CORPORATE WAR: POISON PILLS AND GOLDEN PARACHUTES is a business thriller portraying two computer companies engaged in a hostile takeover. The novel chronicles corporate management protagonists seeking company growth, struggling to maintain control and battling for survival behind the closed doors of the Boardroom. Francis Taylor, a compulsive technocrat, founded one of the first computer software companies. He fulfilled his aspiration to be an industry leader when the company achieved public ownership and annual revenue of one-hundred million dollars. Then all hell broke loose. Taylor’s mindset was stuck on room-size mainframes while the technology sweet spot moved to smaller computers. In addition, a haughty management style propelled his executives through a spinning revolving door. These factors, along with mismanaged financial statements, led to a nosedive of his company’s stock during the recession of 1981-82. Colleague Brad Albright, the aggressive CEO of a computer hardware startup, seizes the opportunity to mount a leverage buyout of Taylor’s weakened company with the assistance of Taylor’s ambitious protégé, Joshua Kerem. Albright’s business strategy targets a turnkey solution for network computing by combining his niche hardware product line with the significant programming capability inherent in Taylor’s company. The financial analysts characterize the Albright/Taylor confrontation as a David/Goliath battle, which intensifies when other buyers, greenmailers and arbitrageurs get into the act. After Taylor’s management buyout countermeasure fails, he is left with one remaining deterrent, the company’s arsenal of poison pills. Albright succeeds in the acquisition and Kerem becomes the CEO of the combined companies. Although Taylor receives the Golden Parachute kiss-off, he makes a fatal landing. Remorseful about his mentor’s fate, Kerem perpetuates Taylor’s legacy by a surprising decision.
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Werner L. Frank obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1951, followed by service in the U.S. Army in 1952-1954. He obtained a Master Degree in Mathematics from the University of Illinois in 1955. His professional career began in the aerospace industry as a numerical analyst, programming large-scale digital computers in support of the military's ballistic missile and space exploration programs. In 1962, he co-founded Informatics, Inc., one of the first viable software companies. He ended his career as a key executive with Sterling Software, Inc. in 1998, the latter having acquired Informatics in 1985. Capping his career as a software executive, Mr. Frank has published technical papers related to numerical analysis and software engineering, written a topical column for a number of computer oriented periodicals, and authored "Critical Issues in Software," a book dealing with software economics, published by John Wiley & Sons in 1983. His business career has led to the writing of the novel "Corporate War: Poison Pills and Golden Parachutes." Since retirement, he has been active in genealogy having amassed an extended family database of over 32,300 names dating to the thirteenth century. This research led to the publication of his family's story in "Legacy: The Saga of a German-Jewish Family Across Time and Circumstance," published by Avotaynu Foundation Inc. in 2003.Review:
By EmrTechCorporate War: Poison Pills and Golden Parachutes A fast moving novel about the early days of the computer industry
by an author who was an integral part of it. The book can be especially
enjoyed by those who wish to understand what is involved in the complex world
of mergers and acquisitions where unethical operators often can be found.
By avidreader12Corporate War: Poison Pills and Golden Parachutes Corporate War, exposes the lust, greed, dreams and schemes of corporations during the evolution of mainframes to personal computers. It's an absorbing tale of boardroom conflict, strategy and intrigue. Fast and fun reading.
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