YOU'RE RUNNING A LIMPING computer giant, and someone offers you $21 million to run a much smaller, much stronger software outfit. Not much of a decision, is it? Jerre Stead, head of AT&T's NCR unit since early 1993, announced on Jan. 3 that he was signing on as chairman and CEO of Legent, a $500 million software company. Known for his kinetic leadership style, Stead had won high marks within AT&T for swiftly downsizing NCR and reorganizing it around customer-focused teams. But the $7 billion unit, since renamed Global Information Solutions, has not lived up to AT&T's hopes of steady profitability by now. Stead says he found Legent's generous offer, which includes a $750,000 salary and stock options worth some $20 million today (but not yet exercisable), difficult to ignore.
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