The Dust Settles on Hewlett-Packard’s Acquisition of Compaq (April 2002)

April, 2002


Shareholders have voted and the Hewlett-Packard/Compaq merger is a go. HP’s acrimonious takeover of Compaq will long be remembered not only because of its significance to the IT industry but also because of the amount of money involved and the bitter fight between the opposing camps. On one side we had HP’s CEO Carly Fiorina, aided by Compaq’s chairman Michael Capellas, and on the other Walter Hewlett along with other heirs of the HP founders. Fiorina personified the cool, professional manager with her eye strictly on the bottom line, while Hewlett sought to shoot down the merger and then replace Fiorina with someone more in tune with his view of what HP’s business focus should be.