Mike Norris, chief executive of Computacenter: 'This is not a surprising move at all, considering the recent profit warning. Pfeiffer was a good guy, who did well for Compaq, but it is by no means a one-man company - it's not like Bill Gates leaving Microsoft. Pfeiffer isn't the first chief executive to leave Compaq and he certainly won't be the last. It just goes to show that Rosen is the man in charge at Compaq.'
Graeme Watt, managing director of Computer 2000: 'Pfeiffer's resignation is part of a wider issue to do with Compaq's numbers. Compaq clearly has problems - a combination of the health of the PC market and the acquisition of Digital has also spoiled performance. It is hard to know who will replace Pfeiffer, but whoever it is will almost certainly come from within the industry, possibly from Dell. Compaq's evolving channel strategy is a key point, so whoever comes in will have to address that.'
Andrew Robins, business development manager at PNC: 'I'm shocked by the move. These are turbulent times for Compaq. It still hasn't finished digesting the Digital deal, one behind which Pfeiffer was the driver, and it is trying to re-invent itself as it moves into the internet sector. Compaq needs strong leadership and a PC downturn is not Pfeiffer's fault. But this may just be a part of the overall evolution and may ultimately be healthy for Compaq.'
Barry Dodhia, marketing manager at Hemini: 'The timing of the move is bad as Compaq is going through drastic changes at the moment, but if something goes wrong, someone right at the top gets the chop. This is typical politics, you need a fall guy to take the heat off the company. I suspect Compaq has a contingency plan - the next one down the line will step in and things will just carry on as before.'
Terry Ernest Jones, analyst at IDC: 'Pfeiffer is going to take a lot of replacement - he has been a key industry leader for some years. No one else springs to mind who has the same stature and ability to run a PC company - let alone the leading PC company - and has the experience to manage Compaq's transition into an IT supplier. I shouldn't think Compaq's policy of direct selling will change much. Those kind of decisions aren't really in the hands of the chief executive alone.'
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