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Former Ashton Chief Severs Remaining Ties

Edward M. Esber Jr., who stepped aside as chairman, chief executive and president of Ashton-Tate last April, is severing his ties to the Torrance software publisher entirely.

The company said Esber, who has been widely blamed for the problems that the company has suffered the past two years, is giving up his seat on the board and his largely ceremonial post of vice chairman. The move is effective immediately, and Esber will not be replaced.

Esber, who has done consulting for Poquet Computer in the Silicon Valley, said he plans to pursue other entrepreneurial interests and continue to serve as a director of several high-technology companies.

Esber joined Ashton-Tate in 1984 and guided its growth into the nation’s third-largest software publishing house. However, in October, 1988, the company went into a tailspin as the result of the premature release of an error-filled version of its most popular product, dBase. Eighteen months later, after company losses had exceeded $50 million, Esber was replaced with one of his top lieutenants, William P. Lyons, a former IBM marketing executive.

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“Ed made many significant contributions to Ashton-Tate’s success during his six years here. We appreciate his hard work and leadership,” Lyons said.


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