Area software execs paid less than average
Chief executives of software companies in the mid-Atlantic region average $84,000 in pay a year, 10.1 percent more than last year. And they can expect to pocket an additional $39,000 if they're eligible for a bonus.
That's one of the findings of the sixth annual survey of compensation in the software industry, just released by the Massachusetts Computer Software Council Inc. and the accounting and consulting firm of Coopers & Lybrand.
The figures for CEOs in this region contrast with the survey's average of $96,000 in base pay and $43,000 in bonuses. The survey covers six regions: mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Southwest, Northwest, Massachusetts and California.
In this region, sales managers saw the greatest gains in base pay -- up 17.1 percent, to $63,000, with $31,000 in bonus money for those eligible.
A senior applications programmer can expect $39,000 here, with a chance of a $2,000 bonus; for a senior customer support representative, the average is $35,000, with a $3,000 bonus. The highest compensation in those two categories is in Massachusetts, with totals of $58,000 and $46,000, respectively.
Overall, management is more optimistic this year. Sixty-four percent of the respondents projected that this year's results would be "excellent" or "very good," compared with 36 percent last year. And average raises are expected to be 6.5 percent, up from 5.6 percent in 1992.
GEnie online service to adjust fee structure
GEnie, General Electric's Rockville-based online information service, said last week that it will cut its hourly connect rate in half July 1 but will raise its base monthly fee and do away with free non-prime-time access to basic services.
The new monthly fee will be $8.95, up from $4.95; it includes four hours of evening and weekend access to services such as software downloading, games and electronic mail. Extra off-peak time is $3 an hour.
GEnie's move to a higher base rate and lower hourly charges is consistent with recent pricing changes by other online services, such as CompuServe, America Online and Delphi.
Firms keep an eye on employees' files
"With every keystroke you make, every breath you take, they'll be watching you." (Apologies to the rock band The Police.)
Macworld magazine is out with a survey that finds that 21 percent of businesses -- and 30 percent of large companies -- have "engaged in searches of employee computer files, voice mail, electronic mail or other networking communications."
Of those admitting to the electronic spying, 74 percent had searched electronic work files, 42 percent had searched electronic mail, and 15 percent had searched voice mail.
COMSAT moving office to Bethesda
Effective tomorrow, COMSAT Corp., the communications and entertainment conglomerate, officially moves its headquarters from L'Enfant Plaza in southwest Washington to Bethesda.
The new address for the headquarters as well as its World Systems, Video Enterprises and International Ventures units is 6560 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, MD 20817. COMSAT's other operations will now be based at 22300 COMSAT Drive, Clarksburg, MD 20871.
The relocation follows a May 21 name change to COMSAT from Communications Satellite Corp.
ChipSoft-Meca merger under Justice scrutiny
TurboTax publisher ChipSoft Inc. has helped thousands do battle with the federal bureaucracy. Now, it's involved in its own joust with the feds -- in this case, the Justice Department.
ChipSoft announced on April 12 that it planned to buy Meca Software Inc., which makes TurboTax's main competitor, Andrew Tobias' Tax Cut, for $58 million. It turns out that the deal did not go unnoticed by the Antitrust Division.
ChipSoft has since extended its tender offer for Meca's shares three times, most recently to June 23, as the division conducts an inquiry into the merger. The company released a statement last week that it was cooperating with the division, which it said "presently has unresolved and potentially serious competitive concerns" about the merger.
"No assurance can be given, however, that ChipSoft will be able to resolve the division's concerns," the statement said.
Computer Sciences lands $48 million job
Computer Sciences Corp.'s Health and Administrative Services Division in Lanham has been awarded a five-year, $48.6 million contract to act as statistical agent for the National Flood Insurance Program.
The work will be handled by about 120 CSC employees in Lanham, but will not mean any new jobs. The company has provided statistical support services to the program, which is run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, since 1983.
Under the new contract CSC will support the Write Your Own program, which permits private insurance companies to place and service flood insurance under their own names on a non-risk-bearing basis.
* More computer news on Pages 14C, 15C