How Dec's `Minicompanies' Led To Major Losses

Just 14 months ago, Robert B. Palmer was pulling raves for pursuing one of the computer industry's most daring strategies. The 53-year-old chief executive at Digital Equipment Corp. launched a remake of the troubled company with a radical reorganization. He divided the $14 billion Goliath into autonomous minicompanies organized by customer type, the better to anticipate buyer needs. "This is not a temporary change," Palmer pledged at the time.

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