Compuware taps PR newcomer to fill top position

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.

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

said.



’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.



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