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September 20, 1998

SYBASE DOUBLE ACT TO END AS CHEN TAKES OVER

By CBR Staff Writer

It all seems somewhat inevitable to us, but the San Francisco Business Times is claiming it has an exclusive with the news that John Chen is to take over as sole chief executive office of Sybase Inc by the end of the year. The company wouldn’t confirm the move, as its currently in its quiet period. Since last February, Chen, previously president and chief operating officer, has been acting as joint CEO with long-time Sybase Inc CEO Michael Kertzman, who is also chairman. Chen took over day-to-day running of the company from Kertzman, who said he would concentrate on the company’s future direction (CI No 3,357). While Kertzman insisted at the time that he himself had suggested the move, it was widely assumed that boardroom pressure was the main prompter, following widespread shareholder dissatisfaction with the database company’s performance. As we reported at the time, it was always in the long-term plans that Chen, who joined Sybase last year after being the CEO of Siemens Pyramid Information Systems Inc, would take over as sole CEO, leaving Kertzman as the active chairman. Only the timescales were left vague. Kertzman was the founder of front-end tools company Powersoft Corp, acquired by Sybase in 1994. Two years after the acquisition he found himself replacing Sybase co-founder Mark Hoffman as CEO (CI No 2,959).

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