Michael Capellas has landed

Michael Capellas has landed

Summary: Michael Capellas, former CEO of Compaq and MCI (formerly Worldcom), has landed at First Data Corp. First Data Corp.


Michael Capellas, former CEO of Compaq and MCI (formerly Worldcom), has landed at First Data Corp.

First Data Corp. is an e-commerce payment company that you probably run into every day via services as the STAR ATM network, TeleCheck and various back-end commerce systems. The company is also being bought out by private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

Capellas will succeed Henry C. Duques who has been First Data CEO since November 2005.

With the move First Data lands a first-rate CEO and Capellas gets a plum private equity gig. Let's chart Capellas' career quickly:

  • Capellas runs Compaq then sells to Hewlett-Packard;
  • Capellas takes the reins at MCI does a bang-up job of fixing the Worldcom disaster and then sells to Verizon for a nice premium.

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out the next moves. It'll look like this:

  • Capellas becomes CEO at First Data and gets hooked up with a sweet compensation package (there are not griping shareholders in private equity);
  • First Data goes public again (after all that's how KKR will cash out);
  • Capellas stays CEO and perhaps sells First Data to another firm.

That's not a bad blueprint at all for a guy that used to be a chief information officer.

In a statement Capellas said:

"I look forward to joining First Data at this pivotal time and believe the company is uniquely positioned to pioneer innovative technologies for the next-generation of electronic and mobile commerce around the world."

First Data's track record backs his statement up. First Data is likely to be Capellas’ best gig when it comes to assets to manage.

Topic: CXO

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  • Capellas always lands on somebody

    If Capellas does for First Data what he did for MCI, we can expect him to earn a hefty multi-million-dollar bonus for selling out the company and arranging for long-term employees to lose their jobs. Luckily, I'm not bitter.
  • Michael Comesellus

    This guy is good at one thing: Fattening up the cows and making the best deal with the slaughterhouse. He failed miserably at Compaq from an operational standpoint. If he didn't pull off the merger with HP, he'd be remembered as just another failed CEO (and probbaly would have set back CIO advancement for years to come).

    I don't understand why Comesellus is being brought in to First Data. They're already going private. What KKR needs right now is an operations guy -- somebody who can actually run the company efficiently. They don't need Michael to make deals (that's what KKR does for a living -- they don't outside help).