HP announced that Michael D. Capellas will be leaving his post as president of the company and as a member of the HP board of directors to pursue other career opportunities.

"We've reached a natural transition point. Michael made a commitment to see the merger through, and now thanks to the hard work of the entire team, we are meeting or exceeding all of our integration targets," said Carly Fiorina, HP chairman and chief executive officer. "Michael and I have been friends and peers since long before the merger. I fully support this decision and appreciate the dedication and passion he brought to our joint endeavor. On behalf of the board, management team and employees, I want to thank Michael for his many contributions to HP," said Fiorina.

"I am proud to have been associated with this company and believe – as I have from the beginning – that HP is redefining the information technology landscape," said Capellas. "I'm comfortable making this move because of the progress of the integration, HP's market momentum and the strength of the management team. I have tremendous respect for Carly and her leadership. I could not be more proud of our accomplishments and I have every confidence in the future success of the company."

The president's position will not be replaced. The operating executives of the company who previously reported to Capellas will now report directly to Fiorina.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Capellas has emerged as a strong candidate for the WorldCom executive position, even though he has yet to meet three members of the board of directors that must approve hiring him. The troubled communications company has been searching for a new leader since September, when the current chief executive John Sidgemore agreed to step down under pressure from the company’s creditors.

WorldCom’s potential gain is Hewlett-Packard’s loss. During his tenure at Compaq, Capellas won praise for restructuring a company that had been hit by a changing computer marketplace.

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