The Hewlett-Packard and Compaq Merger: A Case Study in Business Communication

The Hewlett-Packard and Compaq Merger: A Case Study in Business Communication

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Abstract

This case examines the business communication issues surrounding the Hewlett-Packard and Compaq merger. The article focuses on the way in which HP communicated with key groups throughout the merger. On September 5, 2001, Hewlett-Packard announced its agreement to buy Compaq in an all-stock transaction valued at $25 billion. Considering the deal’s size and the poor history of tech mergers, the deal was, from the start, a long shot. Spearheaded by HP chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina, the largest deal in tech sector history was initially met with skepticism by many investors and employees of the two companies. However, the deal’s greatest opposition came when heirs of HP’s founders joined forces in their opposition of the merger. Their disapproval of the deal threatened the actual purchase from even taking place, in addition to threatening the success and future of Fiorina herself.

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