Business People

New Encore Coup: A Digital Executive

By Thomas J. Lueck
The New York Times

July 21, 1983

The Encore Computer Corporation, a new venture founded by the former chief executive officer of the Prime Computer Corporation, entered the hotly competitive market with a splash last week when it lured six marketing executives away from Prime. Yesterday, in what analysts said was a major coup for the fledgling company, Encore secured its scientific talent: C. Gordon Bell, the vice president for engineering at the Digital Equipment Corporation.

Mr. Bell, 48 years old, has directed research and development at Digital, the nation's second-largest computer maker, for 11 years. ''I feel that I have done what I wanted to do here,'' Mr. Bell said in a telephone interview from his Maynard, Mass., office. ''Now I want a change, to try something of a different scale and a different way of operating.''

Mr. Bell's title at Encore will be chief technical officer. The company, which is holding a news conference today to describe its plans, is expected to acquire small computer hardware and software companies. Mr. Bell said he expected to spend the next few months helping to choose companies for purchase and insuring that their new products, when marketed under the Encore label, were fully compatible.

Making a wide range of computers compatible with each other occupied most of Mr. Bell's efforts at Digital. Directing the efforts of 6,000 engineers, he oversaw the company's entry into advanced computer chips, and its introduction of the line of VAX minicomputers, some of the most popular medium-sized computers for office and scientific uses. Recently, the company introduced the Rainbow 100, Digital's first personal computer.

''I am intrigued with the industry restructuring that is taking place,'' he said yesterday, explaining his decision to join the new venture at Encore.

Mr. Bell, who lives in Lincoln, Mass., with his wife and two children, received his master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1958 and then worked for Digital for six years. He left the company in 1966 for a professorship at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, but returned in 1972 to head the engineering division. He still lectures occasionally at Carnegie-Mellon.

Copyright 1983 The New York Times Company