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News blurbs about three businesses.
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Big Gamble: Three years ago Bob Metcalfe, founder and technical wizard behind 3Com's local area network system, passed control of his company to a professional manager. His plan? To take front-line posts proving his management mettle to his board and later win back the title of president. Although Metcalfe says he boosted profits in one post by nearly 70% over target, the board rejected his bid for president last December, and Metcalfe left.

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On The Road Again: In 1977 Roger Cook was a rock musician feeding a $700-a-day drug habit that finally landed him in the hospital. He dried out, gave up rock, and grew an INC. 500 commercial photo lab company called The Darkroom. This past May, Cook cashed out and returned to music -- country this time. His CD "Hard Times" debuted last month, and all proceeds from the album go to drug education programs for young children.

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For Sale?: Edward Lowe is scouting for a buyer for his $160-million Kitty Litter kingdom. While Lowe, 70, says selling out allows him time for personal pursuits and denies any problems, an insider cites other reasons: the company's "losses" in 1989, the exodus of key managers, and unsuccessful attempts to diversify away from his core business.

-- Elizabeth Conlin

Last updated: Sep 1, 1990




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