At buttoned-down Electronic Data Systems, Alice Lusk stood out. A Netherlands native who dresses stylishly, she rose quickly to become EDS' first female vice-president. Now, she's making a splash at NCR. The AT&T computer unit, set to be spun off by yearend, named Lusk its first female senior vice-president on Sept. 9. Lusk will head both NCR's worldwide professional-services group and its internal information-systems operation, reporting directly to CEO Lars Nyberg.

Lusk, who joined EDS in 1975 as a systems engineer, ran health-care and insurance units when she left late last year. Former colleagues say she was under pressure for failing to meet business plans. EDS won't comment, and Lusk says the decision for her to leave was "mutual." At NCR, she takes over a services unit that was a rare bright spot amid 1995's $2.3 billion loss. "Where I've been most effective is in the growth phase" of a business, Lusk says. Yankee Group Managing Director Howard Anderson is less upbeat: "Her skill set doesn't necessarily translate to what NCR is going to need."

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