Mary Bui-Pham / November, 2017
How do you successfully integrate an acquired startup into your company?
Mary Bui-Pham, VP of Operations & Chief of Staff at Yahoo’s Publisher Products explain two pieces that make a successful integration of an M&A.
How do you successfully integrate an acquired startup into your company? M&A is a special animal altogether. Yahoo over the years and even recently we’ve acquired dozens of companies, large and small. There are two pieces that make a successful integration. One is the acquired company’s leadership.
My theme is all about people. Whether the acquiring company’s leadership is ready to make that move, accepting, and helping the team to transition to the larger company, and the leadership of the acquiring company willing to support and cultivate and continue to nurture the acquired company’s culture. If both sides are willing parties to make this happen you have magic, and if they don’t, you have disasters.
We’ve seen large disasters and not only in Yahoo but out in the industry. We’ve seen acquisition breaking apart, people leave and they are upset and they would never again do that. It’s such an ugly experience they don’t ever want to experience it. I’ve been very fortunate where in our organization we’ve acquired a lot of companies. Some of these companies have amazing leaders and amazing culture and we work really hard to elevating those leaders.
We know that they are the culture champions, they’ve build a great culture, they’ve built a great company and great products and hired amazing talents. We elevate those leaders and we try to preserve the culture and try to adopt those cultures. That’s how you make it happen, that’s how you make it a success. When you’ve acquired a culture, there is a benefit to the business. It’s not that you’re buying somebody to kill them off. Most of the time you need to let them help you become better even though you are the one buying the smaller company. That to me is really important.