Case Type: organizational behavior; mergers & acquisitions.
Consulting Firm: Deloitte Consulting second round job interview.
Industry Coverage: Computers, Office Equipment; Software, Information Technology.
Case Interview Question #00127: Your client Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ), commonly referred to as HP, is a multinational information technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, USA. One of the world’s largest IT companies, HP specializes in developing and manufacturing computing, data storage, and networking hardware, designing software and delivering services. Major product lines include personal computing devices, enterprise servers, related storage devices, as well as a diverse range of printers, scanners and other office equipment products.
In September 2001, HP announced that an agreement had been reached with Compaq Computer Corporation to merge the two companies. The merger of the two major technology companies forged a team of 140,000 employees with capabilities in 160 countries, doing business in 43 currencies and 15 languages.
Numerous HP shareholders, including Walter Hewlett, publicly opposed the deal, which resulted in an impassioned public proxy battle between those for and against the deal. Contested by key members of the board until the final hours of the transaction, the merger had a media “fishbowl” effect. In addition, myriad rumors regarding layoffs heightened internal anxiety. Your client needed to quickly formulate a strategy to deal with the rumors, stabilize the workforce, and set the
strategic agenda for change.
As a member of the project team – how would you structure an approach for HP’s executives to successfully address the potential issues and realize the full value of the acquisition and merger?