SOS

Wanted: experienced computer executives willing to help a blue-chip CEO get out from under the worst crisis in company history. IBM has sent out such a Mayday. Answering the call were retired vice chairmen Paul Rizzo, 64, and Kaspar Cassani, also 64, who will help chairman and chief executive John Akers get Big Blue back on an even keel. Still unanswered, though, is the question of who asked the pair to return. Some analysts think Akers did it, to placate IBM's increasingly dissatisfied board. Others suspect the board brought Rizzo and Cassani back, as the first step toward easing Akers out.

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