Acquihiring Change Agents
Why recruit one outsider when you can buy a bunch of them?
Slow to the self-driving-car space, General Motors bought Cruise Automation for $581 million last year, along with the startup’s 40-member team of A.I. experts. Cruise co-founders Kyle Vogt and Daniel Kan, both in their early 30s, became the youngest senior directors on staff at GM. Travel publisher Time Out bought events startup HallStreet last year, promptly shuttered it, and then named the founders its senior vice president of product and director of technology for travel.
Management consultants and product designers typically end up on very different career paths, but in 2015 McKinsey & Co. snatched up Lunar, a design firm whose clients have included Apple, Nike, and Siemens.
Soon after Hot Studio, a 16-year-old design agency, was acquired by Facebook in 2013, the social network dissolved the brand and dispersed its employees among its design, research, engineering, and content strategy teams.