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June 20, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 1:07pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Herbert Denton, shareholder activist and president of New York brokerage house Providence Capital Inc, has drawn a lot of attention recently with his crusade against the powers that be at Digital Equipment Corp. Although he is reported to hold less than 1% of DEC stock, Denton is nevertheless very determined to find out why the company is losing market share. On Wednesday, Denton held a meeting for shareholders who own between 30% and 40% of DEC stock, in an attempt to drum up support for his initiative to revamp the company’s aging – it has three members over seventy – board, and to let the board know he is serious about change. He says that he will be spending the next few days canvassing major shareholders to see how much support is out there to pump some new blood into the ranks of the company’s increasingly ineffective directors. If Denton finds enough support, a letter will be sent to DEC’s nominating committee to request a meeting about the possibility of such change. Denton sees the problem at DEC as deep-rooted and related to the corporate culture, which he says is more geared toward engineering than marketing. He believes that DEC has superior products, but has seen its share price erode through a lack of marketing savvy. While cultural change may seem necessary to Denton, he realizes that it may not come quickly and that he can’t do a damn thing unless the major shareholders agree. Thus far, DEC hasn’t seemed overly interested in Denton’s maneuvers and company executives declined an invitation to attend Wednesday’s meeting. But Denton is obviously a driven man. When asked what, in a nutshell, his wish list for DEC was, Denton replied $70.00 a share, that’s all. The shares closed the day Thursday at $37.50.

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