A full back page advertisement in the Wall Street Journal yesterday brought David Woodley Packard back into the battle over Hewlett Packard's (HP's) proposed $25bn merger with Compaq.
Packard, the son of HP co-founder Dave Packard, accused HP of misusing his father's words in company ads aimed at winning shareholder support for the deal.
Under the headline 'There you go again', Packard directly criticised HP chief executive Carly Fiorina for the way in which his father's words were being used to support the merger.
In the text of the Wall Street Journal ad Packard said: "Ms Fiorina, your recent advertisement misappropriates Dave Packard's words 'to remain static is to lose ground'.
"As a professional marketer you know how to enhance your message by invoking the image of an admired person. But my father's quote has no relevance to your argument."
Packard's latest response comes less than a week after HP took out a two-page spread in US national newspapers which argued that founders Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett and would have supported the merger.
While Packard has spoken out against the deal before, it has been Walter Hewlett, the son of HP's other co-founder, who has spearheaded resistance to the deal.
Hewlett is waging a proxy battle to solicit votes against the deal. Combined, the Hewlett and Packard families and their foundation hold roughly 18 per cent of HP's shares.
Supporting the families' resistance, Packard said in his ad that he received 200 letters from HP employees against the deal before receiving a single letter in its favour. He called for a "truly independent survey" of HP employees before progressing further.
Packard also rejected the portrayal of those against the merger, including Hewlett and other former HP executives, as wishing the company to remain static.
Instead he maintained that organic growth focused on genuine innovation and manageable acquisitions would be in the true spirit of the company and his father.
"You recall another of my father's favourite sayings: 'More companies die of indigestion than starvation,' Packard concludes in his ad. "There is now a real danger that HP will die of a broken heart."
Packard, who served on the company's board from 1987 to 1999, refers to himself in the ad as a loyal HP (summer) employee in 1957-9.
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