Even as the official tallying of the shareholder votes continues, Hewlett-Packard Co. is putting together the management team it said will lead the company after its proposed acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp. goes through.
Though most of the heads of the proposed divisions were identified in September, when the controversial $19 billion deal was first announced, HP last week filled out the org chart beneath those divisional heads, announcing the assignment of 150 people to those groups.
The Palo Alto, Calif., company went with one of its own, Duane Zitzner, president of computing systems, to head the proposed Personal Systems Group of a combined company, which would include PCs. That decision was made despite the fact that Houston-based Compaq was the leading global PC manufacturer until last year, when it was displaced by Dell Computer Corp.
Users applauded the naming of Howard Elias, senior vice president and group general manager of Compaqs business-critical server group, to head a Network Storage Solutions group. That group will fall under the new HP Enterprise Systems Group, to be headed by Peter Blackmore, who is now Compaqs executive vice president of sales and services. Users credited Compaq with sharing APIs with EMC Corp., the incumbent storage hardware king, something that other rivals, including HP, have not been able to accomplish.
Conversely, HPs proposed storage group, under current HP vice president and general manager, Nora Denzel, has been unable to secure prominence, with the sole exception of virtualization software, via HPs acquisition last year of Storage Apps Inc. But even that will have to be somehow rectified with Compaqs own virtualization software, VersaStor, currently in alpha testing.
Putting a Compaq executive in charge of storage "would seem to make sense," said Tim Kachel, director of computing at Jamestown College, in Jamestown, N.D. If an HP executive was appointed instead, "it would probably bother me," Kachel said.
Elias is "the stronger preference by far" over current HP storage executives, said Mark Cornelius, senior technology manager at Borden Chemical Inc., in Columbus, Ohio.
Ann Livermore, who is president of HPs massive services division, will inherit an even larger division if Compaqs is integrated. HP in the first quarter of this year generated $1.55 billion in revenue; Compaq garnered $2 billion.
Dean McMann, CEO of The Ransford Group Inc., a Houston-based outsourcing consulting company, said it was obvious HP tried to put together the best services people from both companies.
"We did an analysis on the talent they had choices for [and] didnt see any better talent they could put together," said McMann. "They picked the best talent available."
McMann pointed to Rene Shuster, Compaqs current chief executive and vice president, United Kingdom and Ireland, tagged to head the proposed new companys consulting and integration unit, and Jack Novia, Compaqs current vice president sales and systems integration, who will oversee services in the Americas, as examples of good people in the right positions.
"Theres more HP than Compaq, but we all knew that would happen," McMann said.