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SGI exec takes chair @Home

The number-two executive at SGI is moving to head up the @Home cable Internet access service.

@Home is stealing away Silicon Graphics president Tom Jermoluk to become the company's chairman and chief executive.

Silicon Graphics CEO Ed McCracken will assume Jermoluk's duties at the workstation maker. At @Home, chairman and CEO Will Hearst will become vice chairman.

Rumors had been circulating for days that the 40-year-old Jermoluk, the number-two executive at SGI, was on his way out. The company's stock recently had been in a slump.

For @Home, Jermoluk will be heading up the company's plans to offer high-speed access on the Internet via cable systems in Sunnyvale and Fremont later this year. A nationwide rollout will follow.

@Home has fallen behind on its launch schedule, but the cable industry remains optimistic that the service will become a reality, providing a new stream of revenue. The company, a joint venture of TCI, Cox, Comcast and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, had been searching for a permanent CEO for many months.

"I'm into small teams and building things," Jermoluk said. "This is an exciting opportunity."

He denied rumors that he was forced out of SGI, saying he left voluntarily. Those rumors surfaced after the company reported some disappointing earnings earlier this year.

Jermoluk also disclosed more details about @Home's rollout. The company plans to offer service in Sunnyvale and Fremont this fall, and follow with launches in Arlington Heights, Illinois; Hartford, Connecticut; Orange County, California, and Baltimore. He said the service is expected to be priced at $30 to $45 per month.

Jermoluk also said @Home won't just provide high-speed Internet access. Future plans may include links to offer home banking, home shopping and video conferencing, among others.

Separately, in reports issued today Silicon Graphics said its net income for the fourth quarter had jumped to $81 million (46 cents per share) from $53 million (30 cents) for the like period a year ago. Sales for the quarter ended June 30 rose 26 percent to $826 million.

The results matched or beat Wall Street analysts' estimates. They were announced after the New York Stock Exchange closed, but SGI's stock rose in after-hours trading.