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NOTE: Since 2009 the title of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (IJEE) has been changed to the title above.  ISSN numbers: IJEE 1649-2269 and IRE 2009-2822

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ISSN Number: 2009-2822. Frequency: 4 Issues per year (online only)  

The HP-Compaq Merger: a Battle for the Heart and Soul of a Company - Only Available in the Printed Hard Copy Version of the Journal

IJEE Vol 1: Issue 3, 2003, Pages 419-454

Author(s): Randel S. Carlock and Elizabeth Florent-Treacy (INSEAD, France)

At first glance Hewlett Packard does not seem to be a family firm. But during the controversial HP-Compaq merger, the founding family's role as the largest shareholder and keeper of the family legacy became a critical factor in the acquisition struggle. The HP-Compaq story is a great example of how the children of two of America's entrepreneurial icons struggled with a well-respected board of directors over a wide range of issues including financial expectations, social responsibility, family legacy, competitive demands and strategic opportunities. This case study illustrates the importance of governance, parallel family and business planning, and a shared vision in organizations in which the founding families still have a large financial and emotional stake. Even after the shareholders approved the merger, the CEO and board faced the challenge of insuring the merger would create economic value. Equally daunting was the challenge of regaining the family's support for their leadership.

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