The Coup at Compaq

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It's rare that comings and goings among top-level technology executives reach the level of high drama, but they did yesterday when Eckhard Pfeiffer and Earl Mason, the number one and number two at Compaq Computer Corporation, handed in their resignations. The news came a little more than a week after Compaq announced massive shortfalls in revenues and earnings, and Wall Street hammered Compaq's stock accordingly. In a year when personal computers are ever more vital accessories, when even underdog Apple is making a killing, why can't the world's largest PC manufacturer make money?

Pfeiffer, Compaq's president and chief executive, and Mason, its chief financial officer, will be replaced by a three-man executive committee with Compaq cofounder Benjamin Rosen at its head, but Rosen had little to say to the press about the abrupt transition. "The computer world is in a lot of turmoil," he told Reuters. "The issues are very complex and we felt we really needed a change in the leadership in order to keep our position as the industry leader." MORE>>