A.T. Kearney Wants to Make Nice

New CEO Dietmar Ostermann sees a difficult 2003 for the consulting firm, but he's working to ensure smoother relations with parent EDS

The last 12 months haven't been kind to Electronic Data Systems, the world's No. 2 information-technology-services company. EDS (EDS ) has weathered the bankruptcies of major clients WorldCom and USAirways, a massive third-quarter earnings shortfall, and a probe by the Securities & Exchange Commission that was upgraded in January to a formal investigation. The outfit, which will report its 2002 results on Feb. 6, says its accounting is sound, but spooked investors have pushed EDS stock down to $17.13 a share on Feb. 3, a 75% decline since last March.

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