Feeds

Updated: Pfeiffer ousted in Compaq shakeup

And CFO Earl Mason heads for the hills

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Compaq CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer has fallen on his sword. He resigned today, along with CFO Earl Mason. Chairman Ben Rosen will look after the shop along with vice chairmen Frank Doyle and Robert Ted Enloe - until a new CEO comes on board. Pfeiffer's departure looks like palace coup: remember, he got the job in the first place by persuading Rosen to dismiss Compaq founder Rod Canion in 1991. Pfeiffer clearly lost the confidence of Rosen, the man who supplied the initial venture capital for Compaq and who -- it is now clear -- remains the most important man in the company. With Rosen's backing, Pfeiffer could have toughed out the recent bad press and share performance, following a spectacularly inept handling of the company's recent bad quarter. But -- and its a big but -- Rosen has been dissatisfied with Compaq's financial performance for two years, according to the Financial Times. Rosen thinks the company's strategy remains sound -- unlike in 1991 when he sacked Canion. But execution is poor. This is somewhat ironic, considering Pfeiffer was never known for the Vision Thing. Pfeiffer was promoted to the top to re-engineer Compaq as a leaner, more efficient company. Under Canion, the company had grown fat and flabby - and expected customers to pay up to three times more for Compaq PCs than from equivalent models from new competitors. Compaq is fat and flabby again -- despite Pfeiffer's much vaunted obsession with supply chain management. Too much management energy has been spent on the Digital takeover -- and the company is paying the price for its introspection. Compaq is also paying the price for its dependence on the channel. In the early eighties, this was the secret of its success. In the Internet-savvy late nineties, the channel is becoming a millstone round its neck. We expect the new CEO -- whoever he or she is -- will accelerate the transition to a direct-mainly product sales strategy. The new boss/Rosen lackey will have a tough brief to follow: "I hope never again to issue a profit warning," Rosen says. Rosen will unveil the company's Q1 results in all their gory detail on Wednesday. For last week's profit warning, Mason is also walking the plank. Although the timing could just be co-incidental. Mason is off to be a CEO in another company outside the sector, Compaq says, so he has had his escape route planned for some time. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.