The brain drain at Compaq took a further twist today when US vide president Ross Cooley, the mastermind behind the company's channel strategy, left to take a job with a little known Internet consulting company. It emerged that a reorganisation ordered by CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer in July was the primary reason for this month's mass exodus of senior executives.
Cooley had worked for Compaq for 12 years and follows a clutch of other senior executives who have recently walked out of the company - he is the fifth in a fortnight. He will be replaced by James Schraith, who was a former president at AST.
When Cooley started at Compaq, there was little or no PC distribution policy. His contribution to the party was to bring ideas about the channel into a market then dominated by IBM?s direct policy. For that reason, he is loved by the biggest distributors like Ingram, Northamber and others because he helped their companies grow.
His replacement by an ex-AST executive will cause consternation in the channel in both the US and abroad.
But the idea that Cooley was integral to Compaq?s plans or that the loss of several other senior executives meant difficulties for the company were dismissed by a Compaq US representative.
She said: "I don?t think one person or another leaving means anything in particular. We have done a lot of developing and divisioning here at Compaq and we?ve created a lot of opportunities. We had a huge reorganisation in July and we?re now in four groups with several divisions. Compaq changed from product lines to solutions."
So far the wave of changes in the US have had little effect here in the UK and Europe, with managing director Joe McNally still firmly at the helm.
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