What would you do if your career depended on how you answered three questions in a fifteen minute interview with the new CEO?
That’s what faced the headquarters staff at Burger King upon being acquired by Brazilian-owned private equity firm 3G Capital in late 2010.
And, earlier this year, the leadership team at H.J. Heinz went through the same experience when they became 3G’s latest investment.
The three questions, discovered by Fortune reporter Jennifer Reingold:
- What have you done for the brand?
- What can you link to driving sales traffic or relevant financial metrics?
- What suggestions do you have for the company?
Tough stuff for sure. As Reingold relates in her article:
“It was nerve-racking, another former executive says. People were throwing up in the bathroom because their whole career comes down to this.”
Surviving new management is difficult, especially when it results from merger/acquisition activity. New bosses often want their own people, regardless of the strength and talent of the incumbent teams. While assessments can be legitimate, they’re more likely to be incomplete, arbitrary or just a formality.
If you’re on the receiving end, the overall process probably seems unfair, and there’s little you can do about it. Except, plan ahead for next time.