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Bush Names Paulson as Treasury Secretary

Filed under: — 10:51 am

“The dollar pared early losses Tuesday on news that Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Henry Paulson will be named to replace outgoing Treasury Secretary John Snow.”

“The dollar was sharply lower earlier after the New York Times said that Don Evans, a former U.S. commerce secretary, may fit the profile of past Treasury secretaries who have favored a weaker dollar, given his political background.”

“However, the greenback’s losses were pared after a Wall Street Journal report said Bush was leaning toward naming Paulson to succeed Snow.”

Source: CNNMoney


Apple Names New COO

Filed under: — 9:51 am

Apple Computer Inc. on Friday named Tim Cook chief operating officer, and said that iPod division head Jon Rubinstein would retire. Tim Cook was head of worldwide sales and “had been effectively doing the job of COO for two years”. Apple also said that this move is not about Steve Jobs “pulling back, this is about recognizing Tim for the job he is doing”.

For those who don’t know, Cook took over for a short period last year while Steve Jobs went through surgery.

Source: CNN Money


US-China Textile Deal Fails to Build Relationship

Filed under: — 1:37 pm

In business, as life, it can be said that the most important skills to have are people skills. Here’s a textbook example of how U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman fails to understand that. Reuters reports that “U.S. and Chinese negotiators failed to reach an agreement in a fourth round of talks on Wednesday and Thursday in Beijing”. After those talks Portman has this to say:

“We had a very generous proposal for the Chinese but it was not generous enough for them,” Portman told reporters. “Frankly, I’m disappointed. I was ready and willing to fly the 22 hours to Beijing, and the 22 hours back, in order to finalize” a deal.

Classic. Portman assumes that by talking to China a mere four times they’re ready to do anything with you? Where is the trust? Where’s the relationship? His only concern is jumping into China and closing a deal… I’m sorry Mr. Portman but traveling seems to come with the job.

…I swear we had a case study identical to this in an Introduction to Management course.

Source: Reuters


Eisner Quits Board, Too

Filed under: — 10:59 pm

Michael Eisner, who stepped down as Walt Disney Co.’s chief executive officer last week, also unexpectedly quit the company’s board. Bloomberg

Eisner was planning on remaining until the end of his term (expiring next year).

This move suggests he wants to free himself up for a film or television project. He’s made it obvious he’s planning on doing something.


Microsoft Does a Re-Org

Filed under: — 11:08 am

Strange coincidence, as we were learning about re-orgs in management class what am I simultaniously reading about? That’s right, the Microsoft re-org.


Management Quote

Filed under: — 12:47 am

The following contribution from the older, wiser, and much better-looking, Mr. Reams:

I was looking through a book and came across this passage…

“Russian anarchist Pyotr Alexeyvich Kropotkin’s Memoirs of a Revolutionist to good effect on this subject:

Having been brought up in a serf-owner’s family, I entered active life, like all young men of my time, with a great deal of confidence in the necessity of commanding, ordering, scolding, punishing and the like. But when, at an early stage, I had to manage serious enterprises and to deal with [free] men, and when each mistake would lead at once to heavy consequences, I began to appreciate the difference between acting on the principle of command and discipline and acting on the principle of common understanding. The former works admirably in a military parade, but it is worth nothing where real life is concerned, and the aim can be achieved only through the severe effort of many converging wills.”

Perhaps, this shift in approach is what is meant by “growing up…”? At a deep level, it implies the manager as well as the managed have to “grow up”.

I think what Dad has done here is stumbled upon the Russian version of McGregor’s Theories X and Y… it surprising that we see the same discovery half-way across the globe? Hardly. We’re all human.


Six Flags For Sale

Filed under: — 12:05 am

Apparently my current employer is looking to get bought:

Amusement park operator Six Flags Inc. announced Thursday it would seek proposals for a possible sale of the company, but would oppose efforts by Washington Redskins owner and dissident investor Daniel Snyder to take control outside this process.

…unfortunately, as an employee, I could have never invested in Six Flags. A pity too becuase their stock is up 11%.


Microsoft Names Sam’s Exec As COO

Filed under: — 11:34 am

Microsoft has hired ex-Sam’s Club chief executive Kevin Turner as it’s new chief operating officer. Kevin had been with Wal-Mart as it’s CIO. Doug McMillon will replace Turner at Sam’s Club.

“Turner’s experience as a proven leader of people in Wal-Mart’s incredibly dynamic sales environment; his IT background as CIO of a world-class company and his familiarity with our products and technologies as a Microsoft customer for more than a decade uniquely qualify him to serve as our COO,” Ballmer, according to companywide e-mail obtained by Reuters.

Read more: Yahoo!, Seattle PI.

Update: InsideMicrosoft elaborates a tad more.


Nokia Chief to Resign

Filed under: — 11:50 am

WSJ- Nokia said today that Chairman and Chief Executive Jorma Ollila will resign next June, and that Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo will be the company’s next CEO, with Mr. Ollila staying on as nonexecutive chaiman. Mr. Kallasvuo joined Nokia in 1980 and currently heads its mobile-phone unit. Nokia also said its current president, Pekka Ala- Pietila, will resign to pursue personal interests.


McDonalds To Look ‘Cool’

Filed under: — 12:04 pm

USATODAY - McDonald’s is seeking a high-profile fashion designer to give its 300,000 U.S. restaurant workers a trendy, stylish new look.

…Tommy Hilfiger and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs are among McDonald’s top choices. Hah. McD’s? Let’s focus on the product first maybe?


Toys R Us CEO and COO Resigned

Filed under: — 2:46 pm

Reuters - Toys R Us Inc. on Tuesday said Chairman and Chief Executive John Eyler and Chief Operating Officer Christopher Kay have resigned from the toy retailer.

..well, it seems like the recruiters have their work cut out for them today. The resignations will go in effect as soon as the company goes private (”$6.6 billion takeover offer by private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Bain Capital and real estate group Vornado Realty Trust”).

Krispy Kreme Officers Removed

Filed under: — 2:42 pm

Reuters: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. has forced out six company officers after a special board committee looking into the restaurant chain’s accounting practices said they should be “discharged.” … Krispy Kreme did not identify the officers and a spokeswoman declined to say why the names were being withheld.


Krikorian Extends GM Ownership

Filed under: — 2:01 pm

Reuters: Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian’s Tracinda Corp. on Wednesday said it will purchase roughly 18.9 million additional shares in General Motors Corp. raising its stake in the ailing automaker to about 7.2 percent through a tender offer launched last month.

…psh, now he makes an appearance.

Update: ..and fails.

Reuters: Las Vegas casino mogul Kirk Kerkorian has fallen short in his bid to more than double his stake in General Motors Corp. after failing to pry loose enough shares from other investors in the ailing automaker.


GM Introduces New Lineup

Filed under: — 6:34 pm

WSJ: Under pressure to revive sales, General Motors Corp. is about to unleash an important element of its turnaround effort: A slew of new, better-looking vehicles.

I held off on posting about this last night becuase its nice follow-up to the last post. Wagoner has realized and acknowledged that GM is “no longer” in the transportation indeustry but also arts and entertainment. Frankly, he’s far too late to do much about it. “Although many of its new models won’t hit showrooms for months, GM is eager to build some buzz. ” Ehh, buzz may work, then again, the conversation may focus more on share value than new cars. In any case, I’m anxious to see some newer, sleeker cars coming out of GM. It may make next year’s In Motion show even more worthwhile.

GM to Close Plants, Cut 25,000 Jobs

Filed under: — 6:34 pm

Reuters: General Motors Corp. expects to close more U.S. assembly and component plants over the next few years, slashing at least 25,000 manufacturing jobs as it battles high costs and shrinking market share, the company’s chief executive said on Tuesday.

Oh no… I can’t decide whether or not I feel sorry for the industry. Didn’t we see this coming though back when their stock plummited? When the company was down a billion dollars? Wagoner certainly had a number of upset shareholders to answer to at the annual meeting today.

Trivia: which stockholder wasn’t there? Mr. Krikorian…

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