HP tops sales, MD quits

Hewlett-Packard Australasia's managing director, Bruce Thompson, has quit the company at a time when it has finally outgunned Compaq in channel sales.

Thompson's resignation, effective August 31, follows 32 years of service with the company in Australia and New Zealand. He has held the posts of chairman and managing director for almost five years.

It is unclear why Thompson has decided to leave. His replacement will be announced by HP's vice president for the Asia-Pacific, Siaou-Sze Lien.

The news comes on the heels of latest market figures from channel research analyst Inform, which show record growth in the PC market.

HP took 23 per cent market share for the total indirect PC market for June, up 5 per cent on the previous month's figures. The figure places the company ahead of Compaq, which saw sales drop 1 per cent to 17 per cent. IBM came in a close third, with 16 per cent of the market, followed by Toshiba with 7 per cent and Acer with 5 per cent.

According to Inform research manager Chris Herber, HP's place as the number one PC channel vendor was more a matter of "when" than "if".

"The company has exploited fully the opportunity left open to it since Compaq products were withdrawn from Harvey Norman's shelves and the subsequent lacklustre performance of the Compaq Connect stores."

HP blitzed the competition in mass-merchant sales, where desktop shipments have grown over 80 per cent in recent months, led by its Pavillion range. HP also holds the top four PC spots, with the 6611, 6616, 8624 and 8630 models accounting for 45 per cent of desktop sales.

However, the company is still chasing Compaq in the notebook and server markets.

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