CIOs and the M&A Wave


Headlines on the big Abbott Laboratories and Xerox buys yesterday have the NY Times looking at a new bull market for M&A.

We all know that plenty of mergers fail, as former Citigroup CIO Harvey Koeppel points out in this analysis. Koeppel, now head of the Center for CIO Leadership, says one way to improve results is to bring CIOs into the mix earlier.

And, citing research his organization conducted recently, Koeppel says M&A transactions offer big opportunities for CIOs to demonstrate their leadership skills and abilities to affect change.

In his analysis, Koeppel cites Schering-Plough CIO Karl Salnoske's strategy for integrating Organon Biosciences, which the healthcare giant bought for $14 billion in 2007.

"By looking at the systems and the technologies that both companies had and by using a 'best-of-best' approach, we found opportunities to leverage technologies from both companies to the benefit of the new organization," Salnoske reportedly said. And that led to upticks in innovation and morale--two top concerns for IT leaders.

Koeppel offers advice, as does Deloitte's Peter Blatman in this earlier piece on CIOInsight.com.

The concern I hear from many CIOs is that an unexpected or fast-moving M&A transaction by their company could easily knock their priorities and goals off track. And after a year of that happening time and time again, it's an understandable headache.

So what do you think, IT leaders? Are you ready to drop everything help your company integrate in the event of an M&A announcement?

For more advice on IT leadership and strategy, check out these upcoming books: Fall Reading List for IT Execs


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