Compaq completed its search for a chief executive last week when it promoted internal executive Michael Capellas to the role, three months after the shock ousting of Eckhard Pfeiffer.
The move surprised industry watchers who had expected the PC manufacturer to appoint an outsider to implement the necessary changes to restore the vendor's dominance in the market.
Speaking to analysts last week, Capellas claimed that he offered Compaq the best of both worlds because he had been with the company for a year, which had given him the time to understand its assets, but he was still new enough to see clearly what needed to be done.
Ben Rosen, chairman and founder of Compaq - who ousted both Pfeiffer and Rod Canion, the firm's original chief executive - acknowledged the three-month delay in appointing a successor.
"As part of our due diligence, it behooved us to look at all available candidates. We thought Michael was one of the outstanding candidates, but we had to look at others. But it became clear that he was head and shoulders above the other applicants."
He added that one of the reasons Capellas was selected was for his understanding of ecommerce, which was going to be important to Compaq.
But Capellas said his first task would be to deliver a clear message about the company's capabilities. "We have a great portfolio of assets as well as a tremendous portfolio of products to offer."
But he added that more cost cutting measures would have to be introduced, particularly in the manufacturing sector.
Capellas was originally appointed as chief information officer at Compaq a year ago, but has been its acting chief operating officer since June.
He joined the vendor from Oracle, but had also previously worked for SAP. His career began in 1976 when he joined a US steelmaker as a systems analyst.
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