If your company is going through a merger, research out today suggests you might want to polish off your CV if you have a boardroom position in charge of cash or computers.
The study by DHR International discovered 43 per cent of director-level jobs are dropped from companies a year after they merge, with technology and finance chiefs being the most likely to be shown the door.
"Our research confirms that mergers and acquisitions are a ruthless process and demonstrates how high the loss of talent can be," said Simon Mansfield, managing partner of DHR International's London office.
Technology chiefs whose company is merging to take advantage of the technical prowess of another firm should be watching their step particularly carefully, the research found.
"If one of the drivers behind the merger is a technological advantage over competitors that is seen not to be fully utilised, then the technology chief can often find their position under threat in the aftermath of M&A activity," explained Mansfield.
However, finance heads should be just as wary, with Mansfield pointing out, if the merged company is substantially larger than the two companies which combined to create it, then management may decide a completely new outlook is needed from its finance crew.
"It is quite often the case that the post-merger composition of the company exceeds the experience of both finance chiefs. It is then likely that both executives will lose their positions in favour of an external director possessing this expertise," said Mansfield.
However, those who are yet to claim their place at the boardroom table can breath a sigh of relief, as director level jobs are much more likely to be dropped than those are other levels.
"It would be very surprising and possibly unknown to see a similar percentage fall in the combined total workforce or in any other function within a year of a merger," added Mansfield.
But, even if you are unfortunate enough to be asked to leave, Mansfield notes many other companies are more than well aware of how the merger roundabout works so may well be sniffing around for new talent.
"The fall-out rate at senior levels in these merged organisations can be high so it makes sense for competitors to see if they can entice their successful directors and senior executives into joining them," remarked Mansfield. "It also makes sense for senior executives who may be uncertain about their future post-merger to explore the market early on for new roles elsewhere."