HPs Clarke Resigns

Executive Vice President Jeffrey Clarke, former Compaq CFO and a key figure in the HP-Compaq merger, has resigned, effective immediately.

Jeffrey Clarke, the former chief financial officer for Compaq Computer Corp. and a key figure in the companys integration into Hewlett-Packard Co., resigned from his post as executive vice president of global operations at HP, the company announced on Tuesday.

HP officials declined further comment on the resignation, other than to say in a statement that it was effective immediately and that it was "mutually agreed to and was appropriate."

During HPs controversial $19 billion purchase of Compaq, Clarke and Webb McKinney, president of HPs Business Customer Organization at the time, led the integration planning team. It was that group that mapped out what the new HP would look like, including which products it would adopt from Compaq and HP and which ones it would let go.

Clarke also was called to testify in April 2002, when then-HP director and one of the founders heirs, Walter Hewlett, went to court to try to block the Compaq acquisition. During his testimony, Clarke said that the financial goals put forward by HP, of Palo Alto, Calif., for the company after absorbing Compaq were not only attainable but probably would be exceeded.

Hewletts lawyers questioned Clarke on a memo that he had sent to then-Compaq CEO Michael Capellas in March 2002 in which Clarke said, "It is ugly. Both companies are deteriorating." Clarke testified that the note was a snapshot of his frustration at the time, but that he fully supported the acquisition.

Since then, Clarke has been a vocal supporter of the post-merger HP.

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