Amdahl Escapes `Death Valley,' But Now What?

It looked like the end of the world. In September, 1993, recalls E. Joseph Zemke, chief executive of mainframe computer maker Amdahl Corp., sales simply dried up. Already buffeted by smaller, cheaper machines, Amdahl had nothing on its order books. "It was like Death Valley," Zemke recalls. "I still don't know what happened." But he knew what to do: hunker down, close factory lines, and slash the workforce for the third time in nine months.

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