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Mike, You Lose Something?

George Anders a Wall Street Journal reporter has written a book on Carly Fiorina and the events leading to the merger of HP and Compaq. It illustrates how Carly hoodwinked HP's inept board into thinking the merger was a good idea. Not that difficult with a board that is afraid of its own shadow. But that's not the interesting part.

What was interesting was the jockeying between Fiorina and Michael Capellas, Compaq's former CEO and now head of WorldCom. As you would expect, there was a minor disagreement regarding who would run the merged company. Capellas must have been on drugs because he evidently thought he might actually gain control. Earth to Mikie, HP bought Compaq not the other way around. Check chapter one in Mergers for Dummies and you'll see it's the CEO with the money that gets first dibs on being head honcho.

Capellas, still in his delusional state, made a feeble attempt to pressure Fiorina by suggesting the merger wasn't in Compaq's best interest. That amateurish tactic lasted about a heartbeat before Mike, like a puppy that just relieved itself on the living room couch, came back to the bargaining table.

Here's the best part. When the lawyers needed code names for the paperwork, Carly, whose undergraduate degree is in medieval hsitory, chose Heloise for HP and Abelard for Compaq. I'm sure you're all familiar with these characters. Oh, I forgot, you read the drivel I write not medieval French literature. Well, let me enlighten you. It turns out Abelard was castrated because he ticked off Heloise's family. Capellas, being the astute businessman he is, didn't become aware of the ironic symbolism until September 2002. What a moron. Worse yet, a moron with no balls. Good luck WorldCom.

Carly, I think you're destined to crash and burn but I do admire the way you handled this little episode. Too bad the executives at IBM and Dell aren't missing any body parts.
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