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January 14, 1998

State Senate Bill 1205, which would repeal the state's 1913 "merit review" law that gives the state Department of Corporations a gatekeeper role in deciding which companies can sell stock, cleared a major hurdle and is on its way to the Senate floor for a vote, the bill's authors said. Sponsored by the Department of Corporations, the bill, which would make it easier for small companies to sell stock, was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. . . . Santa Clara-based Applied Materials Inc. said it formed a three-person office of the president to report directly to President Dan Maydan. Included in the office of the president is Joseph Bronson, who took over as chief financial officer from Gerald Taylor, who is retiring. The changes are effective immediately. The other two members of the office of the president are Sass Somekh and David Wang. All three men were senior vice presidents at the semiconductor-equipment company. . . . Mountain View-based Sun Microsystems Inc. introduced new, low-cost workstations to counter increasing competition from high-end personal computers. Sun said its new Darwin machines, starting at $2,995, outperform and cost less than comparable PCs.

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