The Buzz: September 16, 2002

Bankrupt and in trouble with the feds, WorldCom is looking for a new CEO.

Worldcom Hunts for a New CEO

Bankrupt and in trouble with the feds, WorldCom is looking for a new CEO.

The current top executive, John Sidgmore, said in a statement last week that his appointment was intended to be temporary when he assumed the post in April, after Bernard Ebbers stepped down amid a $7 billion accounting scandal.

"I have concluded that having moved WorldCom through the initial phase of the bankruptcy process, now is the appropriate time for the company to initiate a search for a long-term CEO," Sidgmore said.

WorldCom, which filed for bankruptcy July 21, said it was on target to emerge from bankruptcy protection in mid-2003.

HP Catalog Courts Small Customers

Hewlett-Packard has traditionally sold its technology to small and midsize businesses via resellers, saving its direct-marketing pitch for its largest customers. Now HP is changing its strategy. Last week, the company launched a product catalog aimed at smaller businesses, enabling them to buy directly from the computer vendor.

The SMB catalog will be published quarterly and feature all HP products—from PCs and storage devices to PDAs, printing tools, software and servers, including products acquired in May with the buyout of Compaq. SMB customers can now buy via resellers, the Web or the telephone.

Companies Mark 9/11 Anniversary

Several tech companies last week commemorated the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

Web portals and draped their sites in black to honor the day. "With respect and remembrance, we at Lycos pay tribute to those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001," said a message on the Lycos site. In addition, software maker Aladdin Systems, which last year raised money for a Sept. 11 relief fund, kicked off what it says will be an annual tradition of donating $1 of each sale from its Web site to charities in the 30 days following Sept. 11.