Today I have the unfortunate task of announcing that the acquisition of Livingston Communications will not be taking place as planned.

The next question, is, of course – why? Frankly, it’s cultural. We dotted our i’s, crossed our t‘s and started working together as a team while the lawyers finished up the paperwork. It was during this time that Geoff and I both realized that, while similar, our organizations and management styles were very different, and that integration would not be in the best interests of both firms. I have the utmost respect of Geoff and his team, which is why it was so important for us to make this tough decision now rather than later, when the stakes would be so much higher.

There was a lot of excitement around news of the prospective merger, and there will likely be a lot more around the fact that it isn’t happening. We could have quietly avoided the fallout of the decision not to proceed with the partnership and ridden the early publicity, but we both figure it’s better to do the right thing for our businesses, be transparent about it, and move on.

To everyone who lauded the evolution of the industry and joined us in our exuberance, thank you so much for your support, and we’re sorry to disappoint. However, our decision not to proceed is in no way a reflection on the health or viability of social media as an industry – it’s simply about doing the right thing for everyone involved, and being honest about it.

Geoff has also put up a vlog post about today’s announcement, you can check it out here.

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21 Comments

  1. While I’m sorry that two very intelligent and good people I know won’t be working together, I applaud the courage exhibited in this decision and the public grace in which it is being handled.

  2. Wow! Color me insanely impressed. While I am bummed that this did not come to fruition, I am utterly impressed that the clear minded approach and looking at reality of things down the road prevailed.

    Far too often differences and difficulties are foreseen in the early stages of two companies joining and they are discounted and move forward anyway. The joined company often has difficulties and never quite reaches the value that a combined value should have. Sometimes the combinations take many years to realize their combined value, but for smaller organizations that is a long painful time.

    I have complete and increased respect for both organizations due to this (I did not think my respect could increase, but it has).

    Sorry and congratulations!

  3. Maggie, a decision like this takes guts. Kudos to you for being a strong decision-maker.

  4. thanks for the open and valid message.

  5. Maggie, I think you and Geoff really have set the bar on how to communicate openly, with tact and good will in what must be a disappointing situation. I wish SMG and Livingston Communications the best success in whatever you do.

  6. Maggie, Sorry things didn’t work out for SMG and Livingston. Your courage never ceases to amaze me. I’ll bet most of the buzz around this announcement will be focused on your exemplary transparency and professionalism in what must have been a very tough business decision.

  7. It takes real leaders to know when not to move forward. Props to both of you that you were able to identify it early on and keep us all in the loop in a transparent (and very social media-ish) way. Best wishes going forward.

  8. Briefly, and with love, the move made sense, the breakup makes sense, and the classy blog post explaining it all makes sense.

    Tons of love, and I know you’ll both still make great things happen in the space in your own way.

  9. One of the few examples of foresight being 20/20. If only all of us had the guts to call off relationships that we know in our hearts just won’t work.

  10. Meryl Steinberg

    Proves that Truth & Transparency doesn’t mean needing to air the juicy details. Ability to admit it wasn’t the right thing to do after all and withdraw with grace is an art we need to master if we are to make the world a better place. Good to see people can appreciate that. All the best to both you & Geoff.

  11. Thanks to everyone for their comments – onward and upward!

  12. Practice what you preach; well done for the honesty and showing your clients how to communicate even when its not an enjoyable message.

    I would have been saddened if you had NOT written this post!!

  13. You know, you guys did this in such an amazing way that it’s going to be the hallmark folks refer back to when figuring out how to step aside and make the right choice for both companies!

    Kudos.

  14. Maggie (and Geoff),

    I’ve been through similar discussions in my past and had deals that I was 100% sure would go through, but it so often comes down to different ideas of what being successful looks like. Good people with different ideas.

    I’m sure it was hard for you both. But well handled.

    ~Jim

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