Compaq has named its new president and CEO: Michael Capellas, promoted to the post last week from within the firm's ranks.
The company declined, however, to make any announcement on its expected job cuts, which senior managers have said are necessary to restore Compaq's fortunes (see PC Week, 6 July).
Rob Enderle, an analyst at Giga Information Group, said the task now facing Capellas is "Herculean". The new CEO needs to integrate Digital, strip out any excess costs and move the company to a more direct sales model, he said.
Compaq has been lacking a CEO since the shock ousting of Eckhard Pfeiffer in April. Ben Rosen, Compaq's chairman and founder, who sacked both Pfeiffer and Rod Canion, the firm's original CEO, explained the delay in appointing a successor. "As part of our due diligence, it (was necessary) to look at all the available candidates. We thought from the beginning that Michael was an outstanding candidate, but we really had to look at others," he said.
Rosen added that one of the reasons Capellas was chosen was for his deep understanding of e-commerce, which would be important in the future.
But Capellas said his first task would be to deliver a clear message to customers about the company's capabilities. "We have a tremendous portfolio of products," he said.
He added, however, that more cost-cutting measures would be introduced, particularly in manufacturing.
Capellas was originally appointed as Compaq's chief information officer a year ago, but has been its acting chief operating officer since the beginning of June.
He joined Compaq from Oracle, but also previously worked for SAP.
At 44, Capellas is unusually young to head up one of the world's biggest computer vendors; in this respect he is similar to Carly Fiorina, last week appointed CEO of Hewlett-Packard.
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