Caspari was already a seasoned technology executive at the time. Before being appointed to lead the new HP Enterprise Services division formed out of the rubble of the merger, he had already been leading HP's Technology Solutions Group in the Asia-Pacific and Japan region '” overseeing some 14 countries. And in the past he'd held similar lofty roles '” leading Cisco's Asia-Pacific sales and operations for its core telco market, and also working in senior positions for Nortel, Bay Networks and Alcatel.
But it's hard to be able to know whether anybody could have been prepared for what Caspari would have had to deal with at EDS at the time.
The newly merged pair of companies had already revealed plans to lay off some 75 staff in Australia, and later in November confirmed plans to cut about another 7.5 percent of their local workforce '” at that time around 6,000 staff.
EDS' workforce exploded with dissent.
The company's key union '” the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia '” became involved and line managers started leaking inside details to the press as they despaired of being forced to lay off teams they'd painstakingly built up over years. The events culminated in what will be forever remembered by Australia's IT industry as a black day '” when a sacked EDS worked attempted suicide at the company's Burwood facility.
For most of the two years since, Caspari has taken the approach to appearing in public that his boss, HP Australia chief Paul Brandling, has long favoured: Don't do it. But in a rare appearance in front of the press yesterday to announce HP's local private cloud computing strategy, the executive appeared to have come out of the past two years of company integration unscathed.