In December 2007, two diary cooperatives – Campina and Royal Friesland Foods – based in The Netherlands decided to merge. The cooperatives both owned operating companies that were responsible for buying the milk of their members and transforming it into value-added dairy-based products. Despite their common Dutch origins, their operating companies – Campina BV and Royal Friesland Foods BV – had very different cultures. Cees ‘t Hart was appointed the CEO of the newly merged company and given ambitious cost cutting and growth targets. He faced a difficult economic climate and a changing landscape for the European-based dairy industry. ‘t Hart realized that to reach his targets, the merged company had to build a common culture. Yet he knew that the cultures of the founding companies were much different. How could he create a culture based on the best the two companies brought to the table?
- Culture change
- Post-merger integration
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