Youve been competing against them the decisions were

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Unformatted text preview: nager in France, and so on. And that’s really what built the logic behind the merger and it was part of what we repeatedly attempted to communicate during what turned into the proxy fight. It certainly was our belief that mergers of consolidation tend to be more successful than expansion for the simple reason that the management teams actually understand the businesses they’re in. It was really interesting to sit around the table and do the planning with people who had been in the same industry that you’ve been in for all those years. You’ve been competing against them. The decisions were so easy. We would sit and say well, how many ways have you tried it and how many ways have we tried it, okay, what was the good news and the bad news? We knew the territory and so it really facilitated the decision-making. We were knowledgeable and had all been around long enough to try things various ways and understood the tradeoffs.20 Jeff Clarke pointed to a unique feature of the HP-Compaq merger that he felt was critical to the integration: commitment from the top of the organization, i.e. Fiorina, to dedicate powerful executives to the task of integration and empowering those executives, i.e. McKinney and Clarke, to get the job done. Clarke said: Carly was very intimately involved from the start. And it started at the very front with her decision on who would run the merger. She chose two of the most empowered people in the respective companies—people who already had extensive relationships with the boards and the management teams, and who got things done on a day-to-day basis. Webb McKinney ran the HP sales force, and when you’re running a sales force, you’re talking to the CEO on a regular basis because you need the CEO to get decisions. You’re the most important person delivering the [quarterly results], you’re cross-functional and you’re getting things done formally and informally. The same thing was true in my role as the CFO at Compaq. My job was to execute restructuring and execute the fina...
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