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Businessweek Archives

Goodbye, Mr. Sims

In Business This Week: Headliner

Goodbye, Mr. Sims

James Sims, president and CEO of high-tech consultants Cambridge Technology Partners, finally found a client he couldn't help: himself. Sims, 52, resigned abruptly on July 19, a tacit acknowledgment that he hasn't figured out how to slow the Cambridge (Mass.) company's slide. Sims says he got mired in issues he had little taste for. "I wanted to be an optimist, to change an industry, and I was constantly dragged back into operations."

Sims brought a guerrilla attitude to software consulting. CATP consultants once posed as clients of a hotel chain, booking and canceling reservations en masse, to convince its executives they needed a customer-management system. But recently, CATP has been plagued by slow growth, a falling stock, and shareholder lawsuits. While Sims and others say his decision was voluntary, his departure looked hasty: His replacement, longtime director Jack Messman, formerly chairman and CEO of Union Pacific Resources Group, had only recently settled into a new home in Texas.Edited by Mark Frankel; By Paul C. JudgeReturn to top

Big Delivery from UPS: An IPO

LOOK, ANOTHER INTERNET IPO--or is it? Employee-owned United Parcel Service isn't exactly a pure Internet play, but it is getting a big boost out of having to deliver all those goodies folks buy online. On July 21, the Atlanta-based delivery giant announced plans to offer 10% of its stock to the public some time this fall. The 92-year-old UPS says it needs tradeable stock to cut deals to compete globally and enter E-commerce. "Our business is becoming more complex with more competitors," Chief Executive James Kelly said. "We believe this plan positions UPS to continue its leadership." Analysts expect the offering to bring in as much as $5 billion, making it one of the biggest initial public offerings ever. But folks who buy in should forget about having any voice in running UPS: The IPO will consist of new Class B shares that will carry one vote apiece; existing shares carry 10 votes. And current shareholders still have to approve the plan.Edited by Mark FrankelReturn to top

Cincinnati Bell's Quantum Leap

CINCINNATI BELL IS THE LATEST phone company to stake its future on broadband communications. The company announced on July 21 plans to buy IXC Communications for $3.2 billion in stock and debt. IXC will jump-start the phone company's effort to construct a national long-distance Internet and broadband network. The Austin (Tex.)-based company is building an 18,000-mile fiber network that would allow Cincinnati Bell to expand from its Midwestern base and compete against the likes of AT&T and MCI WorldCom.Edited by Mark FrankelReturn to top

J&J: If You Can't Make 'Em, Buy 'Em

JOHNSON & JOHNSON HASN'T had much luck developing new drugs on its own lately. But its results are improving at the negotiating table. The pharmaceutical giant agreed July 21 to pay $4.9 billion in stock for biotech company Centocor. Merger talks between the two stalled earlier this year. Based in Malvern, Pa., Centocor boasts a strong roster that will help fill out J&J's product pipeline, including Remicade, a drug for Crohn's disease that is under review by the FDA for use in rheumatoid arthritis. "It's a nice fit," Salomon Smith Barney analyst Anne Malone says of the deal.Edited by Mark FrankelReturn to top

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