John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Doin' the Curly Shuffle

fiorina_capellas.jpgMichael was moody and inconsistent. He could agree to something on one day and object strenuously the next. … He could be charming and focused. He could be depressed and disengaged. He could be rude and abusive.

“… I told H-P’s board in midsummer [2001] that our biggest problem with integration would be Michael. I said that I would work hard to make him successful, but that we’d need to be prepared to move him out of the company within a year.

“… I concluded one of those conversations by saying ‘Michael is like the little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead. When he’s good, he’s very, very good, and when he’s bad, he’s horrid.’ “

–Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina on former Compaq Chief Executive Michael Capellas in her book, “Tough Choices”

capellas_laugh.jpgIf First Data’s board of directors owns a copy of Fiorina’s memoir, they clearly don’t lend much credence to her withering assessment of Michael Capellas. Because this morning, the Denver-based transaction processor said it will name him as CEO following completion of the acquisition of the company by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Capellas will succeed Henry “Ric” Duques, who came back to the company in 2005 to oversee its reorganization.

Sharp guy, Capellas. When he left H-P in 2002, he received $14.4 million in severance, plus a $1.9 million incentive payment and $9.6 million to cover his taxes on the payments. When he took over at MCI, he nabbed a $2 million signing bonus. And when he left, he trousered a $39.2 million payout–$11.3 million for three years’ worth of salary and bonus; $18.5 million from a previously disclosed restricted stock grant; and $9.4 million in payments to cover the taxes on his exit package, according to an MCI proxy statement.

As ZDNet’s Larry Dignan notes, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to chart Capellas’s next moves. They’ll look like this:

  • Capellas becomes CEO at First Data and gets hooked up with a sweet compensation package (there are no griping shareholders in private equity);
  • First Data goes public again (after all, that’s how KKR will cash out);
  • Capellas stays as CEO and perhaps sells First Data to another firm.

Sounds like a plan. All that’s missing is a step in which he pens the 3,390-word memo about how he’s going to “transform [First Data], and do it over the next 180 days.”


Twitter’s Tanking

December 30, 2013 at 6:49 am PT

2013 Was a Good Year for Chromebooks

December 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm PT

BlackBerry Pulls Latest Twitter for BB10 Update

December 29, 2013 at 5:58 am PT

Apple CEO Tim Cook Made $4.25 Million This Year

December 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm PT

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik