Back in the Saddle

I decided to resume my responsibility as President of the company. I was not sure I could do it, the excellent medications I now take were still eight years in the future. My doctors did a great job with treatments available at the time and I also felt I had learned how to delegate better and pace myself. In February of 1991 I went out into the field. The new low cost SCSI CD-ROMs were hitting the market, we had a great product for them in our 8 bit host adapter, but since my illness no senior management called on the CD-ROM manufacturers, who were mainly in Japan. Tom Miller came from the disk drive business and he never bothered with other devices.

Our 16 bit ISA product was in trouble. We were late to market and the product cost was too high, many disk drive manufacturers had adopted the Adaptec AHA-1540 bus master disk controller or AHA-1520 low cost 16 bit PIO host adapter. Also the 32 bit EISA bus was now being delivered in volume by Compaq, Adaptec had a product, and we did not.

Summit said maybe we should find a buyer for the company now. We had overstaffed, especially in sales and we had to cut back. Tom and Al were very negative, moral was low. But I was not willing to give up. I felt I could fix the company. Larry Lapard had decided to leave Summit in 1991 and Summit actually missed the next couple of board meetings so the immediate pressure from Summit subsided. Finally they assigned a new person, Phil Black to our board. I explained to Phil we had problems, but I felt I could fix them and get the company back on track so we could sell it. He backed me up.