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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Marcia Silverman, Ogilvy PR CEO joins O&M India | News

Marcia Silverman, Ogilvy PR CEO joins O&M India News: "Marcia Silverman, CEO, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, has been elected to the Ogilvy & Mather India Board. While this move was initiated to replace an outgoing director, the opportunity to draw on Silverman's talent for India serves to emphasise O&M's commitment to 360-brand communications in the way forward.

Piyush Pandey, Chairman and National Creative Director, O&M, said, 'Marcia is a PR professional of international standing, and her inclusion in the Indian Board is going to add a lot of experience to our thinking. We will use her expertise to give a fresh thrust to our ambitious plans in the world of public relations.'

'India's economic rise is coming on rapidly now, as is the influence it wields, so it will need to look beyond its own borders to manage perceptions in the West and in China, as it takes its place at the global table. I am delighted to help it do so with my colleagues from the Ogilvy family,' remarked Silverman.

Silverman has been with Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide for 20 years now and is based in Washington DC, with responsibility for worldwide operations. This veteran has built the agency into a truly global and connected network of professionals, spanning 60 cities on six continents.

PR Week has recognised Silverman's contribution to the industry by profiling her as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in PR and as one of the 100 Most Influential PR Professionals in the 20th century. Prior to joining Ogilvy PR, Marcia was with the public relations division of JWT in New York."

Tyson CEO, Other Execs See Smaller Bonuses in 2005 - Ark. Business online media paper Arkansas News ebusiness biz in Arkansas

Tyson CEO, Other Execs See Smaller Bonuses in 2005 - Ark. Business online media paper Arkansas News ebusiness biz in Arkansas: "Tyson CEO, Other Execs See Smaller Bonuses in 2005
1/2/06 12:00:02 PM
By Lance Turner, Daily Report
John Tyson, the chairman and CEO of Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale, received a smaller bonus in 2005 than in 2004, according to the meat processor's proxy, filed this week with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
According to the proxy, available here, John Tyson received a salary of about $1.1 million and a bonus of about $3.2 million for 2005. For 2004, he received a salary of about $1 million and a bonus of about $5.4 million.
In all, the CEO's total compensation reached about $5.5 million for the fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, down from $7.2 million in fiscal 2004.
While all executives received salary increases, most received smaller bonuses. Richard Bond, director, president and COO, received a bonus of about $1.4 million, down from $2.3 million in 2004. Greg W. Lee, chief administrative officer and president of Tyson's international division, received a bonus of $600,000, down from $1 million in 2004. Eugene D. Leman, senior group vice president of the fresh meats division, received a bonus of $258,000, down from $500,000 last year.
Only one executive, Dennis Leatherby, senior vice president of finance, treasurer and interim CFO, received a larger bonus for 2005 than 2004, taking home $280,000, up from $175,000 last year.
Shares of Tyson (NYSE: TSN) last closed at $17.10, down more than 1 percent. Markets are closed Monday to observe the New Year's Day holiday."

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Microsoft CEO to meet with EU regulators

Microsoft CEO to meet with EU regulators: "Microsoft CEO to meet with EU regulators


BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Microsoft Corp.'s chief executive, Steve Ballmer, will meet with the European Union's antitrust chief next week, her spokesman said Friday, as the world's biggest software company appeals a March 2004 ruling by EU regulators.

"Neelie Kroes planned to meet Ballmer over breakfast Wednesday to discuss general antitrust issues, EU spokesman Jonathan Todd said.

Earlier this month, Kroes said her department had received new informal complaints about Microsoft, perhaps leading to the opening of a new case.

Microsoft said the meeting had no specific agenda.

"It is part of the regular dialogue between Microsoft and the commission on a range of policy issues," company spokesman Tom Brookes said.

Regulators from the European Union ruled last year that Microsoft had abused its near monopoly in desktop computer systems to illegally dominate the media software market and threaten the position of competitors selling office networking software.

The European Commission fined Microsoft 497 million euros ($599 million) and ordered it to share code with rivals and to offer an unbundled version of Windows without the Media Player software.

Redmond-based Microsoft is appealing the ruling but in the meantime has produced a Windows version without its bundled Media Player.

A question remains over Microsoft's promise to give rival software makers some cost-free, additional access to its software protocols -- the complex and closely guarded procedures that allow software programs to interact with operating platforms such as Windows.

Microsoft and EU regulators have not been able to agree on which material should be free and which codes should be paid for.

The EU spokesman also said Ballmer planned to meet with Siim Kallas, the European Commission's vice president in charge of administration.

The Central New York Business Journal

The Central New York Business Journal: "CEO Johnson has settled into leadership position
by Kevin Tampone, Journal Staff

: LIVERPOOL — For Dale Johnson, working in the hospice world presents unique opportunities not easily found elsewhere. “It’s really the intersection of medicine and theology,” he says. “That’s an interesting neighborhood to be in. That, to me, is the fun part of it.”

"Johnson has been CEO of Hospice of Central New York since February. He brings a diverse background with him.

He graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in political science in 1974 and from SU’s College of Law in 1980. He worked for and was a partner at local law firms, including Costello, Cooney, & Fearon and Menter, Rudin, & Trivelpiece, until June 2000 when he went back to school for a master’s degree in public administration.

During his year studying for that degree at SU’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, he focused on the administration of non-profit organizations. He was drawn to the field after spending time serving on various boards while working as a lawyer.

“I just found that that was the part of what I was doing that I kind of got the biggest charge out of,” Johnson says. “I decided I wanted to do it full time.”

Johnson was executive director of The Samaritan Center from September 2001 until taking his current job.

In the hospice world, it’s important to fight the urge to “over-medicalize” the treatment of patients, Johnson says.

“You kind of have to fight to keep the heart in it,” he says. “That is really a set of challenges and opportunities and tensions that I’m not sure there’s any place else around that offers that same combination.”

In addition to revamping his organization’s information-technology system, Johnson is looking at other long-term projects. In fact, he helped create a new position on the Hospice staff to foster those long-term goals.

Among other things, the organization is conducting an internal study to determine whether it should open its own residential facility. Currently, Hospice provides all its services only in patients’ residences.

When looking at any major initiative, Johnson says, it helps to keep in mind that, as a non-profit group, the shareholders comprise the entire Central New York Community.

“We need to make sure that we are doing things that are valuable to the community generally,” he says. “We’re the only hospice in the area and so on the one hand, that could be a recipe for complacency.

“To my way of thinking though, what that means is that our deal with the community is that if we’re going to be the only one here, we have to behave like there are five other hospices down the street who are after the same patients we are.” | 10/02/2005 | CEO sizes up Motorola, Silicon Valley | 10/02/2005 | CEO sizes up Motorola, Silicon Valley: "CEO sizes up Motorola, Silicon Valley

Ed Zander left Silicon Valley in 2004 to take the top post at Motorola. The Brooklyn-born executive likes being the boss but has found it isn't easy running a 65,000-employee company; he says it's been harder than he imagined to shake things up at Motorola."

At Sun Microsystems, Zander had served as No. 2 behind CEO Scott McNealy for six years. In 1999, he interviewed for but didn't get the top job at Hewlett-Packard, which went to Carly Fiorina. But he finally moved into the CEO chair in January 2004 -- at Motorola.

Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola was ailing when he joined, having moved too slowly on new trends such as camera phones. It lost share to rivals such as Samsung and Nokia. Now the company has shown earnings improvements for six quarters, and it recently cut a deal with Apple Computer to make the Rokr cell phone that plays iTunes music.

Last month, Zander was back in Silicon Valley. He answered questions at the Churchill Club's leadership conference at the Computer History Museum. A consummate salesman once known as ``fast Eddie,'' Zander brought a silver case full of the latest Motorola cell phones that he told the crowd to buy. Afterward, he spoke with Mercury News staff writers Dean Takahashi and Therese Poletti. Here are edited excerpts from the interview:

Q How is the culture at Motorola vs. Silicon Valley?

A It's pretty obvious. We all came out here as half Type A, half crazies that want to make money, do great things, with an emphasis on speed, a sense of urgency, kill. Chicago is a lot like the rest of the world where people think about what kind of picnic to go to this weekend. It's not to say we don't want to win. It's not to say people don't work hard in Chicago. It's more a balance of life. When you're trying to be competitive with people in other parts of the world, that makes things hard.

Q When you think of the wireless industry, is Silicon Valley relevant?

A If you look at mobile technology, it's the next big thing. It's funny, if you look at where the mobile companies are, they aren't in the valley. Not the big companies. Intel is here and they are doing WiMax. Cisco is here and they are doing Internet telephony. Google and Yahoo will provide content for mobile. The valley is going to play a role in wireless, but there's a lot going on elsewhere. The venture capitalists are here.

Q So the venture capitalists can fund start-ups here that get bought by the big wireless companies elsewhere?

A That's a whole other story. It used to be when I was younger here that you only thought about going public. What's happening with the VCs is that they're funding just as many companies as they used to. The funding numbers are hitting records. But not a lot of companies are going public. Will there be enough companies to absorb all the companies getting started? You have to think about your exit strategy. It's not a growth industry the way it was in the go-go days. It's good for us and for companies that are going to buy the start-ups.

Q What's the future of the valley?

A The valley is the valley. It's the cradle of a lot of new technologies. I saw that one of the big funds here, Sequoia Capital, is opening a fund in China. This area is the base of operations. They are putting money into things outside the valley. It's the initial start-up location, but even start-ups are hiring engineering resources around the world. As a company, you have to do that. The corporate headquarters of technology companies are here. The VCs and the leaders of companies are here.

Q How do you go about shaking up a big company like Motorola?

A It's hard. It's a lot harder than I imagined. I can see we are just getting started. I don't know if it was easier at Sun. We grew to about $20 billion, and one day I wake up and we had 20,000 employees. It's hard being thrown in at the top. I always think about whether it was easier growing organically at Sun.

How do you get things done? How do you get around? At the same time, you have to produce numbers. You don't get a free lunch.

Q Do you have any advice for Sun Microsystems?

A I don't want to give advice to Scott (McNealy, CEO of Sun). I have my plan in my place. He has his plan in his place. No one plan fits all. I have fond memories of Sun. I'm hoping they can get it in gear.

Q How did you start working with Apple on the Motorola Rokr cell phone for music?

A Steve (Jobs, Apple CEO) and I started talking, and I said it would be great to bring iTunes to this mobile device. This device holds 100 songs. Apple restricted the number. That's just a beginning.

Q Is the cell phone like a PC where you are trying to cram all kinds of functions into one device?

A That's a good question. I argue with my staff. I think of the world where one day I will just have one phone number. I turn on a device and the carrier recognizes that as the only one I am going to use.

On a Saturday morning I go for a jog with my Rokr. I use another when I go to a nice dinner and want to look cool. At work, I have a different one. People will have multiple products.

There's one school of thought that says there will be converged devices. There's another school of thought that says there's one device for kids, one for the elderly. The question is how many devices do you want to carry around?

Q Which next-generation cell phone network is going to win?

A The incumbent -- because of all the money being spent outside the U.S. -- is 3G networks. Having said that, there are alternatives. Our 3G phone hits the market in the fourth quarter. It's small. Last year, the 3G phones were clunky. It will enable applications like video. People are exploring things such as WiMax (which transmits high-speed data through radio waves as far as 10 miles). Alternate networks will drive new applications, especially for WiMax in rural areas. It's not one winner.

Maybe this is politically incorrect in Silicon Valley, but it is not clear that the PC is or should be the center of the home."

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Online Casino - All The Gambling, Sports and Casino News for the Internet Gambler

Online Casino - All The Gambling, Sports and Casino News for the Internet Gambler: "The CEO of Cassava Enterprises, owner of online casino, is set to make $60 million when the company floats on the London Stock Exchange next month. This happens just several months after the world�s largest Internet poker company, PartyGaming, floated on the London Stock Exchange in June, awarding the board massive pay outs.

Cassava Enterprises� initial public offering (IPO) is expected to be worth over $1.5 billion, which in turn will provide an estimated $70 million in gross earnings. HSBC has been hired to counsel the Internet gambling operator on the matter in a hope to follow in PartyGaming�s footsteps."

Technology Research CEO Kendall Resigns -

Technology Research CEO Kendall Resigns - "Technology Research CEO Kendall Resigns
08.02.2005, 10:25 AM

Technology Research Corp., a maker of electrical safety products, said Tuesday that Jerry T. Kendall has resigned from his positions as president, CEO and a director, effective immediately.

The company said Chairman Robert S. Wiggins has agreed to reassume the duties of CEO and president until a new chief executive has been hired.

Technology Research shares, which a year ago traded at a high of $8.55, fell 11 cents, or 2.6 percent, to a new 52-week low of $4.06 in morning trading on the Nasdaq. On Monday, the company reported a 57 percent drop in fiscal first-quarter earnings, as product mix and higher-than-expected costs hurt bottom-line results. "

heise online - Nokia CEO leaving as of June 01, 2006

heise online - Nokia CEO leaving as of June 01, 2006: "Nokia CEO leaving as of June 01, 2006
Nokia CEO Jorma Ollila, who has been at the helm for many years, is stepping down on June 1, 2006. The world's largest cell phone group announced today in Helsinki that he will be succeeded by the former director of the cell phone division and CFO, 52-year-old Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo. 54-year-old Ollila will be staying on the supervisory board at Nokia.
Nokia president Pekka Ala-Pietil� also took the occasion to announce his retirement effective February 01, 2006. He stated he was leaving for personal reasons. According to a Nokia press release, Kallasvuo will be appointed Chief Operating Officer and President on October 1 before becoming CEO. (Craig Morris) "

John H. Platts, retired Whirlpool chairman and CEO, dies at 88

John H. Platts, retired Whirlpool chairman and CEO, dies at 88: "John H. Platts, retired Whirlpool chairman and CEO, dies at 88
August 2, 2005, 5:39 PM
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- John H. Platts, Whirlpool Corp.'s chairman and chief executive from 1971-82, has died. He was 88. "

Platts died Tuesday. The cause and location of his death were not immediately available.

He guided the Benton Harbor-based appliance maker during a time in which it was facing increased foreign competition and the U.S. economy was struggling with higher oil prices and double-digit inflation, Whirlpool said in a news release.

"John steered us through some difficult times and expanded our production capacity to help position Whirlpool for future opportunities," said Jeff Fettig, the company's current chairman, president and CEO. "The Whirlpool of today, the global leader of the home appliance industry, owes a great deal of gratitude to John Platt's leadership."

Platts joined Whirlpool in 1941 at the company's St. Joseph Division as an assemblyman on the wringer-washer line. He quickly moved into management, eventually becoming manager of laundry sales to Sears, Roebuck & Co. before being promoted to general manager of the Evansville (Ind.) Division.

He was made a vice president in 1959 and, a year later, he became vice president of the refrigeration group. He became president and joined the board of directors in 1962, Whirlpool said.

Platts was president until becoming chairman and CEO in 1971. He remained on the board until 1988, six years after his retirement from Whirlpool.

Funeral arrangements were pending at Starks & Menchinger Family Funeral Home in St. Joseph.

The World Today - Telstra CEO pledges commitment to the bush

The World Today - Telstra CEO pledges commitment to the bush: "Telstra CEO pledges commitment to the bush"

ELEANOR HALL: After his straight talking speech in Lismore last night, Telstra's new boss Sol Trujillo has been out and about in regional Australia this lunchtime, discussing the state of telecommunications services in the bush.

Mr Trujillo announced that Telstra was considering a range of new technologies to assist country people. And he also fielded some questions about his comments last night in which he described the Federal Government's regulation of Telstra as belonging to the last century.

Lisa Millar is travelling with the Telstra boss and she joined me by mobile phone from a cattle station in Blackall.

ELEANOR HALL: So Lisa, Sol Trujillo's certainly been making waves since he started at the helm of Telstra.

What's he been saying to rural people today?

LISA MILLAR: Just giving the message really that he is committed to trying to assist people and he's interested in listening to their concerns.

We're on a property about 30 minutes out of Blackall, a cattle property, where there are probably a couple of dozen people who are talking to the Telstra boss at the moment.

He's looking at some new technologies, including using mobile phone technologies to turn on and off water pumps and to open gates and the like. He's looking at this new technology but is also (inaudible) of listening to people's concerns.

It certainly (inaudible) visit he's actually only going to have barely three hours on the ground at this cattle property before he heads off but he says that's enough time to get a sense of what people in the bush want to say to him.

ELEANOR HALL: Now, his speech last night was particularly explosive. What sort of reaction is he getting from people there in Blackall to that?

LISA MILLAR: Well, I guess people are surprised that he is not afraid to pick a fight with the Federal Government. It was one of the stronger speeches that anyone can remember from a Telstra CEO.

Most of it he's said in private before to senior ministers in the Federal Government but he's clearly determined to say it in public.

The fact that he's going to insert himself so firmly in the political debate has people wondering… not wanting to make a decision on what kind of term he might have, but rather to give him six to nine months. I think there is a sense of anticipation that they have someone here with some very strong views.

In fact the National Party State President, Queensland State President Bruce Scott was in the audience at the speech last night and the first he heard of Sol Trujillo's decision to back the trust fund was when he revealed it during his speech, and he was clearly pleased and surprised but there was certainly a sense of anticipation and people were pleased, wondering perhaps (inaudible) this person might have some answers for people in the bush.

ELEANOR HALL: Now Lisa, of course, you're on, presumably, a Telstra line there, it's a fairly ropey mobile line.

What's next on the agenda for Sol Trujillo? Is he being bombarded about services to the bush, improving those mobile services?

LISA MILLAR: Well, the Telstra people have been very proudly telling me how good the CDMA mobile is that I am using at the moment. So they won't be pleased to hear that it's ropey.

They will be talking to him about what kind of services they're getting here. He will head off to Brisbane this afternoon to meet with Telstra staff and to address a fairly large staff meeting away from the cameras before he meets with the Queensland Premier Peter Beattie for a short discussion this afternoon before flying back to Sydney.

ELEANOR HALL: Lisa Millar, thanks very much for that. - Blockbuster CEO's warning puts a dent in stock price - Blockbuster CEO's warning puts a dent in stock price: "Blockbuster CEO's warning puts a dent in stock price
Associated Press
DALLAS - The chief executive of Blockbuster warned Tuesday that the movie-rental company's second quarter was hurt by weak DVD releases that have cast doubt about the rest of the year. The company's shares plunged."

The warning by John Antioco in a presentation to Blockbuster investors came a week before Dallas-based Blockbuster, the largest U.S. movie-rental chain, is scheduled to release second-quarter financial results.

Blockbuster shares fell 53 cents, or 6.2 percent, to close at $8.09 in trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

"Overall industry decline and continued poor theatrical performance had a negative impact on the second quarter and has created uncertainty about the balance of the year," Antioco said.

He said Blockbuster is "taking aggressive actions" in the second half of the year to cope with continued weakness in the rental industry.

Blockbuster has had a tumultuous year, capped by a successful proxy fight led by financier Carl Icahn, who criticized the company for spending too much. Icahn and two allies won seats on the board but retained Antioco as CEO and chairman.

Friday, July 08, 2005

ActiveGrid CEO Sees LAMP, XML as �Next-Gen� Apps Platform [OETrends.Com]

ActiveGrid CEO Sees LAMP, XML as �Next-Gen� Apps Platform [OETrends.Com]: "ActiveGrid CEO Sees LAMP, XML as �Next-Gen� Apps Platform
Posted on: 07/08/05
by Vance McCarthy
ActiveGrid Inc.�s campaign for helping Open Source LAMP-based tools and platforms to play a growing role in enterprise app development is getting a boost from some of the biggest names in LAMP, including Red Hat and Novell (Linux), Covalent (Apache), MySQL AB (MySQL), and Zend (PHP scripting language). "

ActiveGrid has reached strategic partnerships with each firm to map out plans for technical co-development, marketing, support and other streategies important to further seeding Open Source solutions into the enterprise IT – particularly the appdev and deployment sectors.

ActiveGrid founder and CEO Peter Yared described the goal of these LAMP partnerships this way:
"By partnering with the key LAMP players, ActiveGrid is able to integrate the LAMP stack into a cohesive platform for enterprise customers. The strategic relationships we are announcing today will enable ActiveGrid to collaborate on LAMP-based technology innovation and streamline mission-critical customer support by resolving technical issues directly with the principals behind each component of the LAMP stack."

ActiveGrid’s offerings, slated to be released late this year, is comprised of a visual toolset (Application Builder) and LAMP-based Open Source deployment platform designed to expand using commodity hardware (Grid Application Server). The two components are designed to work together, and aim to make it easier for commercial developers (Java, C, C++, ASP/.NET) to easily create, scale, and deploy native XML enterprise applications – using grids of commodity computers. Pre-release versions of the company's Open Source offerings are available for download from ActiveGrid’s website.

Why ActiveGrid’s Yared Says
It’s Time for the Next Shift
"ActiveGrid’s vision is based on a shift away from conventional languages like Java and C, to Open Source, native XML, and grid computing. The reason, Yared says, is that enterprise managers, architects and even devs, are beginning to see that the current way of building and updating apps is just too costly and time-consuming.

Yared points to ActiveGrid’s Application Builder as the model for how to cure what ails today’s traditional apps development woes. The ActiveGrid Applications Builder marries procedural and declarative coding help devs apply caching and asynchronous communications to applications as properties – not hard-coded attributes.

The tool provides an Open Source visual development environment, which marries XML and Python technologies to enable devs to graphically and iteratively create, test, debug and even deploy apps from the same environment. The tool also provides wizards and other graphical abstractions to build apps and/or services that need to interact with other resources, and integrates a Web server, database, and debugger to let devs run demo apps, test, and perform iterative development against their early codesets.

A key, Yared said, to ActiveGrid’s Application Builder dual capability is the tool is based on Python (the wxPython GUI framework) for Python. Another key: Application Builder’s ability to make deployment patterns not just declarative but also adaptive. As a result, a session-replication feature, for example, can be activated selectively based on traffic or customer priorities.

Through the Python GUI, devs can build applications and/or services that will comply automatically with a variety of web services and XML data flow standards. Among the key technologies supported are: BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) to define application flow, XML Schema to represent data sources, XPath to specify queries, and XForms to define dynamic Web pages. All logic is automatically encapsulated as Web Services, which can be written in Python, PHP, Perl, or Java.

To get a more in-depth look at how LAMP and XML develop/deploy environments could improve the lot of many legacy developers, including Java/J2EE, Open Enterprise Trends spoke in-depth with Yared, who served as CTO for Sun’s application server unit prior to founding ActiveGrid.

Open Enterprise Trend Interview
with Peter Yared, CEO/Founder
ActiveGrid Inc.

OET: What does ActiveGrid’s approach grid do to push adoption of Open Source, or the LAMP stack in the enterprise?

Yared: In Open Source and with LAMP, we’re not just talking about mission-critical Linux. We’re saying there needs to be a complete develop-to-deployment framework for applications. Our idea of ‘grid” is all about developer agility. Once a developer builds an application using declarative XML schema [approaches and tools], all the code can be encapsulated as a web service. From that, the developer gets two benefits:

1. One, developers can deploy their application seamlessly across an extensible infrastructure -- from one to 100 machines. That’s because the developer is not hard-coding to a platform or cluster, so the infrastructure can adapt; and
2. Developers can change the application easily
OET: It sounds like ActiveGrid is using Open Source/LAMP to form a new apps platform to make it easier to update and even integrate legacy apps (Java, C, or even VB/ASP apps). Is that right?
Yared: What we’re doing is building a next gen application server, releasing the server and the [application] builder. Then, we’re tying together three (3) emerging trends in the enterprise: (1) an applications grid on commodity machines, (2) Open Source LAMP ,and (3) XML to make it easier for devs to build apps. For us, the key differentiator is that the development and deployment are decoupled. So, I can take a variety of enterprise backends, including commercial and Open Source software, and make a new application that ties these together

OET: So, are you saying there are a lot of CIOs and even developers out there getting J2EE fatigue?

Yared: We shift computing architectures every 5-10 years, from mainframes, to minis to client/server and to the Internet. Now, we are in the beginning of a new shift to a grid architecture. With each shift transaction volumes have increased. People are already doing all their numeric computations on the grid, and provisioning apps on the grid. The next step, which is coming now, is to do ‘transactions grids’ which can run mainstream applications on large clusters of machines. This is where ActiveGrid’s opportunity lies, in the move to what we call the ‘transaction grid’ and bringing Open Source platforms to mainstream app development and deployment.

OET: Hmm, so you don’t need Java’s platform independence?

Yared: That’s the irony. You know you’re running on Linux ‘x86, you don’t need platform portability at the language level anymore. We all spent a long time in Java to make sure developers were no longer locked into an operating system or chipset. That was what made Java successful. When it took off in 96-97-98 when it moved from the browser to the server, you weren’t locked in to Solaris or HP-UX or AIX or whatever. Linux does the same thing. So, if you know what operating system you are running on, in this case Linux, do you need layer in between? We think the answer is no. So, developers should be very comfortable running C++ again.

OET: And how does your approach change the way developers and architects work today?

Yared: The first thing to recognize is there is a shift away from running heavyweight application servers on larger machines, especially for “Greenfield” projects. The Java community is starting to grasp this. No one at the design point says they want to run on 4 8-way [CPU] servers anymore. It’s expensive, hard to build applications for, and hard to deploy. And, in the end you end up with really complicated software [because] EJBs are hard to do correctly.

OET: So, is that where ActiveGrid comes in? To offer devs a lighter-weight alternative to conventional, and complex J2EE app development?

Yared: In the future, the way to build is lightweight servers that scale horizontally. Many in the Java community, for instance, have switched away from using J2EE and are now using Spring or lately Hibernate.

With our approach, developers develop through XML schema and deploy separately and we see this as a pretty cool way to build quickly and deploy easily. So, our approach lets developers or architects take a variety of enterprise backend systems , including SAP, all sorts of J2EE EJBs from BEA or IBM and make a new app that ties all these together. You can run it locally, or deploy to an ISP or a datacenter. We will make it such so that decision can be left to IT, but all the capabilities to support that decision are pre-packaged.

OET: But today, aren’t there plenty of Java standards, and even Java standards for web services to help developers?

Yared: That’s the problem, in fact. There are too many. Today, there are Java web service standard to many different things, but there are still many different [standards]. . When you want to go to a database, you use JDBC, going to a transaction monitor, you use JTA, go to a legacy system, you use JCA. And, the web service things are even worse. We see the integration developer using XML. And, that’s it – only XML. It’s XML in and XML out. All data sources should look like a web service and represented as an XML schema. In ActiveGrid, all that done in declarative XML. All schema and the data sources are accessed in the exact same way.

OET: So, ActiveGrid’s platform approach is to make light-weight servers using Open Source/LAMP not just mission-critical, but deploy-ready?

Yared: That’s a key point, There is a shift underway that we call “traditional development cycle” versus a “services-driven” development cycle. In traditional appdev, applications get written by Java and mostly by hand, and devs have to pick out the exact server architecture they want ( and whether it will include stateless session beans, Hibernate or whatever. Then, they hand-code to that [architecture] directly. With ActiveGrid’s approach, developers can be 10X faster than J2EE, and that means changes and updates they need to do to their code can be done in much less than the year or 2 it can take today. And, we can make updates 10x less expensive than J2EE because integration and deployment costs are greatly reduced.

What’s interesting when you talk to the business people or upper management, they want to lightweight servers on commodity machines. They are seeing some pretty heavy-duty mission-critical apps using this approach, from companies like Google and E-Trade, and they want those kind of benefits from commodity hardware and software too.

OET: Is your approach that we should treat the app server like the way the Java treated the mainframe?

Yared: A lot of tools and services companies that advising to get the nirvana of SOA you have to re-architect plan where you re-service your tightly coupled assets. That’s unrealistic. You never Java-ized the mainframe; you just figured out how to get [requests for data and rules] there and back.

We know customers have J2EE applications they haven’t touched at 2 years. When they need to update their apps, they will build new ones with all those old ones, and use adaptive transactions. ActiveGrid makes it so you don’t have to call the backend all the time. You have your existing J2EE server and you open a web services ‘pipe’ into it. It will get millions of requests, so that won’t scale. To address that issue, we let you set policy – such as ‘responses from this EJB are good for 15 hours,’ and so on.

OET: Would you compare your abstraction approach to BEA Weblogic Workshop, which also uses a code generator, in conjunction with workflow abstractions?.

Yared: BEA’s approach put all that as metadata within Java files, rather than storing a BPEL file. With ActiveGrid, we give developers a graphical development environment, and the difference is now they are editing [standard-compliant code] they used to build by hand. This means whenever developers want to add code, they can.

OET: So, BEA’s approach was too proprietary?

Yared: It was exactly that. BEA’s whole value prop was ‘Use our server because it’s standard,’ and then sell their tool, which was not standard. So, they started off on the wrong foot. But among Java developers, I can tell you a lot of Java developers it takes

OET: How easy have you made it for developers not used to thinking in that way to invoke such situational features?

Yared: We’ve tried to make our ActriveGrid developers tool familiar to developers, so they can be up and running in 15 minutes. So, it looks like a PowerBuilder approach so our tool has a built-in web service, database, demos and a variety of patterns so they can begin projects using iterative development. There is a reason why people stopped using 4GLs, it was very proprietary, difficult to learn and somehow all that promised reuse never showed up.

Our tool is service-oriented from the ground-up, so when you are editing a web page flow, for example, you are automatically making a BPEL file. When you are bringing in any datasource, including SQL databases, it is internally represented as an XML schema (.xsd file), UIs are in XForm and queries are in XPath. .

OET: What type of developers are you targeting?

Yared: We’re targeting the 80% in the midriff in the corporate developer team. It’s the people who used to do COBOL, went to PowerBuilder and now may be using Java. Among the developers we’ve talked to who are working deep inside the infrastructure to build and deploy apps, they are very happy about the idea of running on a much smaller machine.

OET: You mentioned E-Trade earlier. Is that the new pattern for quick development/quick deployment? And, if so, what is it they’re doing that is getting the attention of the architects and business execs you’re talking to?

Yared: E-Trade just switched their infrastructure to use 160 commodity [Linux] machines running Tomcat, and they didn’t even buy maintenance. So, today, I think the challenge is that a lot of folks are trying to build mission-critical applications for these low-cost, light-weight [Linux] servers using the same methods and approaches they used to build applications for their heavy-weight servers, and so it’s not just the deployment [environment] that’s a cost issue. It’s also in the application development. Unless the dev changes their approach to application development for light-weight [Linux] servers, they will still face 2-year development cycles and lost of expense.

OET: That sounds simple enough. But it is always easy to figure out how granular the components of a lightweight app should be?

Yared: It is self-evident. That’s because you start to think of services the way you used to think of database calls. In a database, you would never call a database with ‘get me the first name,’ then ‘get the last name’ and then ‘get the address line 1’. Instead, you would say, ‘get me the data on this person.’

So, for developers, services are really not that unfamiliar because they are not that different from what they’ve used in the past. The real problem is that developers are coding to Hibernate. And, it’s Hibernate that says ‘get first name’ and then ‘get last name’ etc.

OET: So, what you’re saying is that Hibernate the new target devs are building to – and not building native component apps, which could be more intuitive?

Yared: That’s exactly it! Hibernate is an extension of the past, and Hibernate belongs to that yesterday column. Hibernate is a better way to do object/relational mapping, but it’s really juts band-aids. It’s dealing with development in the old way. Java developers have a huge list APIs, and now they are going to all more. It’ll make the ‘EJB stack’ look more like the yellow pages more than the whitepaper.

OET: So, how to devs escape from this growing complexity to get on the road to composite apps?

Yared: At the end of the day, there is not a single high-level tool for J2EE that is useable or clean. They are all either code generators or generate proprietary metadata, There is nothing that’s clean. So, there is no high level development tool. That means you have people hand coding to these [Java] APIs, and that limits the number of people that can build these kind of new [composite] apps.

OET: There are a lot of vendors trying to define grid, IBM for hardware and Oracle for database software. How does ActiveGrid think of the “grid”?

Yared: Grids are an infrastructure for applications – business process and applications change management. It’s not just hardware clusters or grid, like IBM will sell you a bunch of Linux machines. With an applications infrastructure grid, Amazon, for instance, can put up a new store in a month and it takes everyone else 2 years.

OET: So, it’s the design and tooling that is just as important as the underlying ‘grid’ infrastructure?
Yared: Exactly so. That is why we also did a developer toolset. We like to say that with a grid, developers can build apps rapidly, like with PowerBuilder, deploy scalability like Google, and serve with dozens of differentiations, like Starbucks does with coffee.

OET: Talk a little more about that Starbucks part of your vision?

Yared: OK. Adapt applications across a grid can be customized to meet a business need based on who an application is interacting with. . So, for example. lets say I have web order entry system. And, guess what? Just when an important customer is online, that’s when one of your servers hangs and loses the order. The customer calls your CEO and says ‘You just lost my order.” So, you as IT in trying to fix it might suggest turning on session replication, which exacts 3 times the performance hit, or suggest that the server infrastructure be scaled up. The CEO says to you: ‘Why can’t you just turn on session replication for Jim?’ or for any high-value customer. The key is that with adaptive applications, you can do different things for different people, all based on policies that can be run at runtime.

OET: What about how architects are reacting to your approach?

Yared: This is the first time that no matter what level in the org we talk to -- the CIO, the Chief Architect, the mid-level architect or even the developers who do the coding – we can offer the same exact message about simplifying development and deployment. And all these groups have given it the thumbs up.

OET: Really. No resistance?

Yared: (Laughs)> Well, they don’t all like it for the same reason. But, but they all give it the thumbs up. Everyone wants to move to large clusters of commodity machine. They all get it, and understand the value. Commodity machines running Open Source hardware are cheaper, and they also would like to do more Open Source development if they knew the rules and knew their commodity hardware can support their applications needs. And, we’re showing with our grid approach that LAMP can meet more of those needs than they originally think.

OET: And how do these developers, architects and CIOs see ActiveGrid contributing to moving from tightly-coupled to loosely-coupled ways of building – and deploying—apps?

Yared: To put it succinctly, it’s very hard to deal with loosely structured data when you have a strongly typed language. Also, every Java thing that works with a web service generates a bunch a classes. And, the minute the web service changes, even a little bit, developers have to go generate a whole new bunch of classes and re-deploy their application. The whole point of web services is that they change a lot, and people we talk to understand the need to have tools and a platform that can accommodate those changes in a cheaper and quicker manner.

OET: So what are some of the “transitional” technologies that ActiveGrid offers to get enterprise devs from Point A to Point B, or from tightly-coupled to loosely-coupled development?

Yared: We support Java. We call our environment ‘service-oriented, language neutral’. It’s actually the same message that Microsoft has [with the CLR].

OET: Speaking of .NET, what does ActiveGrid have in common with Microsoft?

Yared: What Microsoft says is if you’re doing control flow, do it in Basic. If your doing heavy computation do it in C and if you’re doing business logic do it in J++ or their Java derivative. It’s very rational, actually. And, that’s a lot like what we say. We say when you’re doing text processing or flow control do it in PHP. When you’re doing heavy computational stuff use C++.

With CLR, Microsoft lets developers call from one language to another. But, in a service-oriented world I don’t care what is written in because I know I can communicate with them because they use web services technologies, like WSDLs and so on. Similarly, I don’t care what the Google or the Amazon APIs are written in because I know I will be able to communicate with them.

OET: How do your tools work, for identifying assets, as well as any new programming?

Yared: For the most part, wizards walk you through it, using the IP address, MySQL configurations, etc. And, developers build an app through flows and such. The minute you need to do code, every bit of code you do will be a service. This is straight-forward, so now you are dealing with services and tying them together. Examples might be: How do I get from this web page to another web page; or Now that I am getting data from SAP [ERP software applications] what do I need to put out.

OET: Does ActiveGrid support security?

Yared: We define a service as XML in and XML out, so when you are talking to customer that wants to do an end-to-end cert check over SSL, we are doing that based on policy at runtime. We also have plug-ins to an identity server, and let you set a policy for an individual service.

OET: How does ActiveGrid help avoid performance bottlenecks?

Yared: We do is data-caching. An example is Sabre the online travel system. Initially they only serviced travel agents. Then they bought Travelocity, and set up a transaction grid of 15 machines that would pull down their fair matrix every hour. ActiveGrid is setting up data caching patterns like that and productizing them for other users to use.

The CEO as psychopath

The CEO as psychopath: "The CEO as psychopath
Egocentric, ruthless and coldblooded people are plentiful in corporate boardrooms, psychologists say."

WASHINGTON — Finally, a business magazine has asked a question on many folks' minds: "Is Your Boss a Psychopath?"

The magazine is Fast Company and its answer to that question is: Yes, your boss might very well be a psychopath. After all, many of America's legendary titans of industry exhibited symptoms of psychopathy — folks such as Henry Ford, Armand Hammer, even Walt Disney.

Psychopaths are people who are amoral, ruthless, pathologically selfish and utterly unburdened by qualms of conscience. You find a lot of these folks in prisons. You can also find them in corporate boardrooms, the magazine reports.

"I always said that if I wasn't studying psychopaths in prison, I'd do it at the stock exchange," Canadian psychologist Robert Hare told Fast Company.

Hare, 71, is one of the world's foremost experts on psychopaths. He developed the "Psychopathy Checklist," which has been used to diagnose psychopaths for 25 years, and the "P-Scan," which is widely used by police departments to screen out psychopaths among recruits. Hare sees similarities between the psychopaths he has studied — Mafia hit men and sex offenders — and the corporate crooks behind the Enron and WorldCom scandals.

"These are callous, coldblooded individuals," he says. "They don't care that you have thoughts and feelings. They have no sense of guilt or remorse."

Hare's view is supported by two studies, including the research of British psychologists Belinda Board and Katarina Fritzon, who administered personality tests to 39 high-level executives and found them to be egocentric, exploitative and lacking in empathy — in short, "successful psychopaths."

Whether this boss-as-psychopath theory is sound science is, of course, debatable. But the folks at Fast Company have taken this serious idea and run with it, producing an entertaining eight-page package that includes a goofy quiz on how to tell whether your boss is psycho and a cover portrait of C. Montgomery Burns, the beady-eyed evil capitalist from "The Simpsons" whose credo is "What good is money if it can't inspire terror in your fellow man?"

Best of all are the deliciously nasty mini-portraits of "Bosses From Hell," a category that includes many of America's most famous executives, past and present:

• Ford: "used shadowy henchmen to run 'secret police' who spied on employees … cheated on his wife with his teenage personal assistant and then had the younger woman marry his chauffeur as a cover."

• Hammer: "bribed his way through the oil business. Laundered money for Soviet spies…. Then promoted himself for the Nobel Peace Prize."

• Disney: "a dictatorial boss who underpaid his workers … made anti-Semitic smears … cooperated with Sen. Joseph McCarthy."

• "Chainsaw" Al Dunlop: "His divorce was granted on grounds of 'extreme cruelty.' That's the characteristic that endeared him to Wall Street, which applauded when he fired 11,000 workers at Scott Paper, then another 6,000 (half the labor force) at Sunbeam."

No wonder Hare has created a test to screen potential chief executives for psychopathic behavior before they're hired. "We screen police officers, teachers," he says. "Why not people who are going to handle billions of dollars?"

Well, Alan Deutschman, who wrote the Fast Company story, suggests one good reason why not: Companies would use the test not to weed out psychopaths but to hire them.

Xinhua - English

Xinhua - English: "BEIJING, July 8 -- China's vice premier Huang Ju has discussed energy cooperation with the CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation, Lee Raymond.

At a meeting Thursday in Beijing, the vice premier highly praised the cooperation between Exxon and China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation.
He said China's entry into the World Trade Organization had given enterprises from China and the US more opportunities for cooperation.
He hoped that Exxon Mobil could cooperate further with Chinese energy companies.
Lee Raymond expressed his admiration for China's economic development, especially its achievements in energy.
He said his corporation is keeping a close eye on Chinese companies and hopes for further cooperation."

75% of Companies Disregard CEO Exit Plans

75% of Companies Disregard CEO Exit Plans: "75% of Companies Disregard CEO Exit Plans
Friday July 8, 7:18 am ET
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Formal exit plans are integral when developing succession plans, yet only 25% of US companies consider it a major component, according to Grant Thornton's Succeeding at Succession. For example, Richard Grasso's exit as chairman from the New York Stock Exchange could have been handled more smoothly and with less controversy with proper planning, according to analysts at Cutting Edge Information.
Succession planning should permeate the corporate culture. When a company moves beyond simply thinking about a succession plan and actually begins building one, it moves ahead of the game. A recent report by Cutting Edge Information concludes that succession planning not only improves bottom line results, but also enhances operational performance and extends company continuity.
The tool Home Depot uses is called job preference process (JPP). With JPP, employees are encouraged to take charge of their own development and assessment. The company uses this technique to maintain a large pool of applicants for key positions. Home Depot has executives review the entire organization twice a year and identify key backups for each manager, director and executive.
'One of the primary ways these companies' reputations show through is in how aggressively other companies target their rising stars,' said Jason Richardson, CEO of Cutting Edge Information. 'Organizations less skilled in leadership development will pay a top price for good leaders, and they know which companies to look to for managers and executives.'
Cutting Edge Information's report, 'Succession Planning for Results,' profiles several top-notch companies that demonstrate exemplary succession planning. Among these developers of leadership are companies such as General Electric, Xerox, Boeing, Pfizer, and Bank of America.

Berkeley Daily Planet

Berkeley Daily Planet: "Medical Center Looks to Texas for Next CEO By MATTHEW ARTZ
Seeking to restore stability to Alameda County�s much criticized public hospital system, hospital trustees are negotiating with Dr. Samuel Ross of Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Tex., to become the system�s next CEO.
Although a deal to hire Ross, Parkland�s senior vice president and chief medical officer, hasn�t been sealed, the two sides are in exclusive negotiations, said Alameda County Medical Center Board President Dr. Ted Rose."

The medical center includes Oakland’s Highland Hospital, which serves most of Berkeley’s trauma and emergency cases. Also in the public hospital network, required to treat the uninsured, are San Leandro’s Fairmont Hospital, John George Psychiatric Pavilion and three outpatient clinics

Last year, with the medical center facing a $50 million deficit and having fired its ninth chief executive in 11 years, county lawmakers turned over management to Nashville, Tenn.-based consultant Cambio Health Solutions.

With Cambio’s management contract set to expire on Aug. 7, the absence of a new leadership team was one of several criticisms lodged at the board of trustees in a Alameda County Grand Jury report released in May.

The grand jury also charged that the board, despite receiving $70 million from a county sales tax increase, appeared unable to balance its budget, make tough decisions on layoffs and service reductions, curtail the power of unions and reduce borrowing from the county.

“The grand jury report was bogus, a real hatchet job,” said Brad Cleveland of SEIU, Local 616.

Kay Eisenhower, the chair of pro-labor Vote Health, challenged the timing of the report, released nearly two months before the annual grand jury report. She said insiders believed the early release was timed to complicate the search for a new CEO and keep Cambio in charge of the hospital.

Eisenhower also said the grand jury foreman was a former associate of County Sheriff Charles Plummer, who, she said, first recommended the county bring in Cambio.

“It’s suspicious when last year a doctor was murdered, there was a $50 million deficit and the hospital was threatened with decertification, but the grand jury report came out as scheduled, but this year, there is a balanced budget, no threat of decertification, but the grand jury feels the need to issue its report in May,” she said.

Cleveland said that Plummer had written the grand jury a series of letters critical of the medical center and that some of the letters “looked suspiciously similar” to the grand jury report.

A case in point, he said, was the grand jury’s findings that on any day 25 percent of employees are on paid leave. He said that figure came from Cambio reports, relayed from Plummer to the grand jury, that combined vacation and sick days with medical leave.

“It was interesting that misinformation provided by Cambio was picked up by the sheriff and ended up in the grand jury report,” he said.

The trustees, preparing a formal response due to the grand jury Monday, also challenged the report.

“A lot of their information was outdated,” said Board President Dr. Ted Rose. “We knew in March we were heading towards a balanced budget.”

Last week, with the help of $70 million from the sales tax hike approved by voters in 2004, the board passed a budget with a projected net income of $253,028 without laying off workers or reducing services.

Public hospitals in the state have been hard hit by lower fees paid by Medicare and Medi-Cal and an increase in low-income residents without insurance. Rose said between 40 and 50 percent of the medical center’s patients were uninsured.

He added that the board wanted to steady the hospital’s finances through running a more efficient operation rather than cutting staff.

“The question is, how do you reduce staff without reducing services,” he said.

Rose also defended agreements with unions signed last year that gave workers 3 and 5 percent raises as necessary to retain skilled employees.

County Supervisor Keith Carson said he was “cautiously optimistic” about the medical center’s future, but cautioned that it had to make further service and billing reforms so it wouldn’t be so dependent on the sales tax increase.

“Given the depth of the challenges, they need to make structural changes,” he said. “I haven’t seen that yet.”

As far as the medical center’s preferred new leader, Ross could not be reached for comment on his possible appointment to the helm of the county hospital system. A native Texan, he has been a mainstay for the past 12 years at Parkland, best known as the facility President John F. Kennedy was rushed to after being fatally shot.

Ross has degrees in medicine and medical management from the University of Texas. When he was promoted to his current position in 2003, Parkland CEO Dr. Ron Anderson said of Ross: “His interest in community outreach, indigent health care and public health has led to increased patient volume and revenues and more than $3 million in grant programs for community clinics.”

Hartstein named president and CEO of John Hancock Funds - 2005-07-08

Hartstein named president and CEO of John Hancock Funds - 2005-07-08: "Hartstein named president and CEO of John Hancock Funds
Boston Business Journal
John Hancock Funds, the mutual fund unit of Toronto's Manulife Financial Corp., has named Keith Hartstein president and CEO, replacing James Shepherdson, who is leaving to join New York-based Axa Financial Inc. "

Hartstein, who joined Hancock Funds in 1990, steps up after being executive vice president for retail sales and marketing. He takes over July 18. Axa spokesman Jeff Tolvin could not say what job Shepherdson will have at Axa when he starts in August.

Shepherdson was named president and CEO of John Hancock Funds in June 2004. He was promoted from within, replacing Maureen Ford Goldfarb, who'd run the unit since January 2000. She left the company after Manulife's (NYSE: MFC) deal for Hancock closed in April 2004.

Shepherdson signed on at Hancock in March 2003 to oversee the company's nonproprietary annuity business.

As of June 30, Hancock had $33.4 billion in assets under management.

Reuters Business Channel |

Reuters Business Channel | "UPDATE 2-Mobilcom, freenet agree 1.15 merger ratio, new CEO"

By Boris Groendahl

FRANKFURT, July 8 (Reuters) - German telecoms group mobilcom (MOBG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) and its Internet offshoot (FRNG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) agreed on a planned merger on Friday and unexpectedly picked the head of freenet to be the chief executive of the combined company.

Shareholders will receive new shares in the merged firm at a ratio equivalent to 1.15 mobilcom shares for each freenet share, freenet said in a statement. The companies have not yet said how many new shares will be issued.

Freenet Chief Executive Eckhard Spoerr will become mobilcom CEO from Sept. 1, freenet added, and he will head the combined company, which will be Germany's second-biggest provider of mobile and fixed-line phone services.

Mobilcom CEO Thorsten Grenz will leave the company by Aug. 31. He is credited with steering mobilcom out of an acrimonious row with former shareholder France Telecom (FTE.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) and was the driving force behind the merger, while freenet's Spoerr had been publicly sceptical of the deal.

Shares in mobilcom closed up 6 percent at 18.67 euros, while freenet closed up 5.5 percent at 21.53 euros as investors cheered a big step forward to seal the deal.

The closing prices imply a ratio of 1.15. Adjusted for the 0.35 euro dividend freenet plans to pay in August, the ratio would be 1.13, according to Reuters calculations. The exchange ratio is still subject to approval by an independent auditor.


But some analysts said Grenz's departure might unsettle mobilcom's second-tier management, which had been faithful to the prim former McKinsey consultant and dismissive of Spoerr's brash management style.

"The mobile service provider business has proved its potential recently," said Bankhaus Metzler telecoms analyst Christopher Watts. "If it starts faltering now, it could undo what Grenz has achieved."

Mobilcom said in March it planned to reintegrate freenet, of which it already owns 50.4 percent, to save the combined firm hundreds of millions of euros in taxes by using mobilcom's huge tax-loss carry-forwards against freenet's profits.

Both mobilcom and freenet will hold extraordinary shareholder meetings this summer, which must approve the merger. Mobilcom's biggest shareholder, Texas Pacific Group, has already said it supports the deal.

Mobilcom's deal follows similar moves by larger rivals Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) of Germany and France Telecom (FTE.PA: Quote, Profile, Research), both of which are reintegrating Internet arms they had spun off during the telecoms bubble.

Mobilcom and freenet plan a statutory merger, a German legal mechanism in which auditors set the exchange ratio. It is often used to avoid paying a costly premium to the share price.

InformationWeek > Borland CEO Resigns > Borland CEO Resigns On Preliminary Second-Quarter Results > July 8, 2005

InformationWeek > Borland CEO Resigns > Borland CEO Resigns On Preliminary Second-Quarter Results > July 8, 2005: "Borland CEO Resigns On Preliminary Second-Quarter Results July 8, 2005 "

Borland Software Corp. president and CEO Dale Fuller resigned Thursday as preliminary second-quarter results for the development-tools supplier proved disappointing. He will be succeeded by Scott Arnold, currently executive VP and chief operating officer, who will serve as interim CEO.
Preliminary results for the second quarter ended June 30 show revenue in the range of $65 million to $67 million, and a net loss of 24 to 26 cents per share, Borland said. The company's previous statements indicated it would report revenue of $70 million to $73 million with a loss of 19 to 21 cents per share.

The company said results were weaker than expected, particularly in Europe, where exchange-rate issues and poor sales closure rates resulted in lower-than-expected revenue. Borland's software-deployment products, which help manage applications as they're implemented throughout a company, fell short of expected license revenue.

The company said it will report its final second-quarter results on Aug. 2.

The company's board of directors has formed an executive committee to name a permanent replacement for Fuller.

"I would like to thank Dale for his six years of service and his leadership during the initial stages of Borland's transition," board chairman William Hooper said in a prepared statement. Borland is transitioning from a language-e and development-tool vendor into what it calls a provider of application-life-cycle-management software. Fuller will stay on as a member of the board.

Hooper added, "While we are disappointed with the second-quarter results, we continue to see positive developments in demand for the company's application-life-cycle-management products. ... The board has confidence in Scott Arnold and the executive team's ability to manage the near-term challenges in the business."

Morgan Stanley CEO gives up $25 mln pay guarantee

Morgan Stanley CEO gives up $25 mln pay guarantee: "Morgan Stanley CEO gives up $25 mln pay guarantee
By Jonathan Stempel
Friday, July 8, 2005; 10:09 PM
NEW YORK (Reuters) - John Mack, the new chairman and chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley, on Friday told employees he will no longer accept a guaranteed minimum of $25 million a year of pay, and instead will tie his compensation to the investment bank's performance."

Mack announced his decision after he had earlier this week signed a five-year contract that linked his compensation to that received by CEOs of four big Wall Street rivals.

Under that contract, he would have received a minimum of $25 million in both 2005 and 2006 had Bear Stearns Cos.' James Cayne, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s Henry Paulson, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.'s Richard Fuld and Merrill Lynch & Co.'s Stanley O'Neal averaged that much.

"I don't want anyone to think that I am entitled to something that others are not," Mack said in the letter. "That is why I have decided ... that I will amend my employment agreement. No guarantee. No industry benchmark."

Mack, saying he had received questions in the last day about his own compensation, added: "This business is built on trust."

Reuters obtained a copy of the letter. A spokesman for Morgan Stanley confirmed the letter's contents.

Mack, named CEO on June 30, is trying to restore morale and improve performance after his predecessor, Philip Purcell, announced his retirement under pressure from shareholders, and amid a wave of defections of senior bankers.

Last year, the four other CEOs averaged about $28.2 million in compensation, regulatory filings show. Cayne's compensation totaled $24.7 million, Paulson's $29.8 million, Fuld's $26.3 million, and O'Neal's $32 million, the filings show.

The median U.S. household salary from 2001 to 2003 was $43,527, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

"It is not clear whether Morgan Stanley shareholders should be happy," said Jesse Fried, a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley and executive compensation expert.

"The devil is in the details," Fried added. "Shareholders are better off when CEOs are paid $100 of equity instead of $100 of cash because equity provides better incentives. But Mack may be giving up $100 of cash for equity compensation that is worth much, much more, in which case the additional incentives may come at too high a price."

On Thursday, Morgan Stanley said it had awarded Purcell a severance package worth more than $113 million. It also said Stephen Crawford, named co-president in March, would be paid at least $16 million in each of fiscal 2005 and 2006, or receive $32 million if he were to resign within the next 30 days.

In his letter, Mack said he would not second-guess compensation and personnel decisions made by others before he joined the company.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Report: MBNA CEO's payout to top $125M - Jul. 5, 2005

Report: MBNA CEO's payout to top $125M - Jul. 5, 2005: "MBNA CEO's payout to top $125M

Report: Bruce Hammonds cut perks at the credit card giant. He'll cash in when BofA deal closes.
July 5, 2005: 7:57 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - It's been quite a topsy-turvy month for Bruce Hammonds, the chief executive of credit card giant MBNA Corp. He survived a harrowing helicopter crash in Manhattan's East River. He brokered MBNA's $35 billion sale to Bank of America Corp. and kept a job for himself as head of the combined company's credit card division.
And now, according to Tuesday's edition of The Wall Street Journal, the 57-year-old is entitled to pocket more than $125 million once the Bank of America-MBNA deal becomes official.
The bulk of the money due Hammonds is in the form of restricted stock and stock options that can be exercised in the event of a change of control, which is what will happen to MBNA (Research) once Bank of America receives the regulatory and shareholder approvals it needs to close the deal, as early as the fourth quarter of this year. "

Once complete, Bank of America (Research) will become the country's largest credit card issuer.

At first glance, the generous payout to Hammonds seems incongruous. Since taking the helm at MBNA at the end of 2003, Hammonds cut corporate perks. The Journal reported that Hammonds froze executive salaries and reduced stock awards, sold the corporate golf course, and promised a "less flamboyant" look for the company.

Turns out, Hammonds' reputation for belt-tightening and his looming $125 million payday aren't necessarily inconsistent.

Hammonds, a part of the management team that started the company in 1982, received large amounts of restricted stock at a time when he was not CEO and MBNA was known among corporate governance advocates to be overly generous with its executive compensation.

The stock grants had a 10-year vesting period and stipulated that they would vest immediately upon a change of control at the company, according to the Journal.

Hammonds held $56 million worth of restricted stock at year-end 2004, the newspaper reports. Stock options make up most of the remainder of his compensation and can be sold once the Bank of America deal becomes final.

In 2004, Hammonds earned salary and bonus of $3.5 million, down from $4.6 million the year before.

Hammonds, through a spokesman, declined the Journal's request for comment.

CareFlite Announces New President/CEO

CareFlite Announces New President/CEO: "CareFlite Announces New President/CEO
Tuesday July 5, 1:01 pm ET
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas, July 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The CareFlite Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of James C. Swartz as the company's new President/CEO effective today. CareFlite's air ambulance service was established in 1979 to serve the communities of North Central Texas."

"I am very excited about having the opportunity to join the CareFlite team," Swartz said. "CareFlite is a symbol of emergent care in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and a respected community asset that so many people trust and rely upon during times of medical emergencies. I am grateful for the confidence placed in me by the board of directors to lead CareFlite into the future."

Swartz has an extensive background in the air ambulance industry and aviation operations. For the past seven years, he has been program director of Aeromed Arizona, a Tucson based fixed wing air ambulance service. During his tenure, he successfully led the program's effort to achieve CAMTS (Commission on the Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems) accreditation. He also served on the AAMS (Association of Air Medical Services) Government Relations Committee, and committees in Arizona and New Mexico, helping rewrite the air ambulance regulations in both states.

"Jim's experience and background are going to benefit CareFlite and our community," said Lillie Biggins, chairperson of the CareFlite Board of Directors and vice president of clinical operations at Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital. "His knowledge and enthusiasm will play an important role in continuing CareFlite's pledge to be there for our community when minutes and experience matter."

Serving the community since 1979, CareFlite, the only nonprofit and CAMTS accredited, full service medical transportation provider in North Central Texas, provides emergency medical helicopter transport to more than 100 counties within a 150-mile radius of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and fixed wing air ambulance service nationwide. Other CareFlite programs include ground ambulance service, specialty care ground transport, 911 emergency services, continuing education programs, and a community service bicycle team.

CareFlite is sponsored by Baylor Health Care System, Methodist Health System, Texas Health Resources, JPS Health Network, Parkland Health and Hospital System, and Medical Cities of Dallas.

For more information, please call Camille Crim, director of marketing, 972-339-4217, or visit . | company news Edcon CEO pockets R7.9m | company news Edcon CEO pockets R7.9m: "Edcon CEO pockets R7.9m

Tue, 05 Jul 2005
The CEO of clothing and general goods retailer Edgars Consolidated Stores (Edcon), Steve Ross, has sold 28 000 Edcon shares for a total of R7.9-million for 'financial planning purposes', the company revealed in a statement on Tuesday.
Ross sold the shares at a price of 282.17 rand per share on Monday.
According to Edcon's 2005 Annual Report, Ross held a total of 500 000 Edcon share options as at April 2, 2005, exercisable within five years. This is down from 800 000 in 2004.
The CEO's 2005 remuneration package, comprising salary and benefits, totaled R10.36-million, a five percent rise from R9.86-million in 2004. " - CEO: Northwest may go bankrupt without labor concessions - CEO: Northwest may go bankrupt without labor concessions: "CEO: Northwest may go bankrupt without labor concessions
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) � Northwest Airlines shares sank further on Tuesday, as its chief executive said the airline must get labor concessions by the end of 2005 or face the possibility of bankruptcy.
But he also said a pay cut offer by mechanics was inadequate, and flight attendants have repeated their opposition to cuts. Northwest shares sank 24 cents, or 5.4%, to close at $4.19 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. They're down from a high of $11.83 in December.
'If we are unsuccessful in realizing labor cost restructuring, we are going to have to consider the Chapter 11 bankruptcy option,' chief executive Doug Steenland said Tuesday in a speech to Minneapolis business leaders.
Steenland's comment was similar to a statement made by Northwest in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday afternoon.
Northwest has been seeking $1.1 billion in labor cost savings from its workers, and on Tuesday Steenland repeated that Northwest wants those savings by the end of 2005. In response to a follow up question, Steenland declined to say whether that meant Northwest would file for bankruptcy after the end of the year.
Northwest pilots have already taken a pay cut. The airline said it wants $176 million from mechanics. Mechanics said they've offered $143.5 million � but Northwest says it really only amounts to $87 million. And Steenland said their offer would have their pay snap back to previous levels after two years. Both sides have made strike preparations.
Flight attendants, meanwhile, have offered no concessions at all. 'The flight attendants are not in a position where they're going to give anything at this point,' Professional Flight Attendants Association vice president Jeff Gardner said after listening to Steenland's speech.

Northwest has told flight attendants it wants $148 million in savings, PFAA spokesman Peter Fiske said. But he said they have not formally exchanged pay offers.

In the SEC filing on Friday, Northwest said its "financial viability primarily depends on" labor cost cuts and a change in pension laws that would allow it to spread out payments to its underfunded pension. Northwest said current pension law would require it to pay $800 million in 2006 and $1.7 billion in 2007 to its pension.

"Failure to obtain pension funding relief will also cause the Company to consider Chapter 11," it wrote in the filing.

Not so fast, said Prudential analyst Bob McAdoo.

Strike talk is common in the airline industry, he wrote in a note to investors on Tuesday, and he believes Northwest will get labor cuts. "We would be surprised if there is any resolution to the labor issues in the very near future," he wrote.

"It is unlikely Northwest will seek bankruptcy protection anytime in the near future," he wrote. "Its labor negotiations, whether successful or not, will likely to drag on well into 2006. Its troublesome catch-up pension payments do not occur until 2006." And even if it fails on both pension reform and labor costs, more cheaper oil would probably be enough to keep Northwest out of Chapter 11, he wrote.

Oil prices have surged above $60 a barrel recently. Steenland said Northwest's costs increase by $50 million a year for every dollar increase in a barrel of oil.

Northwest is looking for other ways to make more money, Steenland said. It recently stopped giving away even pretzels on domestic flights in favor of a bag of trail mix that it sells. Steenland also noted a new fee for luggage service.

Mack scores $25 mln payday at Morgan Stanley - Financial - Financial Services - Company Announcements - Newsmakers

Mack scores $25 mln payday at Morgan Stanley - Financial - Financial Services - Company Announcements - Newsmakers: "Mack is Morgan's $25 million man
Contract: CEO will not be lowest paid on the Street"

Mack, whose contract runs through 2010, will receive no less than the lowest-paid among the CEOs of Goldman Sachs, Lehman Bros. (LEH: news, chart, profile) , Bear Stearns & Co. and Merrill Lynch & Co., the filing said.

Morgan Stanley (MWD: news, chart, profile) is also giving Mack 500,000 shares of restricted stock. A fifth of those shares are vested, and another 20% will vest annually through the final year of his contract.

Under terms of the deal, Mack will also receive retirement benefits as if he had not been ousted in 2001. That year Mack lost a power struggle with Philip Purcell, the CEO he replaced last week. See full story.

Merrill's (MER: news, chart, profile) Stan O'Neal was the best-paid executive among the major Wall Street firms in 2004, earning a combined $32 million in salary, bonuses and stock compensation.

It was a year in which raises were the rage. And that included Purcell, who pocketed a 45 percent raise, which bumped him to $22 million in compensation.

Goldman Sachs (GS: news, chart, profile) chief Henry Paulson earned $29.8 million. And Lehman Bros. chief Richard Fuld earned $26.3 million.

The exception was at Bear Stearns (BSC: news, chart, profile) , where chairman and CEO James Cayne received $24.7 million in salary, stock options and bonuses, down from the $27 million he earned in 2003. Bear Stearns' profit rose nearly 15 percent during the year.

Thomas Cook CEO says in talks to sell Aldiana -

Thomas Cook CEO says in talks to sell Aldiana - "Thomas Cook CEO says in talks to sell Aldiana
07.05.2005, 04:52 AM

FRANKFURT (AFX) - Thomas Cook AG's chief executive Wolfgang Beeser told Focus Money magazine that the company is in talks to sell its loss-making holiday resort operator Aldiana.

'Yes, there are (talks),' the CEO told the magazine, but added that a final decision yet to be taken.

'We are examining all options, and this includes keeping Aldiana (as part of Thomas Cook),' he said.

Beeser rejected speculation that Thomas Cook is to sell its loss-making French operations, pointing out that the company has gone to great lengths to improve the business.

'We have the French operations under control,' he told the magazine.

A spokesman for Thomas Cook, which is a 50-50 joint venture between Deutsche Lufthansa AG and KarstadtQuelle AG, said in May that the company was examining various options to divest Aldiana, including a possible sale. "

Etihad appoints new CEO | Travel and Aviation

Etihad appoints new CEO | Travel and Aviation: "Etihad appoints new CEO
United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, July 05 - 2005 at 16:26
Etihad Airways has appointed Robert W Strodel as its new chief executive officer. Born in Austria, Strodel was founder and managing director of Lufthansa Cargo India in 1996 until starting his own global aviation consulting services in Germany in 2001. He comes to the role after heading Etihad's cargo and mail divisions."

Oragenics Names Zahradnik Acting CEO -

Oragenics Names Zahradnik Acting CEO - "Oragenics Names Zahradnik Acting CEO
07.05.2005, 05:54 PM

Biotechnology company Oragenics Inc. on Tuesday named Robert T. Zahradnik as acting president and chief executive to replace Mento A. Soponis, who has retired from the post.

Zahradnik, a co-founder and director of Oragenics, will fill the position while the company searches for a permanent replacement. Before joining Oragenics in 1996, Zahradnik worked for Johnson & Johnson in various research and development positions.

Oragenics said Soponis will remain a member of the board.

The company's primary product is a special oral rinse used to prevent tooth decay. Oragenics shares closed 3 cents lower to $1.82 on the American Stock Exchange. "

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Toys R Us CEO, COO to Resign After Sale Closes

Toys R Us CEO, COO to Resign After Sale Closes: "Toys R Us CEO, COO to Resign After Sale Closes
John Eyler and Christopher Kay will step down as soon as the retailer goes private.

From Reuters

NEW YORK � Toys R Us Inc. on Tuesday said Chairman and Chief Executive John Eyler and Chief Operating Officer Christopher Kay had resigned from the retailer, which is being bought by an investment group.

The company said the resignations would go into effect as soon as the company went private. "

Toys R Us in March accepted a $6.6-billion takeover offer by private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Bain Capital and real estate group Vornado Realty Trust. Toys R Us shareholders are scheduled to vote on the agreement Thursday, and the deal is expected to close in July.

Richard Markee, Toys R Us vice chairman and president of Babies R Us, will act as interim CEO while the company searches for Eyler's successor, the retailer said. Markee has also served as president of the company's U.S. toy stores.

Eyler joined the company as president and CEO in January 2000 after running upscale toy retailer FAO Schwarz for several years.

One of Eyler's challenges was to balance Toys R Us' low-price crusade with a campaign to make consumers see toys — and toy shopping — as "special" instead of a commodity.

During his tenure, Eyler was instrumental in developing Toys R Us' experimental Geoffrey store format, which combines toys, baby products and clothing under one roof. He also oversaw the company's move into grocery stores and its strong growth internationally as well as at the Babies R Us and online units.

Shares of Toys R Us fell 6 cents, or 0.2%, to $26.36.

Ameritrade acquiring TD online unit - Financial - Banks - Financial Services - M&A

Ameritrade acquiring TD online unit - Financial - Banks - Financial Services - M&A: "Ameritrade acquiring TD unit
Ameritrade CEO to head up combined firm"

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Online broker Ameritrade said Wednesday it's buying Toronto Dominion's U.S. online unit in a deal valued close to $3 billion in cash and stock that will give TD a large stake in the combined company.

The deal, which will immediately boost earnings and save the combined company hundreds of millions of dollars, had been widely expected as excess capacity, falling commissions and the need to build assets in order to generate fees drive consolidation in the industry.

Ameritrade (AMTD: news, chart, profile) shares ended the day up $3.05, or almost 21%, at $17.87. The stock added another 14 cents in after-hours trade.

Executives from both companies said in a conference call with analysts and investors, said the deal will create a company that offers services to customers seeking only the basic online service to the more costly "hand holding" service offered through a combined branch network of advisers.

"Building our own branch system is one thing," said Ameritrade Chief Executive Joe Moglia said. "Inheriting one is another."

Moglia and Toronto-Dominion Bank Chief Executive Ed Clark also hinted that the combined company would be ready to pounce on an acquisition.

E-Trade Financial Corp. (ET: news, chart, profile) which made an unsolicited bid for TD Waterhouse amid the talks, may be a target. With a $5 billion value in the market, E-Trade will be about half the size of TD Ameritrade, the combined company.

"Don't assume consolidation is over," Moglia said.

In exchange for the U.S. brokerage business of TD Waterhouse U.S.A., TD Bank Financial Group (TD: news, chart, profile) will receive about 32% ownership in TD Ameritrade.

Ameritrade shareholders will receive a special cash dividend of $6 a share, to be funded with additional Ameritrade debt, excess cash and from capital contributed to TD Waterhouse U.S.A. by TD Bank Financial Group prior to closing.

Also as part of the deal, TD Bank Financial Group will buy Ameritrade's Canadian brokerage operations for $60 million cash.

Ameritrade CEO Joe Moglia will run the combined company.

Fox-Pitt Kelton analyst David Trone lauded the Ameritrade/ TD Waterhouse combination.

"For Ameritrade, it looks like the company has chosen a merger with TD Waterhouse that has superior strategic benefits, in the form of diversifying the business away from active traders and into the investor space, at the expense of fewer cost synergies," Trone said in a note to clients.

Speculation about the deal for Ameritrade to buy the online brokerage unit of Toronto Dominion has been swirling around the market for weeks, amid a confirmed bid by E-Trade (ET: news, chart, profile) to buy Ameritrade.

Some analysts had suggested that a takeover by E-Trade would make more sense for Ameritrade from a purely financial standpoint than a deal with TD Waterhouse, but Ameritrade has resisted any plans to surrender control of its business.

An E-Trade spokeswoman declined to comment.

In early trading, Ameritrade had climbed by more than 5% as investors thought the company could be in play. However that sentiment faded by the afternoon.

"An E-Trade/Ameritrade combination would have created a company with large cost synergies, but represented a 'doubling down' in the active trader space," Trone said.

The deal comes as brokers face price cuts, slack investor interest in the stock market and lower commissions threaten margins.

Jaret Seiberg, a financial services analyst with the Stanford Washington Research Group, predicted that a deal would pass regulatory muster but that the Justice Department may ask the companies for extra information. Ameritrade and TD Waterhouse would corner a combined 42% of the online brokerage market, Seiberg said.

Scott Talbott, vice president of government affairs at the Financial Services Roundtable, said the deal should be good for consumers and that buyouts and mergers are a normal part of the business.

"It's a relatively new industry, so you're going to see expansion and contraction," Talbott said in an interview.

Federal regulators will have to approve the acquisition. A Justice Department spokeswoman had no comment. A new entity would have to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but the SEC would not get involved in approving or rejecting a merger like this one.

Shares of E-Trade Financial Corp. added 84 cents, or 6.5%, to close at $13.75. Toronto-Dominion shares rose 54 cents, or 1.2%, to $44.15.

News from PC Magazine: Google's CEO Confirms Work on Online Payment Service

News from PC Magazine: Google's CEO Confirms Work on Online Payment Service: "Google CEO Confirms Work on Online Payment Service

By Matt Hicks
Google's top executive confirmed on Tuesday that the company is planning to expand into broader online payment services but said it will not compete with a PayPal-like service.
In a company-issued statement, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said the company does not plan to offer what he called a 'person-to-person stored-value payments system.'"

One of the main features of PayPal, a division of eBay Inc., is the ability for consumers to store balances in order to make e-commerce payments.

Following a story by the Wall Street Journal published on Friday, speculation ran rampant about Google offering a PayPal competitor.

Instead, Schmidt said that Google is looking to expand its current online payment services, which is largely used to handle payments from advertisers and to Web publishers in Google's popular online advertising programs.

Schmidt stopped short of offering details about Google's next online payment plans or when the Mountain View, Calif., company will introduce a broader service.

"The payment services we are working on are a natural evolution of Google's existing online products and advertising programs, which today connect millions of consumers and advertisers," Schmidt said in the statement. "We are building products in the area to solve new problems in e-commerce."

Google earlier this year disclosed plans to handle more e-commerce transactions, specifically for its video-search service.

When Google launched its video submission program in April, Jennifer Feikin, director of Google Video, told Ziff Davis Internet News that that the company would let content owners charge a fee for video playback on Google. Google would then earn a small revenue share from video playback fees.

Google also has moved into digitizing books and other print content through its Google Print program. Though officials have not said whether Google will offer paid access to those copyrighted works, it could be another area ripe for online payments.

M&T Bank's Wilmers Steps Down As CEO -

M&T Bank's Wilmers Steps Down As CEO - "M&T Bank's Wilmers Steps Down As CEO
06.22.2005, 09:58 AM

M&T Bank Corp. said Wednesday that Robert G. Wilmers has stepped down as president and chief executive officer, though he will remain chairman of the financial company.

The firm appointed company insider Robert E. Sadler Jr. to succeed Wilmers and also named him the CEO of its company's main banking unit, M&T Bank. Wilmers will take over Sadler's role as chairman of that business.

The 71-year-old Wilmers had been chairman, president and CEO since 1983. Sadler, 60, had been chairman of the M&T bank unit since 2003 and president of the business from 1996 to 2003.

M&T shares rose 74 cents to $107.14 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. "

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

C&D Technologies Appoints Graves CEO -

C&D Technologies Appoints Graves CEO - "C&D Technologies Appoints Graves CEO
06.22.2005, 06:34 PM

C&D Technologies Inc. said Wednesday that it named Jeffrey Graves president and chief executive to replace George MacKenzie, effective July 5.

MacKenzie, a director, had served in both roles on an interim basis since the March 24 resignation of former president and CEO Wade H. Roberts Jr.

Graves, 44, previously served as CEO of Kemet Electronics Corp., a manufacturer of capacitor technologies. Before that, Graves worked in various management positions at General Electric Co., Rockwell International Corp. and Howmet Corp.

Prior to Roberts' departure, the company fell to a third-quarter loss of $7.4 million, or 29 cents per share, down from profit of $4.2 million, or 16 cents per share, a year earlier. C&D also posted losses in its subsequent fourth and first quarters.

As the new head of the company, C&D said Graves will focus on top-line growth, acquisition integration and production improvement.

The company's shares closed up 18 cents, or 2.3 percent, at $8.19 on the New York Stock Exchange. "

Sony OKs firm's first foreign CEO - 06/23/05

Sony OKs firm's first foreign CEO - 06/23/05: "Sony OKs firm's first foreign CEO
Welsh-born chief hopes to turn around a company that has lost more than half its stock value in five years."

TOKYO -- Sony shareholders on Wednesday approved Howard Stringer, the Welsh-born head of the company's entertainment arm, as its new chief executive, making him the first foreigner to head the Japanese electronics, music and movie conglomerate.

Stringer, 63, a dual British-U.S. national, has helped turn Sony Corp.'s music and movie business into one of its few bright spots in recent years. He replaces Nobuyuki Idei, who led the Tokyo-based company for a decade.

The vote came at a shareholders meeting in Tokyo, packed with more than 6,000 people at a Tokyo hotel.

During the two-hour meeting, Stringer, Idei and other executives were questioned by investors about how Sony planned a comeback at a time when its stock price has plunged to less than half of what it was five years ago.

Stringer reassured investors that he planned to engineer Sony's revival and work to deliver global stature to the company even though he may be a foreigner.

"I am first and foremost a Sony warrior," he said. "This is our destiny, and this is our responsibility."

Stringer faces an enormous challenge in turning around Sony, which has been hit with losses in its consumer electronics business amid competition from cheaper Asian rivals. It has been weighed down with restructuring costs while getting beaten in key growing sectors, such as portable music players such as Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod.