Compaq names CEO Michael Capellas as chairman

By : |September 29, 2000 0

NEW YORK: Compaq Computer Corp., the world’s No. 1 personal computer maker, said on Thursday it named its president and chief executive Michael Capellas to the additional post of chairman. Capellas, 46, has been president and CEO since July 1999, and is credited on Wall Street with a turnaround-in-progress as the company tries to rev sales and gear itself for the Web.

“Where we are right now is that we’ve done a good job of getting the operational foundation in and re-energising the work force,” Capellas said in a telephone interview. “Now we’ve got to focus on top line growth and take that into strong double-digit growth in all the markets we are in.”

He reiterated that he believes Compaq could see double-digit sales growth in the second half, but indicated that growth would likely come in the fourth quarter. “I think we’ll be in double-digit growth in the second half,” he said, but declining to comment on the current third quarter.

Apple Computer Inc. said late Thursday its current fourth quarter earnings would fall far short of expectations because of weak sales during September. Capellas said he did see a cooling of sales of traditional desktop PCs, with demand shifting more toward Internet devices and appliances, such as its own Pocket PC handheld computer.

“In traditional desktops, we are seeing some slowdown. But what what we are seeing is a shift to wireless handheld devices and gaming-type devices.” Capellas, who appeared on the front page of Business Week last month with a guitar in a Bruce Springsteen pose, rose up through the ranks of Compaq, from chief information officer to chief operating officer, before being named to the more senior posts. The appointment is effective immediately, Compaq said in a statement.

Capellas succeeds Benjamin Rosen, 67, who is retiring from the board after 18 years. He was named chairman emeritus, an honorary title. Rosen was an initial backer of Compaq, who saw the promise of the first portable computer design sketched by Compaq founders on the back of a paper placemat from the House of Pies in Houston.

“Michael’s appointment is a natural and appropriate step for Compaq at this moment in our history,” Rosen said. “After almost two decades as chairman of the board, I have complete confidence in Michael to lead Compaq during the next great phase of the company’s growth and global expansion.

The announcement came after the close of trade. Compaq shares closed up $1.52 at $30.67 on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday.

(C) Reuters Limited 2000.

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