The integration manager

An integration manager oversees the team that combines the functions of an acquired business with those of the acquirer. This position is critical to the success of an acquisition.This person is responsible for the following items:

  • Create and update the integration plan
  • Ensure that the team has sufficient resources to complete its work in a timely manner
  • Report to the managements of both the acquirer and acquiree concerning the status of the work
  • Resolve disputes arising from integration issues
  • Act as a bridge between employees within the two companies

Depending on the size of the integration effort, this manager must be prepared to live near the acquiree for the duration of the integration, or at least travel there and remain on-site during most work weeks. Since the role requires considerable coordination with the headquarters staff and senior management, the integration manager will likely commute between the two companies on a regular basis.

The integration manager is usually a mid-level manager from the acquirer’s organization who is comfortable working with little oversight. This person should have significant tenure within the organization, so that he has had sufficient time to build up a strong network within the company. This network is extremely useful when the integration manager uncovers a knotty problem with an acquiree, and needs to reach deep into the acquirer’s organization to find the person most capable of resolving the issue.

It is imperative that the integration manager be an employee of the acquirer, not the acquiree. While the acquiree should have representation on the integration team, these people may be more concerned with preserving the acquiree organization than in rigorously implementing all identified synergies.