Ac­qui­hir­ing Change Agents

Why re­cruit one out­sider when you can buy a bunch of them?

Inc. (USA) - - INNOVATE -

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.

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