Compaq senior executives have denied that chief executive Eckhard Pfeiffer's shock departure this weekend will hurt the company's attention to European customers.
Andreas Barth, general manager and senior vice president of Compaq Europe Middle East and Africa, told VNU Newswire today that there would be no change in the company's strategy for Europe.
"Eckhard understood Europe very well, but he didn't favour the region. He was very much an international executive," claimed Barth.
He added, "I don't think his departure will mean any changes for Europe. I have a European commitment from his replacement, Ben Rosen."
However, analysts have warned that Pfeiffer's sudden departure may damage Compaq's previously strong growth rate in Europe.
Philip Williams, senior analyst at research company Dataquest, commented: "Its good to have a European at the head of a multinational company, that's one of the reasons Compaq has done so well in Europe."
"Ben Rosen, his temporary replacement is an American and an unknown quantity from the PC side of the business. It will be interesting to see whether he'll play to the US stock market and try to curry favour with the US financial analysts," he said.
Peter Lemon, research manager at IDC agreed: "Compaq has done very well in Europe in the past, particularly in Germany, and this had a lot to do with Eckhard. As a result, IBM and Dell have had very limited success in that area," he said.
Barth said that the search for the right CEO could take several months: "In the meantime we have replaced Eckhard with three very knowledgeable senior executives."
He admitted that Compaq's lack of execution of its business strategy had been the main reason behind the management changes.
"Our main strategy is not changing. We have convinced both customers and partners that our aim to become an Internet computing leader is a good one. There have been some doubts over our execution of that and this is why we have made the changes. Now we can speed up our strategy to Internet speed," he concluded.
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