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Capellas named CEO of First Data

Former MCI and Compaq chief lands on his feet

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Former MCI and Compaq chief Michael Capellas has been tapped as CEO of credit card transaction processor First Data Corp. after the the company is acquired by affiliates of a private equity firm.

The seasoned company head and golden parachute collector will succeed Henry Duques, who has been chairman and CEO of First Data since November 2005. Durques had previously announced his intentions to retire within two years in late 2005.

Private investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. announced in April its intentions to buy First Data for $27bn. KKR had offered $34 per share for First Data, which was a premium of about 26 per cent over the company's closing price the day before the acquisition was announced. First Data stock sold for $32.93 in trading Tuesday.

The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2007, which is when Capellas will take the reins. First Data said Capellas will be working closely with their management team prior to the buy-out's completion.

Capellas made his way up the executive ladder in various technology companies before landing a gig as CEO at Compaq. After Compaq was borged by HP, Capella became president of the combined company for a few months before splitting to head MCI. When MCI joined with Verizonn, Capellas left the CEO post yet again and joined investment firm Silver Lake Partners as a senior advisor.

Will he stay at First Data? It's hard to tell with a ramblin' man like Capellas.

Denver-based First Data was formed in 1971, and became publicly traded in 1992 when it was spun off by American Express. The company says it serves over 5 million merchant locations and 1,900 credit card issuers and their customers. ®

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