Compaq has shocked the stock markets and the IT industry by removing its chief executive, Eckhard Pfeiffer, over the weekend.
Although a news release said Pfeiffer had resigned, it is understood that the Board of Directors asked Pfeiffer to tender his resignation. Chief financial officer Earl Mason has also resigned, following a meeting with the Board.
Chairman Benjamin Rosen and directors and vice chairmen Frank Doyle and Robert Ted Enloe will take over the chief executive role while the search for a replacement takes place.
"Compaq has the best team anywhere in the industry - we have the people necessary to make the right changes that will reinforce our industry leadership. We have re-energized this company before, and working together, we will do it again," said Rosen in a statement.
"We will prove to every customer that this is the best company to serve their information technology needs. And we will confirm to our investors that Compaq remains a core holding in any portfolio," he added.
Last week at the company's biennial customer conference in Houston, observers noted that Pfeiffer seemed uninvolved and non commital. Analysts also concluded that after a mediocre performance by senior executives, major changes were needed at the top. The Compaq Board of Directors clearly took this criticism to heart.
Pfeiffer had been chief executive for about eight years, presiding over many years of very strong growth.
However, poor sales performance, the slow integration of the Digital acquisition and recent insider share selling scandals connected to many senior executives, are believed to have stacked up against him.
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