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President of Software Firm HBO Resigns

November 14, 1998|From Bloomberg News

ATLANTA — HBO & Co., the software company that's slated to be acquired by drug wholesaler McKesson Corp., said Friday that senior executive Jay Gilbertson is resigning.

Gilbertson, HBO's president, chief financial officer and chief operating officer, is leaving "to pursue other opportunities," the company said.

The news sent the company's shares down 9%.

Gilbertson's departure isn't a shock given that he wasn't chosen for a top spot at the merged McKesson-HBO, analysts said, but it adds another element of risk to what some investors still consider an odd combination.

San Francisco-based McKesson agreed to buy Atlanta-based HBO last month in a stock transaction worth about $11.5 billion. Shares of both companies fell on announcement of the agreement, as investors wondered how the combined company's sales force could package products as different as drugs and computer services.

The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 1999.

McKesson said it was surprised by the timing of Gilbertson's announcement, given that he had indicated that he was interested in helping with the acquisition process. The company said, though, that it doesn't see Gilbertson's departure as a concern. Gilbertson could not be reached for comment.

Albert Bergonzi, who shares the presidency of HBO with Gilbertson, will assume Gilbertson's responsibilities.

HBO shares fell $2.31 to close at $22.88 on Nasdaq. McKesson shares fell $1.31 to close at $70.38 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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