HR directors have a key role to play during mergers

HR directors must fight for a
seat at the negotiating table during a major acquisition rather than just pick
up the pieces afterwards.

Tom Matthews, executive
vice-president HR at telecom giant Qwest Communications International, told
delegates at the HR Summit in Switzerland today that HR professionals should
have a major input into the mergers and acquisitions negotiating team.

He said in a typical
takeover, HR at Qwest was involved in looking at the cultural differences
between the companies and looking at the type of employees, the talent pool and
staff skills. This information helps the company to decide whether the
acquisition goals are realistic.

Qwest has grown in four years
to a global telecommunications company with a market value of more than $75
billion. One of its biggest acquisitions was US West.

Eighty senior HR
professionals from global companies like Anglo American, Fiat and Deutsche Bank
are attending the HR Summit 2001 in Montreux today, called Human Resources
Solutions for Europe.

Speakers include Britt Reigo
who is senior vice president, corporate people and culture at Ericsson and
Martin Reddington, who is e-HR Transformation Programme Director at Cable and
Wireless.

Join in an on-line
debate on mergers and acquisitions and ask Qwest’s Tom Matthews about the HR
role in the Qwest acquisition of US West through www.hrsummit.com

By Catriona Marchant

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