Most new Asian execs drawn from Compaq

When the combined Hewlett-Packard Co. and Compaq Computer Corp. company debuts on May 7, Compaq employees will be in regional and local leadership positions of the new US$21 billion company throughout Asia-Pacific, with the exception of China and Japan.

According to an announcement released by HP Hong Kong last week, Compaq Hong Kong’s managing director, Peter Yeung, again emerges as victor from the merger, repeating his success following the 1998 acquisition of Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) by Compaq. Prior to the acquisition, Yeung served as general manager for DEC Hong Kong for 13 years.

When the largest technology merger in history is finalized, the Hong Kong office will no longer be an independent operation. Rather, it will become a “site,” in HP-speak, for the China-Hong Kong sub-region. As such, Yeung will be reporting to the head of the sub- region operation, Sun Cheng-yaw, who is presently heading HP’s office in China.

Apart from being named the country general manager for the new HP in Hong Kong, Yeung will also assume duties as Hong Kong general manager for the Enterprise Systems Group, one of the four business units that make up the new operation.

Current HP Hong Kong General Manager Michael Lam will become general manager for the Personal Systems Group in the SAR (Special Administrative Region), the announcement noted.

Although the new chiefs for the remaining two business units have not been publicly announced, Computerworld Hong Kong has learned that the present director of Compaq Global Services, Matthew Liang, will take charge of the new HP Services group in the SAR.

For the Imaging and Printing Group, no decision had been made at press time as to who will chair the unit in Hong Kong. However, HP Asia-Pacific’s Ken Koo, who is presently the head of channel management, business computing sales organization, will take charge of HP’s most lucrative unit for the China-Hong Kong sub-region, according to a source close to the company that requested anonymity.

Except for the PRC and Japan, the pattern for Compaq chiefs taking over top management positions in the merged company prevails. The pattern further shows that sub-region chiefs are also assigned to head the enterprise system group.

Paul Chan from Singapore lands the top spot for the Asia-Pacific region, after being named regional general manager of the new company in early April. Currently Chan is responsible for all of Compaq’s operation in Asia-Pacific, excluding Greater China, which is headed by Philip Yu.

In Australia, Compaq boss Paul Branding has been selected to serve as the general manager for the South Pacific region when the merger is concluded, according to a HP internal announcement. Branding was competing for the position with former HP local head, Norman McCann, who died of a heart attack in March.

In Japan, HP’s Masao Terazawa remains his top post at the new operation, in addition to his new role as head of enterprise system group.

While the merger integration team in the SAR, composed of dozens of HP and Compaq executives, is working on post-merger integration plans, other human resources arrangement apart from the designation of top-tier management have not been settled, the source said.

However, a grand Hong Kong “site” meeting hosted by Peter Yeung for executives from the two companies is to be held May 8, Computerworld Hong Kong learned.

Avneesh Saxena, enterprise server program director at International Data Corp. (IDC) Asia-Pacific, agreed that the move is a good strategy as it provides better support for one of the company’s most important product portfolio – the Intel-based server line.

According to Saxena, HP and Compaq’s combined revenue for Intel-based servers amounts to US$71 million. For Unix servers, total revenue for the pair is less than half that, at US$32 million.

“It gives the new company good control over its (Intel server) business where Compaq has leading share in this part of the world,” he said.

In Asia-Pacific excluding Japan, however, combined revenue from both product lines is neck and neck, at approximately US$1 billion, respectively.

Kitty Fok, research director at IDC Asia-Pacific, said she is not at all surprised at the personnel movement in the new company.

She said Yeung has had strong relationship with key accounts in Hong Kong, including the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Jockey Club, with ties dating back to his days working at Digital Equipment.

“Many of these larger enterprises look to stable relationships with their IT suppliers,” she said.