Compaq boosts team with chief

Compaq, the largest global supplier of personal computers, is strengthening its PR team in Europe and the US following its merger with fellow computer company Digital.

Compaq, the largest global supplier of personal computers, is

strengthening its PR team in Europe and the US following its merger with

fellow computer company Digital.



In Europe, Compaq has appointed its first PR chief, Virginia Cartwright,

to oversee an expanded team, completed last week with the arrival of PR

manager Simon Jones.



Compaq merged with Digital last year and computer company Tandem in

1997.



Following the Digital merger, its number of staff in Europe has risen

from 6,000 to 22,000.



’Having integrated three brands, it’s important as we move forward that

we position the company correctly. PR is probably the tool in the

marketing mix most needed to do that,’ said Cartwright.



In the US, the company is looking to recruit a global PR chief at

vice-president level. Compaq’s current head of communications in the US

is PR director Jim Finlaw, who reports to senior vice president for

sales and marketing Enrico Pesatori. Finlaw’s post will continue to

exist, but the PR vice president will oversee his work and report to

Pesatori.



Between them, Compaq and Digital retained four people working in PR and

relations with technology industry analysts. However, Compaq had no PR

chief. Communications was the responsibility of Gabriele Zedlmayer,

marketing communications director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa

(EMEA).



Two members of the teams left after the merger, including Digital PR

manager Alan Brighty, who has moved to Shandwick in Geneva.



Cartwright joined Compaq last month from data storage and cash machine

manufacturer NCR, where she was corporate marketing head worldwide and

corporate affairs head for EMEA.



She and most of her five-strong team are based in Munich, although much

of their work will will be with London analysts. Cartwright reports to

Zedlmayer. Together, these regions represent 40 per cent of Compaq’s

revenue worldwide.



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