A few years ago, while I was still working at AV, a friend of mine from dancing lost his job. He was actually an executive of a tech company that went out of business when the dot-com bubble burst. It took him over two years to find a job. His job search consisted solely of executive-level positions (VP, CEO, CTO, etc.). When I asked him if he would consider taking a non-executive position, he said no. His reasons were that no one would hire him as a non-executive, since he'd been an executive for many years, and that after not being an engineer for so long, he didn't have the hands-on knowledge that others did. Eventually, he did find a VP position, where he's been for a couple of years.
This reminds me of a remark made by Mr. Bills shortly after Overture bought AV. He thought Jim Barnett would not remain at Overture after the acquisition, because "CEOs generally don't report to CEOs." There are counterexamples of this, where acquired companies are wholly-owned subsidiaries, and their management is left intact. However, JB did leave eventually.