I agree. But someone (in this case "The Board") didn't think it was
necessary to replace a technical guy with a technical guy. Palmer didn't
have Olsen's passion for the computer business and I suspect this could be
the downfall of most companies doing the same thing.
The Nortel purchase of Bay Networks (who previously Synoptics) was very
smart but once this process started they couldn't stop. There are many
explanations for the Nortel fiasco but the two main ones are:
1. buying up worthless companies and paying for them with your valuable
stock (which only servers to dilute it)
2. noticing huge profits in the fibre optic portion of their business (I
think it doubled every year from 1997 to 2001) which made them think "what
do we need all this other stuff for?". As anyone familiar with science will
tell you, the only thing that can double every so often without an restraint
is cancer. Nortel should have kept a larger interest in their Access Node
business as well as their PBX and DMS switch business.
Once Compaq purchased Tandem (1997) and DEC (1998), they didn't know what to
do with them because they only had expertise in running a PC business.
On this point we are in full agreement.