Tuesday, October 12, 1999 Published at 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
Business: The Company File
Compaq exudes confidence
The world's biggest PC maker has been in some difficulties
by Richard Quest at Telecom 99 in Geneva
The chief executive of Compaq Computers, the world's largest maker of PC's, has only been in the job for a couple of months - but he's already making waves.
The last chief executive, Eckard Pfeiffer, was sacked by the board of directors who had lost confidence in his ability to turn around the giant PC maker.
Speaking to the BBC at Telecom 99 he said "we have unbelievable assets and we need to be clear about which businesses we are in and which we are not. "
With that in mind he has already re-directed much of the business and given it a new Internet focus.
"We are just at the dawn of the Internet age, and the current carriers are still a lot of 'bubble gum and binding' companies which are keeping it together," he says.
Instead he talks about "taking the internet to the next stage" where giant companies like Compaq with their huge resources would play more of a role.
For instance, he believed that e-commerce, still in its infancy, would be "explosive" and that's one of the areas where Compaq would make its money.
He has his work cut out for him.
Compaq now has a stench of failure about the company.
Its share price is down more than 30% from its highs, and newer, nimbler companies seem to be eating its business.
That doesn't worry Mr. Capellas. He believes that the main thing that is needed to turn the company around is better marketing and presentation.
"Am I concerned that we have to drive public relations? Absolutely. Am I personally committed: Absolutely. Can it be done. Absolutely," he said.
The company's shareholders are certainly hoping he is right.
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