The computer-services firm says its new management team needs more time to review financial details

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

March 4, 2003

1 Min Read

PLANO, Texas (AP) -- Electronic Data Systems Corp. has pushed back its first-quarter earnings report to May 7 from April 23, saying its new management team needs more time to review financial materials.

The computer services concern's board of directors in March appointed Michael H. Jordan, the former head of CBS Corp., as chairman and chief executive, replacing Richard H. Brown, who joined the company in 1998. Jeff Heller, who retired as vice chairman of EDS last year, rejoined the company as chief operating officer.

Brown had won widespread praise after taking over at EDS. He slashed 5,000 jobs, including one-fifth of the sales force, streamlined its bureaucracy from 48 business units to four, and tried to capitalize on the growth of Internet business.

The company announced the earnings report rescheduling after the market closed Thursday. Shares of EDS had risen 7 cents to $17.87 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock market was closed Friday for Good Friday.

Analysts suspect Heller and Jordan could take a first-quarter charge to purge the accounting books of any problems that they can attribute to Brown's tenure.

The company created by Dallas billionaire H. Ross Perot in 1962 began to stumble last September after a long string of rising contract signings. It badly missed earnings targets, saw key customers file for bankruptcy and became the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into its accounting. Analysts attributed many of the company's problems to weak financial controls.

In January, the company replaced chief financial officer James Daley with Bob Swan, an executive from defense contractor TRW Inc.

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