with a headquarters in KC, but we’re not cutting jobs there. We just can’t grow there like we can on the East Coast.” If someone is determined to be take that the wrong way, so be it.

The root causes of a lot of these issues are fairly typical of mergers and acquisitions – fear, uncertainty and doubt. Fear of job loss, or loss of status. Give everybody a reason to think that they still have some role to play going forward. Make clear decisions, based on a vision, a strategy that aligns with that vision, and make each decision strictly on a rational basis, without regard for the politics. Playing to politics seems like the safe choice, but ultimately it will not erase the cultural issues, and certainly not the uncertainty that different units are feeling. If everybody trusts that leadership is committed to creating a combined entity that captures the best of both companies, then they will be more willing to buy into that as a vision. So clear explanations for major decisions, a detailed level of communication, unprecedented levels of transparency, and clarity of roles for every part of the company will go a long way to alleviating a lot of the uncertainty and doubt that typically occur with mergers and acquisitions.



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