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Rolm’s President Steps Down After Restructuring

April 8, 1987

NEW YORK (AP) _ Dennis Paboojian is stepping down as president of IBM’s Rolm Corp. subsidiary and a career IBM executive will take his place, the company said Wednesday.

The management switch was seen by analysts as another sign of International Business Machines Corp.’s growing control over Rolm, a Santa Clara, Calif.- based maker of office telephone systems that it bought for $1.6 billion in 1984.

IBM has repeatedly vowed to maintain the separateness of the Silicon Valley company, whose free-wheeling style contrasts with the buttoned-down approach of Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM.

″We just had the feeling in the back of our minds that IBM would slowly but surely put its stamp on the company, and it has,″ said Eric Arnum, an analyst for International Resource Development Inc. in Norwalk, Conn.

Paboojian will go on personal leave until sometime in the summer and then serve the company as a consultant, IBM said. He will be replaced by Ray S. AbuZayyad, an IBM vice president who has worked in the Silicon Valley area since joining IBM in 1962.

The move came less than a month after IBM announced it was taking direct control of Rolm’s sales and service operations, but IBM said Paboojian’s departure was not related to that event. In fact, Paboojian endorsed that decision, Rolm spokeswoman Carol Keslar said.

″He just felt it was a good time for him to make a change,″ IBM spokeswoman Marti Easterbrook said.

Paboojian was unavailable for interviews, Ms. Keslar said.

Several top officers have left Rolm since its acquisition by IBM. Paboojian became president in January 1986 following the resignation of Ken Oshman, one of the four people who founded Rolm in 1969.

Rolm’s systems - computer-controlled phone switches that handle both voices and data - compete with those made by American Telephone & Telegraph Co., Northern Telecom Inc. and others. The company has been losing money, but some analysts believe it could return to profitability this year.

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