Why do so many corporate initiatives, such as mergers and acquisitions, downsizings, or re-engineerings, look good on paper and turn out so poorly? This case offers the beginnings of one example of a corporate initiative: General Mills’ acquisition of the Pillsbury subsidiary from Diageo PLC. Although General Mills financial advisors seemed to think that the balance sheets and products of the two corporations complemented each other and made a perfect match, the organizations were very different. Any shift in corporate control meant things were going to change. Kevin Wilde, the vice president and chief learning officer for General Mills, was part of the transition team responsible for helping the postacquisition integration go smoothly. The B case identifies several issues relevant to managing the integration and includes human resource and organizational information, marketing initiatives, strategy statements, plant closings, and operational changes. Together these cases were meant to motivate students with regard to the importance of understanding human systems and developing people management skills. As an introductory case to Leadership and Organizational Behavior courses, these cases encourage students to think about the skills required of them to be effective in human systems.
Darden Business Publishing – University of Virginia