Revealed! The secret memos that ignited the HP/Compaq merger

Lunch? Sure!

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

We can exclusively bring you the email correspondence that sparked the merger talks between Hewlett Packard and Compaq. Analysts have been puzzling how this unlikely pairing took place.

Now we can explain how the two industry giants embarked on their discussions, amidst great secrecy, earlier this summer:-

It began with an exploratory foray from the HP Chief Executive:-

From: "FIORINA, CARLY (HP-Cupertino)" <carly.fiorina@hp.com>
To: "thedon@compaq.com"
Subject: Merger template
Date: 28 July 2001
Attachment: Merger template.DOC

Hi! How are you?

I send you this file in order to have your advice!

See you later. Thanks

This produced a swift response from her Compaq counterpart:-

From: "Michael D. Capellas" <thedon@compaq.com>
To: "FIORINA, CARLY (HP-Cupertino)" <carly.fiorina@hp.com>
Subject: re: Merger template
Date: 31 July 2001


I'm surprised and delighted by your informal approach.

You'll recall that I mailed you back in March when I offered you the Alpha rights again. I wasn't hurt that you didn't reply. Scott still wasn't interested so Craig sent some people to work on a technology transfer. Which is great - I never could understand that junk.

I'm tremendously interested in a deal. We can get our people and your people to work out specifics.


Talks progressed swiftly, with the broad areas of the merger rapidly agreed upon. The details would - as Capellas indicated - be left to hand-picked executive teams later in the negotiations:-

From: "FIORINA, CARLY (HP-Cupertino)" <carly.fiorina@hp.com>
To: "Michael D Capellas" <thedon@compaq.com>
Subject: RE: re: Merger template
Date: 31 July 2001

OUT OF OFFICE REPLY --------------------------------

I'm out of the office this week.

My [@MACRO, INSERT=important] aides have alerted me to your email and [@MACRO, INSERT=vip] I think we should definitely [@MACRO, MARKUP=bold] get together at the earliest opportunity.

Carly Fiorina
Chief Executive Office
Hewlett Packard

From: "Michael D Capellas" <thedon@compaq.com>
To: >"FIORINA, CARLY (HP-Cupertino)" <carly.fiorina@hp.com>
Subject: Re: RE: re: Merger template
Date: 6 August 2001

Rock and Roll!

Let's get this sewn up right away. You know, we had a saying at Schlumberger - but I can't remember what it was. Something about logs, or grease. Whatever.

This a great opportunity. Let's not waste it.


And with that, the wheels were set in motion on the biggest IT merger of our times.

(On the other hand, if anyone has a more plausible explanation, we haven't yet heard it). ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys
Little men straddle LOHAN, attend tiny G20 Summit... ah, sweet memories...
Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
Not exactly attractive to the Israeli tourist demographic
Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest
New minifigs like Monster Fighters are turning kids to the dark side
Dark SITH LORD 'Darth Vader' joins battle to rule, er, Ukraine
Only I can 'make an empire out of a republic' intones presidential candidate
Chinese company counters pollution by importing fresh air
Citizens line up for bags of that sweet, sweet mountain air
Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'
Mountain View is prankin' like it's 1999...
prev story


Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.