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Plunkett also observed that top management used the challenges the acquisition faced, including
the proxy fight, as a kind of rallying call. He said that because they had an “outside enemy to
fight” the two teams started very early on to work together as one team.
Appointing the Integration Leaders
In August 2001, a month before the acquisition was announced, Fiorina and Capellas each
selected an executive from their respective companies to co-lead the integration effort. Fiorina
chose Harry “Webb” McKinney, a longtime HP veteran who ran worldwide sales and marketing
for enterprise accounts. Capellas selected Jeff Clarke, at that time Compaq's chief financial
McKinney and Clarke in turn assembled a 30-person integration team and set out to create and
execute a plan to blend a single company out of two longtime rivals. The two worked together
so closely that HP and Compaq employees referred to the executives collectively as “Weff.”
Ann Baskins, senior vice president and general counsel, pointed out that for antitrust reasons,
companies are allowed to plan for the integration, but cannot integrate until they have clearance.
She said that, consequently, Fiorina early on decided to leave the legal function out of the
integration planning. She wanted to make sure that the legal teams of each company would
continue to represent only their company during the time that the merger was waiting to get
clearance. But each legal team served up a lawyer to act as counsel to their respective member of
the “Weff” team.
Jeff Clarke, who became HP’s executive vice president, Global Operations, himself a former
employee of Compaq-acquiree Digital Computer Corporation (DEC), was in a good position to
compare this merger with other similar technology mergers. Clarke said consolidation drove the
HP-Compaq merger and pointed to similar mergers in the past: “If you looked at what [former
IBM chairman and CEO] Louis Gerstner had done at IBM, it was clearly significant at
consolidation. In fact at Digital, signifi...
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This document was uploaded on 02/16/2014 for the course MGMT 237 at UPenn.
- Spring '14