Compaq OKs Merger By a Wide Margin
Compaq CEO Michael Capellas said in a conference call that shareholders appeared to have voted 9-to-1 in favor of the merger of Compaq and HP. He is already looking forward to when the “heavy lifting” of putting the two companies together will begin. Once the deal is closed, the combined company will reveal its product plans to the world, explain the new corporate structure and assign sales and technical contacts to customers, and reveal, at least internally, financial targets.
The result comes a day after HP shareholders voted on the merger. HP CEO Carly Fiorina claimed victory in that contest, although merger opponent Walter Hewlett has not conceded defeat.
Analysts and computer resellers have predicted that HP will phase out its own business PCs, handhelds and Intel-based servers, among other products, and adopt Compaq’s. Capellas’ statements indicated that the Compaq products adopted by HP will continue to carry the Compaq name, and will not be rechristened as HP products. HP executives said last week that the company has embraced an “adopt and go” strategy under which it will pick up one product line–commercial PCs, for example–from one of the companies and drop the other. The management team and engineers behind those products will also largely continue to work at the combined company, HP executives said.
That last statement is particularly significant. Rather than attempting to merge two lines of similar products or even use some of the technologies of one company’s line to improve the other, it appears as though current lines will be kept intact or wholly discarded in the merger process. If true, we’ll likely see a Jornada or an iPAQ in the future rather than a jPAQ or iNADA.