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Barth retires, as Compaq pushes direct sales

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Compaq today confirmed a huge overhaul, warning plans to split into three parts would mean a third quarter charge against earnings. Direct sales will account for 25 per cent of the PC giant’s PC shipments by the fourth quarter, it said. In Europe, Andreas Barth, has retired as senior V.P. president and general manager for EMEA, replaced by Werner Koepf. The company will be divided into three groups – Enterprise Solutions and Services, PCs and Consumers, as revealed here earlier today -- twice. Our first story here talked about Barth, big time. Ben Rosen, Compaq chairman and acting CEO, said the company realignment would include redundancies across the group, though gave no figures. Speaking in a conference call, Rosen said the end-to-end realignment aimed to reduce time between product development and speed to market. He spoke of Western Europe as a particularly worrying area regarding sales growth. Keopf said his aim was to roll out Compaq’s global strategy in Europe, and rectify the financial situation. There will be a central global sales and marketing group, but each country will have three business group managers reporting to the country manager. Keopf said the company would announce who would be running the business units by 15 July. Keopf said the overall growth rate was slowing in Europe, especially in the UK. "We will bring profitable growth back to this region," he pledged. The rejig followed this morning’s profit warning, where Compaq said it expected a loss of $.15 per share for the second quarter.®

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