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Poppa Named Chief of Storage Technology

January 21, 1985

Troubled Storage Technology Corp., struggling through a Chapter 11 reorganization and two years of heavy losses, has tabbed Ryal R. Poppa, known as a corporate rebuilder, to be its new head.

Gordon Swartzfager, Storage Technology's vice president of communications, said Poppa would assume his duties as president, chief executive and chairman in early February.

A federal bankruptcy judge in Denver on Friday approved the hiring of Poppa, 51, by the Louisville, Colo.-based computer equipment maker, Swartzfager said.

Revitalizing the company "won't be easy to achieve, but I'm convinced that we can and will do the job that's necessary," Poppa said in a prepared statement.

Poppa will succeed Jesse I. Aweida, the firm's founder, who stepped down in November, about three weeks after the company filed for protection from its creditors. Earlier last week, Aweida also stepped down as chairman, but still holds a director's seat. Aweida's brother Naim resigned as president shortly after the Chapter 11 filing.

Poppa is chairman and president of BMC Industries Inc. of St. Paul, Minn., an electronics and optical products concern. He is credited with transforming the former Buckbee-Mears Co. from an industrial concern into a high-technology operation in three years. BMC said Poppa will continue to work with the company on long-term strategic planning.

In a meeting with creditors last week, Chief Financial Officer William Mansfield said orders for Storage Technology equipment such as tape and disk drives plummeted after the Chapter 11 filing but have since picked up. He also noted that because of a Dec. 20 loan from a subsidiary, the company probably won't have to borrow additional money during 1985.

In its Chapter 11 filing, it listed about $1.2 billion in assets and $700 million in debts. About 5,000 employees have been laid off or resigned in the wake of the company's problems, Mansfield said.

NATION

Arthur C. Bass, 52, who guided the development of Federal Express and more recently oversaw Midway Airlines' expansion into the Florida market, has resigned from the airline to pursue personal interests, Midway has announced.

Bass joined Midway Airlines as chairman and chief executive in August, 1982. He will be replaced Feb. 15 by David R. Hinson, one of the founders of the Chicago-based airline.

Under Bass, Midway took over Air Florida, which was in bankruptcy court, and began serving the Florida market under the name Midway Express. Bass also directed development of the Midway Metrolink service to a dozen major cities.

Litton Industries Inc. has named Gerald J. St. Pe president of its Ingalls Shipbuilding division in Pascagoula, Miss. He succeeds Leonard Erb, a corporate senior vice president, who will remain as the group executive responsible for marine operations at Beverly Hills-based Litton.

CALIFORNIA

The management and staffs of the three Sacramento-based Farm Credit Banks serving California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Hawaii have been consolidated under a single chief executive, George M. Anderson, in an effort to provide more efficient services to farmers and their cooperatives.

The consolidation affects the Federal Land Bank, the Federal Intermediate Credit Bank and the Bank for Cooperatives, along with the Farm Credit Banks Services, which serves all three, but the banks will remain separate legal entities.

Anderson, who joined the farm credit system in 1949, served as president of the Federal Intermediate Credit Bank since 1969 and of the Bank for Cooperatives since 1978. George P. Bloxham, formerly president of the Federal Land Bank, will serve as special consultant to the consolidated board.

Farm Credit Banks of Sacramento are part of a nationwide agricultural financial organization of borrower-owned credit institutions.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY

Joe Shapiro has been named senior vice president and chief legal officer of Walt Disney Productions, Burbank, effective Feb. 1. He succeeds general counsel Richard T. Morrow, who announced last week that he is taking early retirement after an unspecified transition period.

Disney was among Shapiro's clients as a partner in the law firm Donovan, Leisure, Newton & Irvine.

American Medical International Inc., Beverly Hills, has appointed Philip M. Hawley Jr. and James M. O'Hern executive vice presidents of its newly formed AMI Group Health Services division.

J. Stuart Fishler, Elliot Gordon and Ira W. Krinsky have been promoted to vice president and made partners in Korn/Ferry International, a Los Angeles- and New York-based executive search firm.

Kile Hardesty has been appointed vice president-maintenance and engineering at Jet America, Long Beach.

Terry O'Flynn was named vice president-sales of Mitsubishi Electric Sales America Inc., Rancho Dominguez.

Jack Rose has been named senior executive vice president and chief financial officer at Cardinal Entertainment Corp., West Los Angeles.

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