Customers of the former Digital company voiced loud protest this week at the non-appearance of their new chief executive, Eckhard Pfeiffer, at the annual user group event.
Upset users shouted at a panel of Compaq executives that they felt "snubbed" by Pfeiffer's absence at the gathering of 1000's of his new customers.
Pfeiffer was at a board meeting of General Motors where he is a director, as that company attempted to cope with a major reorganisation and recent industrial action by employees. Instead a short video recording was played where Pfeiffer assured attendees their future was safe in his hands.
"There is a large and loyal base of Digital customers. Our success depends on Compaq's ability to satisfy your needs better than any of our competitors," he said.
Jesse Lipcon, vice president of high performance servers, apologised for Pfeiffer and said he had been disappointed not to have been able to attend.
But Decus members were not mollified and called on Lipcon to pass the message to Pfeiffer how much it would have meant to have him attend this first gathering under Compaq's auspices, rather than conveying the idea that he was giving no support to Decus.
Tony Ioele, chairman of Decus US, agreed that some members were upset by Pfeiffer's absence but said he believed Compaq was truly behind the user group and that he believed it would be making significant investments in Decus activities over the next year.
At the European Decus two weeks ago attendees did not even get the Pfeiffer video. Instead, as at the US Decus, John Rose, vice president of enterprise systems gave the keynote.
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