Degussa Chairman, Utz-Hellmuth Felcht shares his views on ?the best way to fill positions after a merger?.
From his interview in the Wharton Newsletter:
“My colleagues on the board and I met one day to decide on the top positions in the organization. We knew it would be a decentralized organization — that was a positive lesson I had carried over from Hoechst — because we were in different businesses. We sat in a living room and looked at one another, and the conversation went something like this: “Do you have a good controller?” “Yeah, I have a good controller.” “Can he do the job?” “Yeah, I think he can.” “Okay, I don’t think my controller is that good, so we’ll take your controller.””
“We followed the same process for other positions. There was no compromise or balancing — we didn’t say we must have so many people from Degussa and so many from SKW. We ended up randomly filling the positions with each of us knowing just 25% of the people. We built it on trust. In one-and-a-half days we filled the top 80 positions completely on trust. We said, if 5% of these appointments don’t work out, we’ll tell them peacefully later on, but we need to get out there so that everybody knows where he or she stands.”