News

Compaq Ousts Eckhard Pfeiffer

Less than a week after hosting thousands of large customers and business partners in Houston at Compaq Computer Corp.'s Innovate Forum conference, Compaq CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer abruptly resigned under pressure from Compaq's board of directors. Also resigning under board pressure was senior vice president and chief financial officer Earl Mason.

Pfeiffer's and Mason's ouster follows an eerie similarity to the sudden departure of Inprise Corp. CEO Del Yocum and Inprise chief financial officer Kathleen Fisher. Both companies are now predicting first-quarter financial results that will be considerably below stock analysts' expectations.

An interim office of the chief executive was formed on the departure of Pfeiffer, and is staffed by chairman Benjamin Rosen and directors and vice chairmen Frank Doyle and Robert Enloe. A founder of Compaq, Rosen is noted for the 1981 sacking of Pfeiffer's predecessor and another founder of Compaq, Rod Canion.

Ben Wells, Compaq treasurer, is currently the acting CFO.

The most recent round of troubles for Pfeiffer became evident when the company shocked the investment community with disappointing preliminary results on April 9. The preliminary results stated the company expects to report a profit of about 15 cents per share. Previous expectations were for the company to produce a profit of 31 cents per share. In the wake of the preliminary results release, stock prices took a hit as investors drove shares down to below $25 per share, less than half of the company's 52-week high -- which occurred only 3 months earlier. Even with the announcement of the resignations, stock prices remained below $25 per share. -- Al Gillen

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

Featured

  • The 2021 Microsoft Product Roadmap

    From Windows 10X to the next generation of Microsoft's application server products, here are the product milestones coming down the pipeline in 2021.

  • The Future of Windows Server Includes Less Frequent Updates

    Microsoft is ending its practice of issuing semiannual channel updates for most Window Server editions, turning instead to long-term servicing channel updates.

  • Notebook

    Microsoft Bolsters Dynamics 365 with Suplari Acquisition

    An acquisition announced by Microsoft on Wednesday promises to bring AI solutions for assessing supply-chain spending to the Dynamics 365 product.

  • Microsoft Announces Positive Q4 Revenue Results of $46.2B

    Microsoft on Tuesday reported $46.2 billion in total revenue during its fiscal-year 2021 Q4 period, up 21% from the same quarter last year.