Compaq Computer Corporation was a company founded in 1982, that developed, sold and supported computers and related products and services. Compaq produced some of the first IBM PC compatible computers, being the first company to legally reverse-engineer IBM Personal Computer. It rose to become the largest supplier of PC systems during the 1990s before being overtaken by Dell in 2001. Compaq was acquired for US$25 billion by HP in 2002.
The company was formed by Rod Canion, Jim Harris and Bill Murto — former Texas Instruments senior managers. Murto departed Compaq in 1987, while Canion (President and CEO) and Harris (SVP of Engineering) left under a shakeup in 1991 that saw Eckhard Pfeiffer appointed CEO. Ben Rosen provided the venture capital financing for the fledging company and served as chairman of the board for 18 years from 1983 until September 28, 2000, when he retired and was succeeded by Michael Capellas.
Prior to its takeover the company was headquartered in a facility in Northwest unincorporated Harris County, Texas, United States that now serves as HP’s United States headquarters.