PALO ALTO, CA: Hewlett-Packard's internal PR team was restructured
just a week before the news broke that the company would be merging
operations with Compaq.
Previously, the PR teams were divided into marketing organizations and
reported to individuals in specific areas. Now, all PR teams report to
the Judy Radlinsky, director of external communications. Radlinsky in
turn reports to Allison Johnson, VP of communications and brand
Spokeswoman for HP Rebeca Robboy confirmed the reorganization, and that
all external PR agencies will now report to Radlinsky.
The merger announcement has generated speculation about how agency
relationships for the two companies will be impacted.
Compaq's PR agency of record is Hill & Knowlton, which won the account
in November 1999 after Compaq dropped Shandwick, its longtime agency of
Weber Shandwick Worldwide is now one of four primary agencies working
with HP, representing the bulk of its business products in Europe, Asia,
and North America.
HP also retains Golin/Harris to work on its business-customer
Applied Communications handles corporate PR for the company, and The
Hoffman Agency works on HP's services, software, and servers, and
handles the North American regional PR program for enterprise
The new entity will take on the HP name with CEO Carly Fiorina at the
helm, and will be structured around four operating units: imaging and
printing, access devices, IT infrastructure, and services.
The merger announcement took many by surprise, as the companies had kept
the deal under wraps. Investor and press reaction has been mixed,
particularly since both companies have suffered as of late.
"Carly Fiorina hasn't yet proved she can fix the giant Hewlett-Packard,"
reported The Wall Street Journal. "Can she now turn around an even
bigger conglomeration ...?" As of Wednesday, HP's stock was down to
$18.21, a 22% drop since the announcement. Compaq's stock has
dropped 16%, and is now trading at $10.41.