As part of its integration plans with Compaq, Digital will lay off about 15,000 employees. A source close to the situation said the massive layoffs will occur relatively quickly rather than be spread out over a period of months.
Digital will hold a shareholder's meeting on June 11, at which time approval of the merger is expected.
Compaq CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer is expected to spell out the details of the merger, including product strategy and who stays and who goes, in his PC Expo keynote speech the following week.
Compaq spokesman Jim Finlaw declined to comment, except to say "strategy and plans will be articulated [shortly] after the deal is closed.''
Digital employees working the booth at NetWorld+Interop in the US tried to put a good face on the bad news. One employee said: "That's what we've been hearing all along. It's reality. But I want to be positive. [The new company] needs networking." Another, an 18-year veteran of the company, said: "It's bittersweet, especially if you've been here a long time. We just have to get through this. There's a lot positive about this, and I look forward to the new company."