3Com Corp. said it will hire a new executive to manage day-to-day operations at the struggling computer networking company, relieving Chief Executive Eric Benhamou of some responsibilities. The No. 2 maker of equipment that links computers to corporate networks and the Internet is conducting a search for an executive who will assume the title of either president or chief operating officer, 3Com spokeswoman Leslie Davis said. Benhamou will retain his CEO post. Santa Clara-based 3Com's profit has plunged more than 90% in each of the last two quarters on slowing sales growth of its telephone-based modems and stiff competition from larger rival Cisco Systems Inc. 3Com shares were unchanged at $24 on Nasdaq.
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