"I felt pressure from a lot of people. I felt pressure from my wife and dog."--UPS CEO James Kelly, in response to a question about whether he felt pressure from President ClintonEDITED BY PAT WECHSLERReturn to top
THE MAN WHO WOULD LEAD AT&T?
AT&T'S SEARCH FOR A CEO is only weeks old, but according to insiders, one name seems destined for the short list: Michael Armstrong, head of Hughes Electronics.
Armstrong, 58, was a top contender in last year's hunt for Robert Allen's successor. He bowed out when it became clear that Allen would not give up the CEO post for at least a year. John Walter, CEO of R.R. Donnelley & Sons, was tapped, but left nine months later. In this second round, Allen has agreed to step aside right away, so sources close to Armstrong say he's interested again.
As CEO of Hughes for five years, Armstrong transformed the defense contractor into a telecommunications and satellite contender. Those who know him say he considers his work done there and might welcome a move east, where he still owns a house in Darien, Conn. A Hughes insider, however, noted that Armstrong recently bought a home in Los Angeles. Armstrong declined to comment.
But parent General Motors is expected to fight for its prized exec. In April, it promised him a $10 million bonus to stay until Oct. 1, 2003. And a source says CEO Jack Smith "would move heaven and earth to keep him."By Lisa Sanders and Peter Elstrom EDITED BY PAT WECHSLERReturn to top
MY DINNERS WITH WARREN BUFFETT
WHAT DOES WARREN BUFFETT talk about during dinner? According to his former daughter-in-law, Mary Buffett, he discusses what he loves: making money. "He lives, eats, breathes, and dreams investing," she says.
The knowledge Mary gleaned from that table talk is now a book from Simon & Schuster, Buffettology: The Previously Unexplained Techniques that Have Made Warren Buffett the World's Most Famous Investor. Co-written with longtime Buffett friend David Clark, the book is not a juicy tell-all but a probe inside the head of a financial genius.
Mary's 12-year marriage to Peter Buffett ended in 1993 in a tearful divorce. But she says she recalls fondly her days in the billionaire's home. Christmas was a favorite time. Not for the plum pudding but for the nifty stocking stuffers Warren doled out: shares in such companies as Coca-Cola and Gillette. His one caveat: No one could reveal which stock he or she received.
Although Mary Buffett says she is still on good terms with her ex-father-in-law, the book was written without his cooperation. Mary plans to send him a copy when it's published in November, but doesn't expect kudos. "He's very private," she says. "I don't expect him to say anything."By Thomas Bartlett EDITED BY PAT WECHSLERReturn to top
A GOOD YEAR FOR BUFFALO BEAUJOLAIS
SENATOR AL D'AMATO WANTS to please his constituents, no matter how much the European Union rants.
In the recently signed budget bill, D'Amato (R-N.Y.) inserted an amendment that permits U.S. winemakers--and New York State has quite a few--to label such names as Burgundy, Bordeaux, Beaujolais, and Madeira. Well, as Europeans will tell you, those names are only appropriately used when the wine is from those regions. D'Amato, however, is listening to U.S. vintners who say identification of wines should be done on the basis of which grape is used.
In fact, the U.S. and Brussels have had a tacit agreement for 14 years to allow the occasional California sauterne or New York champagne. No matter, D'Amato's amendment is seen as a direct affront to the EU, which still considers the issue under negotiation. "Once something like this is entrenched in law, it becomes much harder to amend," complains EU spokeswoman Ella Krucoff in Washington.
In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky, EU Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler charges that the law violates World Trade Organization intellectual property rules. A formal complaint to the WTO is being considered.By Paul Magnusson EDITED BY PAT WECHSLERReturn to top