These past few weeks have seen shifts of titanic proportions in the business world that will have lasting impacts still felt long after you, I, or anyone else under this dome finally punches out. The eleventh hour acquisition of the sinking manufacturing and robotics megacorp Shinohara Heavy Industries, by Skywatch Orbital Research will officially make the newly formed Planetary Resources Incorporated capable of utilizing its own manufacturing and distribution networks to actualize the projects the original research and development megacorp--Skywatch--was stuck farming out to other corporations.
This lack of external reliance slingshots PRI right up into the biggest of the big leagues, allowing them to undertake any number of projects one hundred percent in-house.
What's that mean to the everyday citizen? Mia Tanoko, one of the newly appointed public relations representatives for PRI stationed here in WIthmore, had some things to say on the subject when I called her up.
M.T.: "We're looking at a brighter future, if you'll pardon me trotting out the tired sayings. All of the research potential of Skywatch coupled with Shinohara's resources to build it? Humanity as a whole should be expecting some big changes in the coming decades, that's for sure."
H.: "You mean aside from the fact that we'll have space rocks playing musical chairs as our second moon?"
M.T.: "*laughter* The SAFE fleet - yes, it was intentionally called SAFE, you can all stop asking - is definitely the crown jewel in PRI's brand new portfolio, but if you look at the kinds of things Skywatch and SHI have done independently before today, you'll realize there's some very big potential now that we've joined forces."
H.: "Things that you're not prepared to talk about yet, I understand. Now, many people have pointed out that mergers of this scale usually take months, if not a couple of years, to come together. What prompted the shotgun wedding?"
M.T.: "Our partners on the project were sinking fast, is what. At the time, we at Skywatch didn't want the corporation to be susceptible to an internal takeover or be forced to start selling assets, anything that could have jeopardized the success of the mission or resulted in our people being stranded in deep space. When you see something like this, and you have the means to do something about it, well� Skywatch did the right thing. We kept them alive."
H.: "And what about the leadership? With mergers like this, surely some people won't be seeing it as 'the right thing' when they're being sent home with a pink slip."
M.T.: "*dry laugh* That's a great observation. It's never perfect, but I'd like to think we minimized the negative impact. Of course, former Skywatch leadership assumed controlling roles in top positions. Tabitha Swift is the CEO, just as she was at Skywatch. We of course had to do some internal housekeeping after that unfortunate business with the hostages, but I'd like to think we didn't have to shake things up too hard for it all to fall into place. I won't get into the nitty gritty, but it's safe to say that around ninety percent of the people who had a job with SHI found themselves with jobs when the ink on the merger dried."
Tanoko concluded the interview by stating that the effects of the merger will probably not be immediately noticeable, with changes slowly being rolled out as departments on both sides adjust to the new lay of the land. She stated while they do consider them important, things like rebranding old merchandise, refurnishing the local office and even deciding what to do with Shinohara's deathball team are currently taking a backseat to the completion of the SAFE fleet's second phase.
"I can't tell you when it'll be done," she said in parting. "But you'll know it when you see it, we'll have a second moon."
What kind of effects did the events of the SAFE fleet have on people already living in space? Check the Globe over the coming days for interviews with residents of FreeSky, members of the Peacekeeper forces and more.
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