HP, Compaq Claim Merger Victory
Both Hewlett-Packard and Compaq have claimed victory in votes which took place this week that were to decide the outcome of a proposed marriage of the companies. Compaq CEO Michael Capellas said Wednesday shareholders overwhelmingly approved the merger by a 9-to-1 margin.
Although HP's vote was much closer, HP CEO Carly Fiorina claimed victory Tuesday despite merger opponent Walter Hewlett's assertion that an initial count was too close to call. A final tally of HP's 900,000 shareholders could take weeks, with a final approval expected to arrive in April.
"The intense debate throughout this contest has raised important issues, and prepared us even more fully for the integration and marketplace challenges that lie ahead," Fiorina wrote in an e-mail to HP employees after the vote. Fiorina was booed several times by opponents as she spoke during the vote.
After the merger goes through, 15,000 employees are expected to be laid off to support a $2.5 billion operating budget cut.