Capellas will also take chairman's job at WorldCom –

Former Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) President Michael Capellas may take over the posts of both chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of WorldCom Inc., as the bankrupt telecommunications giant moves to purge itself of its scandal-tainted leadership, according to a new report published Wednesday.

Capellas, who resigned from HP Monday, has already been informally approved as WorldCom's new CEO and may also be tapped as chairman during a meeting of WorldCom's creditors committee scheduled for Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported in its online edition.

Current WorldCom Chairman Bert C. Roberts Jr. has reportedly agreed to relinquish the post and will receive ample compensation for his work at the beleaguered telecom firm.

According to Journal sources, Capellas, 48, has been chosen to take over the position of WorldCom CEO from John Sidgmore as the company strives to rid itself of its tarnished image and instill new leadership. WorldCom has been involved in what some have labelled the biggest corporate scandal in U.S. history, artificially inflating its revenue to prop up its stock price. The company has since filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and owes its creditors some US$40 billion.

Although Roberts publically denounced the company's misdeeds, the creditors have said that he too must go, according to the report.

Capellas, who served as head of Compaq Computer Corp. before its merger with HP earlier this year, could be looking at an annual salary of $1 million to $1.5 million to take over the scandal-plagued company, according to the report. Additionally, he could get the same amount in both a signing bonus and a targeted annual bonus.

The Journal speculated that more board members of the Clinton, Mississippi, company could be ejected as its attempts to revitalize itself.

WorldCom representatives were not immediately available to comment on the reports Wednesday.

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