Compaq's new temporary leadership has told customers and investors that it can "re-energise" the PC maker, in the wake of this weekend's shock resignation of chief executive Eckhard Pfeiffer.
Benjamin Rosen, chairman of the board and one of Compaq's founders, has been appointed acting chief executive. Headhunters have already been appointed to look for a replacement.
In addition to Pfeiffer's departure, chief financial officer Earl Mason also submitted his resignation on Sunday. Both met with the Board on Satruday, with industry observers concluding that they were asked to resign.
Compaq has enlisted board member Frank Doyle and Robert Enloe to assist Rosen with the management of the company.
"We have re-energised this company before, and working together, we will do it again. We will prove to every customer that this is the best company to serve their information technology needs," said Rosen in a statement.
The resignations come after a dreadful few months for Compaq. The company reported disastrous first quarter financial results, with PC sales well down. Compaq blamed competitive pressure from rivals such as Dell and flagging demand for PCs.
But when Intel and Hewlett Packard later claimed that the PC market was alive and well as far as they were concerned, the market started asking questions about Compaq's business. Its share price has taken a battering in the last couple of weeks, falling as low as $23 from recent highs of $46.
But Rosen said there was nothing wrong with Compaq's business direction. "Compaq Computer's market strength and the fundamental correctness of its strategic direction are as clear to me today as at any time in the company's great history," said Rosen.
"We will confirm to our investors that Compaq remains a core holding in any portfolio," he said.
In a parting statement, Pfeiffer expressed confidence in his temporary replacement. "Under Ben's guidance, I know this company will realise its potential, transforming the industry yet again."
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