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July 16, 1998

KERTZMAN EXPLAINS WHY SYBASE SOLD VISUAL COMPONENTS

By CBR Staff Writer

Why did Sybase Inc sell off its Visual Components Inc division last month? Visual Components is the application objects company its Powersoft Inc division had acquired only two years before (CI No 3,438). On the face of it, the applications infrastructure focus of the unit fitted in well with Sybase’s strategy. Sybase CEO John Chen, speaking at the company’s second quarter results event, thought otherwise. Visual’s technology doesn’t help our partners, he said. And Sybase founder Michael Kertzman, currently sharing CEO honors with Chen, explained: When we acquired Visual Components we had forecast two things. The first was that application development would move to a component model. The second was that a significant market would develop for pre- built packaged components. The first happened in spades and all our partners are doing it. But there is no packaged components market, and that’s the business Visual Components are in. Most of their business has been in the Visual Basic area. Visual Components has resumed its old name and is operating independently from its original base in Kansas. Sybase is thought to have retained a financial stake in the company, and although no financial details were revealed, Kertzman said the transaction had not affected the company’s figures.

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