Life of the company | - Total in France, Total in Russia

With the merger, I experienced a quantum leap which I had not taken the measure

3 questions ... about your feeling on the mergers TOTAL FINA ELF ...

How did you learn about mergers?

I was at EP Total side as an operations geologist. When the first merger with Fina was announced, I was going on a drilling in Iranian waters. We talked a lot with the colleagues on the rig, and we knew that "something" was going to happen.

The second merger - the one with Elf - I learned it in completely different circumstances. I was on vacation, having a barbecue, when I heard the news on the radio ... I was surprised because, like most of us, I was expecting a rapprochement with a foreign competitor. So the news of this merger was unexpected, but reassuring. I told myself that if we were between French, we would escape the Anglo-Saxon fusion methods where the treatment of the staff was, let’s say ... brutal, with a lot of dismissals.


How did you experience the merger on a daily basis?

As a rotational worker spending 4 weeks on a rig, then 4 weeks on leave, I felt a little outside what was going on at headquarters in terms of reorganization, especially at the administrative level. I chained on expatriations, continuing to look at the merger of quite far because, in the subsidiaries, the effects reached us quite attenuated. And then, the world of French geologists destined for EP is quite small, with my colleagues Elf, we knew each other pretty well since the time of our studies. So the mix was easy, and even pleasant. I would add that, given the size of the new structure, the merger took place with astonishing speed. We quickly found a "normal" operation in everyday life.


How did you find your marksin the new Total?

In fact, I was worried that the arrival of new people using different methods and tools would be problematic, which turned out not to be the case. On the other hand, the change of scale between the Total before the mergers and Major Total-Fina-Elf was not easy to manage. Total was basically a small business, where even the president remained accessible. In the merged entity, on the other hand, I found myself in the middle of a very big company where the leaders were very far away, to the point of having difficulty to know who did what in the headquarters ... I lived a quantum leap which I had not taken the measure. And I had to develop, from the subsidiaries where I lived expatriate, a real policy of contacts to manage my career!

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