People have been asking for our crystal ball view on what the current consolidation of hotel and travel brands will mean for career opportunities.  Our answer, “Go get some popcorn and let’s watch the movie!”


It is interesting how rumors of Starwood being shopped around made the morning news shows with many commenting on how “their points” will be impacted. The raw emotion and allure of travel made it more public than many larger deals that are relegated to the back stories of the Business section and trade pubs.


OTA’s (On Line Travel Agents) have also experienced merger mania, with Expedia leading the pack in acquisition of Orbitz and Travelocity.  People are commenting that with roughly 20% of hotel brand reservations coming from OTA’s that major changes would need to occur in lodging to account for continued market share.


Most articles on these mergers discuss the Wall Street implications and the customer affects- potential negative pricing and diminished value of travel programs.


Back to the popcorn- what should the employee do when watching this movie develop?  Acquisitions are announced and there is a gap of time before the deal is done. Will there be job duplication and therefore position jeopardy? Who will be in a better situation due to a lack of depth in the gobbling company’s portfolio?  At what level is there the most risk?


A majority of people will want to wait and see the whole thing to the end, “I’ll wait for the buy-out”.  And that may be the best thing, a chance to take a lump sum and go on that sabbatical.  Go for the next job after it is recognized that your garden is better than any neighbor’s on the block.


Another consideration is to measure the opportunity cost of that buy out…  Or the diminished responsibility in a new company and the angst of SO MANY MEETINGS to see where you fit in.


Opportunity cost is relatively simple to measure.  If I get a sum of 3, 6 or 12 months’ severance, what job will I get after that time?  At what compensation, how long will it take, and how satisfied will I be?  Will there be an oversupply of people with my qualifications at that time?  Will that push competitive salaries down?  Regardless, blow cobwebs off your resume and get a professional document completed and ready.  You will need it just as much internally as you will for outside opportunities.


In this unique time, keep your eyes wide open- listen and even potentially seek opportunities in the interim period.  Take care of yourself and your family; to the degree of designing what you think a career plan can be in the newly restructured company, or on a path in an outside organization.  Include financials, determine whether relocation is possible.  What are you willing to accept or pursue?


Try to enjoy this movie as it plays out to its conclusion!




SearchWide Global is the leader in executive search and recruitment for public and private organizations in the convention, hospitality, tourism, lodging and event industries for almost two decades. We specialize in executive recruitment at all levels. Our knowledge and experience help us fully understand and interpret your business, competitive set and individual dynamics related to your business. With offices across the country, we remain connected at all levels while valuing our client and candidate relationships which in turn will build a solid bench for future success.

Contact us to learn more about our services.