Digital chairman and CEO Bob Palmer has promoted his three most senior vice presidents in a clear bid to reduce the pressure shareholders have put on his own position.
Bruce Clafin, Harry Copperman and John Rando have been promoted from vice president to senior vice presidents running worldwide sales and marketing, products, and services divisions respectively. The promotions make no difference to the manufacturer?s hierarchy or reporting structure.
Some Digital insiders suggested the appointments were cosmetic moves to show that Palmer is delegating responsibility to his executive committee to head off shareholder criticisms, which reached boiling point last week.
Herbert Denton, president of the broker dealer firm Providence Capital, will send a letter to Digital?s board of directors nominating committee, seeking members? support for adding new board members. About 70 of Digital?s biggest shareholders ? representing 40 per cent of the total ? were present at the manufacturer?s shareholder meeting on 18 June.
Digital?s results are due at the end of July and poor figures would increase the pressure on Palmer to resign. Digital has not returned to profit as fully as Palmer hoped when he took over in 1992.
Denton claimed replacing Palmer was not one of his priorities at the moment but had expected to see an improvement sooner rather than later. He added that if Digital failed to make money within three months, it was likely that the manufacturer would look for a partner rather than a different management team.
The company will change to a three-division structure on 1 July, in the latest of a string of reorganisations and U-turns under Palmer. It will implement its 1-3-9 approach based on one mission, three platforms and nine target markets.
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