Digital streamlines management

Digital Equipment CEO Robert Palmer takes tighter control of the company's computer operations by eliminating a small computer management division.

Digital Equipment (DEC) chief executive Robert Palmer is taking tighter control of the company's computer operations by eliminating a small computer management division, company officials said today.

Palmer, who joined the company a year ago, has decided to forgo filling the position of Enrico Pesatori, who oversaw the computer systems division, eliminating the small management tier that included less than a dozen people, said Dan Kaferle, spokesman.

The business systems unit, run by VP Harry Copperman, and the personal computer unit, run by VP Bruce Claflin, formerly reported to Pesatori. They will now report directly to Palmer.

"Palmer had been serving as acting manager of the computer systems division after Enrico left," Kaferle said. "And after running it for three months, he had a chance to talk to many people about how to improve cooperation within the business units that made up the division and how to make it easier for our partners to do business with us."

The answer was a flatter management style.

It's a structure that the company has increasingly used as its peak employment of 120,000 has shrunk to less than 60,000 over the past four to five years, Kaferle said.

The changes follow a major restructuring in the summer of 1994, when the company, among other things, created the computer systems division. Many of the units that fed into the division still exist, but the reporting structure has changed.

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