Acquired Tastes

Being CFO on the target end of a deal brings challenges -- like having to coach ''redundant'' staffers.

Allen helped increase his staffers’ confidence by helping them identify job possibilities. “In virtually every case,” he says, “they were offered other opportunities.”

Taking Care of Yourself

For the CFO, retaining a position with the acquiring company is not impossible, but it demands a heavy dose of realism, says Segil. If the acquiring company is twice the size of the acquired one, you won’t be a serious contender for CFO or other key finance posts. If a demotion is involved, make sure your employment contract has a time line for promotion, she says, and of course, get any offer in writing.

Both Allen and Wasserman knew early on that a job hunt lay ahead. But since the acquisition took top priority, neither began actively looking until the deal had closed.

At ON Technology, keeping busy helped keep Wasserman’s mind off the inevitable. But then it came: the Symantec letter announcing his official termination date. “That was the most difficult experience,” he recalls. “It was like, wow, this is ending in a month. I feel proud of my team here and what we’ve accomplished.” Then “the finality of it all just hit me.” Wasserman, who lives in Medway, Massachusetts, is now in the final interview stages for a new CFO job.

Rick Allen is now spending time at home in Denver with his wife and two daughters, and contemplating new opportunities. “There are still mountains to conquer,” he says. “I just want to make sure they’re the right ones.”

Kris Frieswick is a senior writer at CFO.

Dealing Them Out
Acquirers and acquired in Allen’s and Wasserman’s lives (sales, earnings, and employees are preacquisition figures).
Companies Date Announced Annual Sales* Annual Earnings* Number of Employees
Acquired: J.D. Edwards
Acquirer: PeopleSoft
6/03 904
1,948
46
182
5,000
8,293
Acquired: ON Technology
Acquirer: Symantec
10/03 34.7
1,400
1
248
184
4,300
* In $millions
Source: The companies

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