Business Briefs

SAN MATEO (03/03/2000) - The former CIO at Wal-Mart has signed on to take the same position at Dell Computer Corp. Randy Mott, who was both a senior vice president and CIO at Wal-Mart, has been given these identical titles at Dell.

Mott will be responsible for managing Dell's global information technology infrastructure, including the backbone of its Internet and Web capabilities. He replaces interim CIO Jim Schneider, who is senior vice president of finance at Dell. Mott is expected to strengthen Dell's direct-to-customer business model using the Internet and Web, according to the company. Additionally, Dell-rival Compaq Computer Corp. last week named former Eastman Kodak Co. executive Jesse Greene its new chief financial officer.

Tera Computer, a producer of high-end computers, last week agreed to purchase SGI's (formerly Silicon Graphics) Cray supercomputer business.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Tera said in a statement that it will pay SGI in cash, notes, and common stock.

Following the purchase, Tera will create a new combined company called Cray Inc., which is predicted to have annual revenues of more than $200 million and approximately 900 employees, company officials said.

Under the terms of the agreement, Tera will take over the Cray brand and SGI's Cray supercomputer product line, which includes the Cray SV1, Cray T3E, and Cray T90 systems, as well as existing service contracts and future Cray vector supercomputer products, according to the statement.

Tera sees the move as a way to expand the supercomputing and high-performance computing markets, particularly for servers that make up the Internet backbone, company officials said.

For its part, SGI said in a separate statement that the sale of the Cray unit will allow it to better concentrate its "resources, technology, and future platforms on a common set of technical solutions."

Lucent Technologies is spinning off its PBX, Systimax, a structured cabling and data business based on LANs, thereby creating a separate company aimed at the corporate networking market, company executives said last week.

The spin-off was approved Tuesday by Lucent's board of directors and is expected to be completed via a tax-free share distribution to Lucent shareholders by the end of the fourth fiscal quarter of this year.

The new company, to be named later, will focus on areas such as optical networking, Internet infrastructure, wireless networking, semiconductors, Web-hosted applications, and professional design and consulting.

The spin-off will allow Lucent to "sharpen its focus in every area in which it competes" via both Lucent and the new company, said Lucent Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard McGinn.

The new company will begin as an $8 billion business, with customers including more than 90 percent of the Fortune 500 companies, executives said.

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