Wells Fargo and Firing Former Employees as a Part of Mergers and Acquisitions...

Here's a truism that mom and dad tried to teach you:  You'll have to live with your actions and decisions for a lifetime.  Whether you break the law, treat someone poorly or have opinions you've vocalized, you own it.  The hard part is that sometimes you own it in a way you never expected or a way that seems particularly unfair. 

So it goes with mergers and acquisitions, and the god-like ability of the acquirer to decide who theyWells fargo want to keep.  Here's how it works.  Company A buys Company B, and as part of the due diligence, Company A gets a complete employee listing.  In addition to deciding if employees are going to be laid off due to duplication or a shifting of work once the companies merge, Company A also looks at the list and sees that multiple former employees of Company A now work for Company B.

The question is whether Company A wants the former employees back.  Well Fargo recently signed a deal to acquire Wachovia, and as you might expect, there are a lot of Wachovia employees who used to work for Wells Fargo. 

Here are the facts on the former Wells Fargo employee numbers now at Wachovia, and the decision on who will be retained, as reported by Forbes:

"National bank Wells Fargo & Co. said Thursday it will not retain 175 employees from Wachovia who do not fit Well Fargo's employment eligibility requirements.  San Francisco-based Wells Fargo recently acquired Wachovia and had been reviewing the employment eligibility of Wachovia's current employees who had previously worked at Wells Fargo.

The 175 employees not offered employment were among more than 2,000 Wachovia employees that had previously worked for Wells Fargo. Those decision to not offer those employees jobs was based on each person's employment history with Wells Fargo, according to a spokeswoman.

Those employees who didn't meet the requirements have been given the opportunity to request a review of their status. The spokeswoman said many of them have opted for that review."

Initially, only the number of employees not to be retained was publicized, and the reaction was negative.  Then, the total numbers came - out of 2,000 employees, over 90% were being retained.  The reason the 175 weren't being retained?  A variety of reasons related to their employment history.

Think about that for a minute.  Out of the 175 not retained, as with any population, there's probably some bad stuff that led them to be removed from Wells Fargo before they joined Wachovia.  There's likely also some classic human preference, in that a Wells Fargo manager doesn't want certain employees on their team because they felt they were disruptive, not talented, etc.

Now, think about the employees who have left your company.  Fair to say, if you were faced with a hire/rehire decision, that you would pass on 10% of your former employees?

That's what I thought.  Wells Fargo is just doing what you would do.  No need for outrage...