It's a waiting play.
The ancient cliques hunker down, anticipating failure of the new effort. The recent staff, hampered by this decision, have no choice but to await outcome of the inevitable crisis. Nothing gets done. All rests on the ego of the ego-driven COO.
There's a difference. The ancient cliques care about the battle, in part because they live in a backwater city where it's tough to find jobs, in part because this is what they know and it's not clear what other company would value their experience. The new staff couldn't give a rat's.
The waiting will end soon. Something's gotta give.