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M&A: Does your talent approach fit your deal?

May 14, 2021


In brief

Transforming with talent

Add-on deals

Organization approach

The acquired company’s structure, reporting lines and governance are largely kept the same to minimize change and preserve the target’s culture.

Talent approach

In designing new teams, employees are not separated from their roles. This allows for swift business stabilization, with less focus on comprehensive transformation.

Consolidation deals

Organization approach

The target company’s structure, reporting lines and governance are most often integrated into the acquirer’s model to speed integration and get to value quickly.

Talent approach

At the leadership level, talent selection occurs across both companies. For all other levels, the organization is designed with incumbents in their roles. This provides quick stabilization while enabling transformation at the top of the organization.

Transformation deals

Organization approach

These deals often involve significant shifts to structure, reporting lines and governance of both companies. Existing roles are reassessed as leaders seek a new business model—possibly nurturing new capabilities or reinventing operations.

Talent approach

Leaders start from a blank slate, designing roles without looking at current talent. Only then does talent selection takes place across all levels of the new entity, addressing the future needs of the business across all parts of the organization.

Client transformation journey

A global consumer goods company made a major acquisition of a high-growth, leading beverage business.


Organization design approach


The acquiring company was seeking how best to protect the innovation capabilities of the beverage business, but also unlock its growth potential. Leaders considered multiple operating model options—standalone/add-on, different alignment options by geography or product category—but ultimately moved to a new operating model, creating a new division for the acquired company as well as its own relevant brands.


Talent approach


Careful consideration was given to retention of key talent to preserve the strong innovation culture of the beverage company. Talent largely stayed in their incumbent roles, with opportunities offered at the acquiring company for those who wanted to extend their experience and grow.


Lessons learned


The acquiring company was seeking to protect and nurture the capabilities and brand power of its acquisition, while leveraging the breadth and scale of its own operations to catapult growth. With a best-of-both transformation of the commercial model and increased investment in driving growth, the business thrived.

Technology makes experimentation so much easier

Smart first moves

Choose your spots to leapfrog

Create a roadmap as part of your integration planning. With the intent of the deal in mind, prioritize tasks by business value and complexity. Drive the talent agenda from your next-generation operating and organization model.

Focus on enablers

In bringing together two cultures, seek to understand the barriers and enablers for both companies, then leverage the enablers. Engage leadership with a pragmatic, quantifiable culture change roadmap to institutionalize the process.

Stop assuming, start modeling

Be data driven and leverage analytics techniques and AI not just to come more prepared for Day One, but also as the integration progresses. Doing so will give you a pulse on the sentiment of your people or can help diagnose where transformation gets stuck, providing both greater speed and certainty.

Kristen Andrews​


Kristen advises companies on talent strategy, journey management, top team alignment and capability development.

Tim Good

Senior Managing Director – Talent & Organization, EMEA Lead

Tim helps executives to design global talent and HR strategies, digitize the HR function, and develop innovative solutions that deliver tangible business results.

J. Neely

Senior Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions Global Lead

J.'s role focuses on working with leading clients on global M&A transformation deals to address the critical issues facing their businesses.

Yaarit Silverstone

Senior Managing Director – Talent & Organization, Global Strategy Lead & North America Lead

Yaarit partners with CEOs and the entire C-suite to enable transformation and deliver sustainable capabilities and growth.

Related capabilities

Accenture Strategy

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Talent & organization

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