Mergers, Acquisitions & Your Career

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When was the last time there were no rumors about a merger or acquisition in bio/pharma?  It seems there is a new list of potential deals almost every week. While that may seem exciting for the industry, stockholders, and potential patients, it can be very nerve wracking for the employees.  Imagine walking into work, a company whose drug development or pipeline you believe in. You’re excited about your career and enjoy your co-workers, when suddenly there are rumors of acquisition, perhaps unexpected.  How does one prepare for these situations?

It is extremely helpful if a company is transparent in the potential deal and how it could impact everyone.  In situations where this prevalent, employees are more likely to stay loyal to their company.  However, when a company, such as Medivation, is faced with constant rumors of acquisition, almost month after month, it is difficult to retain top talent.  It should be no surprise that within 3 days of the Pfizer Medivation deal, the Vice President of Clinical Development left for another company.  Recruiters and competitors keep a keen eye on companies, such as Medivation, eager to entice a person to a more stable environment.

First, one should always be pro-active.  Each year we gain skills, talents, and hit milestones.  Resumes should be a “living” document that reflect this new information, whether one is looking for the next step in their career or not.  A network of colleagues, former co-workers, mentors, and even recruiters should be developed and maintained.  These people may be able to share valuable insight into similar situations or give advice on the current hiring market.

The bottom line, we live in a culture where things move fast and it’s far easier to be pro-active than reactive.  Keeping control of your career and its path is far more important in today’s world of mergers and acquisitions.