For those reading from the academic side and living in fear of what an acquisition means, I thought I would talk a little bit about that.
I have been involved in this acquisition for quite a while and couldn't talk. Besides any other world problems, the SEC would have frowned on the revelation and thrown me in jail. It has been a bit surreal to, for example, go to meetings and talk about long term plans that I happen to know full well won't happen (or might now happen or whatever). Up until the day before announcement I was leading this double life - The public face is no different and was setting up things. The other 1/2 was working all night (both literally and figuratively) to get the company sold. I lied to, approximately, everyone. That was getting very old. I had been doing that for about 3 months or so and it was old...
SO - now we have announced and are in the period between announcement and actual close of deal. There are filings with the SEC going on to get their blessing that there is not an anti-trust problem. There are meetings to figure out how, post close, to integrate the two businesses.
We are a bit lucky in that we were bought for our manufacturing and our R+D. Our sites most likely won't be shut down, as we aren't duplicative of anything they already have. Were there mass shutdowns in the future, this would have a very different feel. As it is, the number of of us who are facing unemployment is small. Unfortunately, I am one of them. Post close, the role I have now will be gone. I have known this from when I started working on this, but really pushed it out of my head. Now, when I really have little to do, it is first and foremost in my mind again. I have fired up the recruiters and am looking around within the acquiring company for positions of interest. I made a favorable impression on the acquiring folks, so there is a lot of support for finding me something...but you still have to do it. Don't have it done yet. Stress exists. Are we moving again? I have some quasi permission from my wife to move us if we have to, but I have to say that San Diego is pretty much the best place on the planet to live (obviously-my opinion. Your mileage may/will vary.)
For the rest of the people in the company - there is a lot of unknowns. I know that they will likely come out OK, but until the close happens and full sets of plans can be developed and spelled out for folks, there is a lot of uncertainty. Uncertainty is not good...
It is funny that in the middle of this, I go read this over at ars technica. Lay offs and uncertainty are all over the place. Academics are just getting used to this idea. Don't know that it is easier in industry or if you are just supposed to expect it more - but it is beat all around.
In any case - I am still here and fighting to find a new job. The company is chugging ahead on momentum as I don't think most people have really stopped and thought about it yet. Part of (and it is a huge part of it) my job is to not let them stop and think about it, as they are OK. Lets stay on target with projects and get products launched. Not much else to do anyway.... I know I'm dead, but I know they aren't. I've known I was dead for awhile though and have been really saving money in order to get through a dry spell if it comes to that.
Fun? I am still having it.