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A year ago: Eckhard Pfeiffer named Man of the Year

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Compaq CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer has been named Man of the Year in an extensive poll carried out by the editors of The Register. Pfeiffer, who bears the same relation to Michelle as The Register does to Time magazine, received the accolade after a high level meeting in the prestigious Nellie Dean of Dean Street where a distinguished panel agreed that he deserved the award for his ability to be flexible in the face of a rapidly changing industry. The jury singled out Pfeiffer's haircut in 1997 for particular merit, showing that he was able to "innovatively use several models" to "put forward a convincing show" that haircuts were part of the total cost of ownership (TCO) paradigm. The panellists also commended Pfeiffer for his cloning efforts during the year. "Dolly the Sheep had nothing on Eckhard," the panellists noted. "He demonstrated that if you wanted something to look exactly the same as another, Compaq, led by Pfeiffer, could do that and do it pretty damn quickly. "Pfeiffer not only cloned PCs," they said, "he also cloned direct channel models, hairstyles, marketing executives, mission statements, the Compaq Houston campus police force and lastly, but not leastly, Presarios." The jury noted that Eckhard had spared 35 minutes of his increasingly precious time to visit Computacenter customers at the Wembley Stadium in London in 1997, flying halfway across the world and back again just to re-iterate the benefits of the NetPC they would come to love. One of the highlights of the year, the panellists added, was that when Pfeiffer was obscured by clouds coming from dry ice at his keynote presentation at Compaq Innovate, his hairstyle was practically untouched. And, at the same venue, in a generous gesture typical of the man, he gave Intel CEO Andy Grove a small model of what appeared to be a Dutch windmill. Pfeiffer came CEO of Compaq after humble beginnings as a senior European executive in the days of Rod Canion. Remorselessly, he delivered speech after speech where the merits of counting beans in different ways eventually made him, rather than Canion, Caesar of Compaq. The Register's managing editor said: "Like his fellow wealth-builders of the digital age, his emission is his product. His hairstyle, like the steam engine, electricity, the assembly line, and going direct, is an advance that propels a new ParadigmShift™." * RegisterWeirdFact: Eckhard, in German legends, appears on the evening of Maundy Thursday to warn all persons to go home, that they may not be injured by the headless bodies and two-legged horses which traverse the streets on that night.

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