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CEO search may slow decision-making

Compaq, in a filing with the SEC, expresses concerns regarding the chief executive search and retaining employees.

Compaq's search for a new chief executive could lead to delays in strategic decision making, as well as create employee retention concerns, the PC maker said in a regulatory filing today.

"While the office of the chief executive is moving quickly to make operational decisions, the absence of a chief executive officer, particularly in combination with the business issues now confronting Compaq, could lead to delays in strategic decision-making as well as employee retention issues that could complicate the timely implementation of operational decisions," the company said in a "10-Q" filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission today.

Compaq previously had downplayed the impact that the CEO search would have on operations. As reported, the company's board forced the resignation of CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer last month.

Since then, the exodus of executives has accelerated. (See related story.)

The filing also disclosed that Compaq paid about $307 million in cash to acquire Zip2. The deal was completed in April.

For the quarter ended March 31, employee separations to restructuring at Compaq was 2,051. The "net headcount reduction since the date of the Digital acquisition...was about 14,200," the filing said.