Has Corning Won Its High Tech Bet?

After trashing the stock, Wall Street sees a Net play

After taking over as Corning's CEO in April, 1996, Roger G. Ackerman moved swiftly to transform the old-line conglomerate into a high-tech supplier to the New Economy. He signed deals to jettison more than half of Corning's businesses--including its signature cookware--while beefing up the company's role as a supplier of optical fiber and other components for the Information Highway. Soon, Corning could barely keep up with exploding demand for fiber. Nowhere was the market hotter than in Asia, where countries from Malaysia to Singapore to Thailand were scrambling to build sophisticated high-tech infrastructures.

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