The Human Side Of Mergers And Acquisitions Hp & Apollo Computer

6336 words - 26 pages

Understanding and Managing Human Resource Integration IssuesCompanies have engaged in domestic and international mergers and acquisitions over the last few years to match the macroeconomic trends operating on a worldwide scale in the marketplace. Yet the ultimate success of a company's global strategy may depend on how well it manages the often-vexsome human resource "fit" issues associated with strategic customer-centered decisions and strategies. This paper presents a human resource model that can be used for understanding and resolving interpersonal management issues that result from organization, team, and individual misalignments. An actual merger and acquisition integration project ...view middle of the document...

For example, sometimes interpersonal conflict can emanate from the top of an organization when key executives cannot agree on a general corporate direction. More often, interpersonal conflict arises because corporate staff and division managers have differing perspectives on what their company wants (and needs) from a merger. If these human resource issues are not resolved, they can result in the turnover of key people, people refusing assignments, post-merger performance drops, and morale problems.This paper describes an approach that can be used by human resource development professionals to understand and resolve interpersonal conflicts that are likely to crop up during mergers and acquisitions, as well as other major organizational changes. The acquisition of Apollo Computer by the Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) is used to discuss the application of this approach.Hewlett-Packard Acquires Apollo ComputerFinancial "Fit." On April 12, 1989, the HewlettPackard Company acquired Apollo Computer for $476 million. The Palo Alto, CA-based HewlettPackard company is one of the largest U.S. computer makers, with 1988 sales of $9.8 billion. The Chelmsford, MA-based Apollo Computer pioneered the technical workstation market, but lost its lead to Sun Microsystems Inc. of Mountain View, CA, the number one workstation maker, and Maynard, MA-based Digital, the second largest. The merger of number-three HP and number-four Apollo catapulted Hewlett-Packard past Digital and just slightly ahead of Sun in the $4.1 billion workstation market, the fastest-growing segment of the computer industry (Wilke, 1989).The financial reason for the acquisition can be traced back to the mid-1980s, when HP found its customers favoring computer workstations over its computer products. Accordingly, HP did develop a line of workstations, but trailed pioneers Apollo and Sun Microsystems in technology leadership and market penetration. In early 1988, the Workstation Group in HP committed itself to a "must win" strategy to gain market share. Internal analysts reviewed research and development (R&D) capability and recommended investment in networking and graphics. Meanwhile, HP's head of Corporate Development looked into joint ventures and possible acquisitions (Mirvis & Marks, 1992).During this period, Apollo was racked with profit problems. Undercapitalized, with R&D departments pulling in different directions, the company was at risk of losing customer confidence. Still, Apollo was very cool when first contacted by HP and other potential suitors. Undeterred, Corporate Development and Workstation management personnel formed an acquisition team to look closely at the financial and strategic implications of buying Apollo. Their analysis showed that the acquisition of Apollo would add to HP's market position, offer a short-term competitive advantage in graphics and group computing, and shore up Apollo's financial stability and reputation. There would also be financ...


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