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March 01, 2001

Comdisco Inc. named Norman Blake, the corporate turnaround specialist whose efforts to overhaul the U.S. Olympic Committee ended in failure, as chief executive, chairman and president. The technology services company hopes Blake can repeat his earlier successes as head of insurer USF&G Corp., Promus Hotel Corp. and financing company Heller International Corp. . . . Lam Research Corp., a maker of tools used to create circuits on semiconductors, said it will cease operations for five days each quarter and cut the salaries of executives and board members by as much as 10% because sales have slowed. . . . Microchip Technology Inc., a maker of microchips for cars and appliances, said it will fire 400 employees, or 12% of its work force, and trim production by 24% because of a global economic slowdown.

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