Big Blue Aims to Get Bigger

IBM names a boss and moves deeper into telecommunications

The colossus of the computer industry took some giant steps last week, sending shivers through competitors that stand in its path. In a pair of sudden moves, International Business Machines (1983 revenues: $40 billion) demonstrated its determination to boost sales and broaden its product line. The Armonk, N.Y., company announced a deal to acquire, for $1.25 billion, 100% of Rolm, a leading manufacturer of telecommunications equipment based in Santa Clara, Calif. IBM already owns 23% of Rolm (fiscal 1984 revenues: $660 million), but Big Blue, as IBM is nicknamed for its corporate color,...

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