Hewlett-Packard Co. late yesterday named 150 senior managers who will assume leadership roles in the company following its proposed $19 billion buyout of Compaq Computer Corp.
HP is moving ahead with plans to merge the two large computer makers even though the outcome of a crucial vote by its own shareholders has yet to be determined. Although HP has declared it won the close vote based on its preliminary estimates, the ballots have yet to be counted and certified by IVS Associates Inc., the proxy company hired to oversee the election.
A lawsuit filed by Walter Hewlett last week poses another potential stumbling block to the merger. Hewlett, an HP director who led a five-month proxy fight against the deal, has accused the company of illegally pressuring a major shareholder to vote in favor of the merger.
Hewlett is asking the Delaware Chancery Court to reject the "tainted" votes by Deutsche Asset Management, one of HPs largest shareholders, which some speculate could alter the outcome of the close election.
HP has denounced the charges as baseless and without merit, and Monday asked the court to throw out the suit.
Amid the months-long proxy fight over the controversial merger, a growing team of HP and Compaq executives has worked behind the scenes ironing out strategies for melding the two large companies should the deal go through.
Initially, about 400 HP and Compaq employees were assigned to work on secret integration plans full-time, but that number has since grown to more than 1,200 as the possible completion of the deal draws near. The executives responsible for overseeing integration efforts are Webb McKinney, president of HPs Business Customer Organization, and Jeff Clarke, Compaqs chief financial officer.
HP Chairman Carly Fiorina has said she is determined to "hit the ground running" once the deal is closed, and last month disclosed that the companys integration team has already determined product road maps covering all of the merged companys offerings for the next three years.
Last week, Fiorina and Compaq Chairman Michael Capellas, who will serve as president of the merged company, told employees in an internal memo that they hope to complete the deal late this month or by early next month.
The 150 senior managers named yesterday include experienced executives from both companies.
The appointments have been anxiously awaited by not only employees of the two companies, but also by major corporate customers who have been seeking to find out whether they will continue to work with executives within HP and Compaq theyve dealt with previously, or whether the merger will break established ties and force them to build new ones.
For the names and areas of responsibility for the senior managers designated to key positions within the new HPs four business groups and in the companys global corporate functions, click here.