The marketing communications business is a lot tougher than when I last practiced it 25 years ago.
HP (HPQ) has had a bad week in the market because it admitted it wasted a ton of money on Palm, is planning to make another foolish acquisition, and has announced it is getting out of the consumer business. So HP canned its Marcom guy according to Bloomberg. Huh?
In a sense HP has a bad year with its then new CEO having to avoid going to headquarters, or apparently anywhere in the United States, for a while after he took the job. In fact, let's face it, HP is having a bad century.
But back in the day, those were not the kinds of decisions that Bill Smith and Dick Brown made. Really, those are the real names of two of the greatest information-technology marketing-communications/PR professionals of all time and they worked back to back to back to back at Data General. That is, Smith was replaced by Brown who was replaced by Smith who was replaced by Brown between 1973 and 1983 as the company went from $20 million in annual sales to over a $1.2 billion (remember that's in 1970s/1980s dollars). And PR guys certainly didn't get blamed, as some others have speculated, because some breaking news hit the wire 20 minutes before it should have on August 18.
The fact that Wohl is being replaced by another ex-SAP guy actually tells the story. I'm pretty sure this is another Brown replaces Smith replaces Brown sort of thing.
But at least someone remembered enough PR 101 that the news was released on a Friday afternoon(eastern U.S.)/nite (in Europe) in August in the northern hemisphere during a hurricane. Smith and Brown would be proud.
-- Dennis Byron