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Founder of Computer Firm Returns Follows Retirement

April 1, 1988

WESTWOOD, Mass. (AP) _ Cullinet Software Inc. announced Thursday that founder John J. Cullinane was named chairman and chief executive officer, completing Cullinane’s gradual return to the financially troubled firm following retirement eight months ago.

Several analysts described the move as an attempt to boost consumer and investor confidence in the Westwood-based computer software manufacturer, which has experienced a two-year slump and is scheduled to announce a new product line next week.

Cullinane, 53, replaces David L. Chapman, 53, who resigned but will continue to work as a consultant for Cullinet, the company announced.

Cullinane, who founded the firm in 1968, retired as chairman in September and worked under a Cullinet consulting contract until named vice chairman in December.

In a company statement, Cullinane attributed the two-year slowdown at Cullinet to a focus on development of new products and expanding markets.

″Our task is to become profitable on a consistent basis as soon as possible,″ he said.

Cullinet, which specializes in computer software for large corporate clients, is scheduled next week to announce a new software package compatible with Digital Equipment Corp. VAX computers.

″In the industry, there was a lot of uneasiness about Cullinet these days,″ said Ed Acly, an analyst at International Data Corp. in Framingham. ″Bringing Cullinane back adds a lot of credibility for the company.″

Acly said Cullinet is coming off two years of ambitious software product development, such as attempts to enter the large banking industry, which required large investments in research and development and increases in sales staff.

Edward Bride, editor of Software News magazine in Westboro, said the return of Cullinane did not surprise those who closely follow the company.

″He never really left,″ said Bride. ″I think it was at the request of customers. Cullinane is a very likeable guy and a strong leader.″

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