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Head of HR

Project example :

"Head of HR at a group company: The Focus on Merger & Acquistion"

Interim Head of HR with a Focus on Merger & Acquisition

The client was an international energy conglomerate headquartered in Brussels and Paris. Due to the shift towards renewable energy sources as part of the energy transition, the company needed to change its strategy. The decision was made to sell the European coal-fired power plants, and for this project, the client sought interim support from an HR leader in the role of Interim Head of HR for the German entities within the Business Unit.

Project "Interim Head of Human Resources"

The immediate need for personnel in the energy conglomerate arose because the previous position holder had undergone a career change. The assignment was defined such that the Interim Head of HR was to take over the leadership of the HR team in Germany with the goal of securing day-to-day HR operations. Additionally, as an HR project leader, I was tasked with overseeing the sale of the coal-fired power plants. My responsibilities as the Head of Human Resources were summarized as follows:

  • Leadership of the HR team and securing day-to-day HR operations

  • Collaboration with works councils and trade unions

  • Negotiation of interest balancing and social plans

  • Implementation of operational changes

  • HR management in Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)


The Initial Situation

As an external Interim Head of HR, I embarked on the project, leading the HR team from the corporate headquarters in Berlin. The challenge was that the personnel department employees were located at various sites across Germany. To get to know them, as well as the local management, I traveled to different locations nationwide every two weeks.

» Before I commence my role as Interim Head of Human Resources, I must first comprehend the organization«

Lars Schott, HR Manager
Interim Head of HR

As an international energy conglomerate with a European matrix organization, the company faces complexity in its processes and workflows. During the onboarding period, I focused particularly on this matter and on managing stakeholders. I can only fully embark on my role as Head of HR when I understand the existing processes.

Project Progression

As an Interim Head of HR, a key focus for me was overseeing overarching HR issues. On one hand, I worked in an interface function for the board in Belgium. On the other hand, I supported the managing directors of different companies in Germany. I managed various HR issues within the corporation:

  • Guiding the Performance Management process

  • Addressing Compensation & Benefits

  • Responding to inquiries about company pensions

  • Addressing questions about the employee stock program

  • Compiling regular HR reporting

  • Monitoring Key Performance Indicators


Collaboration with Works Councils

I also heavily engaged in employment law and the support of works councils within the company. The client maintained a highly cooperative relationship with all employee representatives. Therefore, in my role as Interim Head of HR, it was crucial to involve all employee representatives and the service union "Verdi" in the carve-out of the German companies. Additionally, given the company's headquarters in Brussels and Paris, the sale of coal-fired power plants was subject to French labor law and the co-determination of the European Works Council.

Merger & Acquisition

Another focal point of my work was project management with a focus on Merger & Acquisitions (M&A). M&A involves the merger or acquisition of companies or company shares. Initially, the client conducted a "Market Sounding" to assess various bidders. As an external Head of Human Resources, I managed the establishment of data rooms, as well as "Question & Answers" in the sales process. Later tasks included preparing for the "Signing," supporting the deal team, and preparing for the "Closing" and "Day One" for the buyer.


As part of the sale of the German coal-fired power plants, the client transferred substantial pension obligations to the new buyer. In this context, I collaborated with experts in company pensions to create an "Executive Summary," enabling the buyer to self-manage the pension plans in the future.


The Success Record

The contributions I made as Interim Head of HR in this project went beyond the daily HR operations: it required flexibility for nationwide deployment, experience with diverse companies to understand the complex processes in the organization, tact in dealing with works councils, and detailed expertise in M&A. This allowed for the successful implementation of the energy transition and the adjustment of personnel structures to the new conditions.

Further information:

  • My Services: HR Management

  • My Services: Merger & Acquisition

  • My Services: Labour Relations

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