Stories by Philip Sim and Nancy Weil

  • CEO hints HP could follow with direct sales attack

    Signalling Hewlett-Packard could go down the same track as Compaq with direct sales to large customers, CEO Lew Platt told delegates at the Gartner Group's ITxpo '98 in the US that it would bolster its direct sales force. Responding to criticism from a Gartner analyst, who argued that some large customers found HP's service to be inferior to rivals IBM or Sun, Platt admitted he had heard such complaints. His response was that part of the problem was that HP sold so many products through the channel. So HP would boost its direct sales force, Platt said, converting a couple of hundred management employees to direct sales, "which will certainly make a difference".