FARMINGTON HILLS, MI: Compuware has looked outside the PR profession to fill its top communications slot. The software giant appointed Beth Chappell as EVP, a post in which she will lead the company’s corporate communications and IR department.
FARMINGTON HILLS, MI: Compuware has looked outside the PR
profession to fill its top communications slot. The software giant
appointed Beth Chappell as EVP, a post in which she will lead the
company’s corporate communications and IR department.
Chappell is an interesting choice for the job, as she has not previously
held a corporate communications or IR position. Instead, her background
is largely in sales and marketing. Prior to joining Compuware, Chappell
founded consulting firm The Chappell Group. Before that, she spent 15
years with AT&T, where her most recent position was global services VP -
primarily a sales post.
However, having sat on Compuware’s board of directors since 1997,
Chappell is familiar with the company’s operations. As for how she came
to sit on the board, Chappell said, ’Peter Karmanos (Compuware’s
chairman and CEO) and the Board were looking to expand the number of
seats on the Board, and they were considering women and minorities.’
Karmanos could not be reached for comment, since he is on medical leave
following double coronary bypass surgery.
Chappell described her first days on the job as a ’baptism by fire,’ as
companies in Compuware’s segment pre-announced poor earnings, causing
Compuware stock to plummet 17% in one day.
However, she doesn’t believe her lack of IR experience has hurt her.
’If I thought it mattered, I wouldn’t be in this position,’ she
’My background at AT&T and my consulting life were pretty broad. I
didn’t hold specific IR assignments within a corporation, but I know my
way around financials and I have decent communications skills.’
Chappell fills a post that has been vacant since January 1998. In the
interim, Compuware’s president and COO, Joseph Nathan, led the IR
function, with support from director of corporate communications
Christopher Norris, who now reports to Chappell. Her responsibilities
include directing communications with investors, industry analysts,
media and employees.
With a nine-person department, Compuware largely handles its public
relations and investor relations internally.