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TNT staff face an uncertain future following FedEx’s takeover last week, according to sources close to the company.
In a press call last week the two companies reiterated how well the cultures would work together, but one TNT insider told The Loadstar the corporate cultures were very different – and there had already been a shake-up in management.
The insider said: “How can the cultures be similar – they are American and European? Look what happened last time FedEx bought in the UK; it was a disaster. In my experience of integrations, there is never a blending of cultures, it’s a case of fit in or f**k off.”
Ian Clough, TNT’s managing director international, Europe, has just left the company, after joining in April 2014 from DHL Express US, where he was CEO, the insider said, but TNT did not confirm this before publication.
The source said all senior management would be graded by the new owner and then offered a role – or not – within the new company.
“No doubt there will be winners and losers at a senior level,” he said.
TNT was unable to confirm details on senior management roles. But the source added: “A good description [of the way people feel] would be ‘uncertain’, and [it will be interesting to see] how that translates in to the day-to-day customer experience.”
He added: “Fed Ex is run centrally while TNT has previously had country MDs. I think they will disappear, and that will be a massive change from locally implemented and managed initiatives to a global approach.”
Synergies between the two companies across Europe has also lead to concerns among staff.
“They now have two head offices, and in the UK for example, there is Atherstone (TNT) and Stansted (FedEx).
“Many operational synergies and depot footprints are close together, so what does that mean for staff? It’s an uncertain time and clear communications will be a must, if they are not to lose ground to DHL and UPS.”
FedEx had just 5% market share in Europe before the takeover – now it is thought to be about 22%, just behind UPS’s 25%.
The source added however that one of TNT’s strengths lay in its “lower-level staff and drivers”.
“I hope they are all looked after, as they are what made the company.
“They will continue to do a great job and, with more cash, they will be good for FedEx.”