James F. Halpin

When JAMES F. HALPIN, CEO of CompUSA, took the helm in December of '93, the country's largest computer chain seemed to be on its last legs. But Halpin, 47, has since engineered a masterful turnaround by pushing beyond low-margin retailing into more profitable services, such as training and build-to-order PCs. Earnings grew 57% for the year ended June '97, and though Wall Street worries about a slowdown in computer sales that hurt the stock late last year, at around 27, it's still well up from a low of 6 in mid-'94.

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