In Business This Week: Headliner
William Harrison Jr.: The Chase Is Off
Don't rush this man. William Harrison Jr. waited more than three decades to reach the top. Now he has been tapped to be the next president and CEO of Chase Manhattan. A veteran of Chemical Bank, which acquired Chase in 1996, Harrison insists that he feels no pressure to seek another merger. That's despite rumors on Wall Street that Chase is nearing a deal for an investment bank. "We don't have to do a deal," says Harrison, 55, now vice-chairman in charge of wholesale banking. "We can build. We are great at building businesses."
His appointment also moots talk that Chase was offering the CEO job to leaders of big investment banks to do a blockbuster deal.
Harrison says Chase would like to add equity underwriting to its bond-underwriting and loan-syndication business lines. But he says the push into stocks is being done with a "three-to-five-year time frame." When Harrison steps into his new post on June 1, current CEO Walter Shipley, 63, will remain chairman. President and Chief Operating Officer Thomas Labrecque, 60, will retire.EDITED BY KELLEY HOLLANDReturn to top
Raising a Beef with the EU
TAKE THAT! U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE Charlene Barshefsky said on Mar. 23 that a European Union move to block imports of U.S. beef treated with growth hormones could bring 100% tariffs on everything European from meat to mopeds. Barshefsky says she'd rather not resort to such measures to counter protectionism abroad: "When you are forced to retaliate, it's almost like you have lost." Still, the EU has ignored World Trade Organization rulings that struck down a ban on U.S. beef. And allowing Europe to ignore WTO rulings would emasculate the new organization. The USTR will hold a public hearing on Apr. 19 on the list, then pare the roster to match the $700 million the U.S. says it loses each year from the beef ban.EDITED BY KELLEY HOLLANDReturn to top
IBM: Bullets to the Enemy?
IBM KEEPS BUILDING UP ITS BUSINESS AS A SUPPLIER of computer components and technologies to competitors. On Mar. 24, it announced a deal with EMC, which sells data-storage systems. EMC has inked a $3 billion, five-year order for disk drives and other components. It buys disk drives from IBM already--then sells them in systems that compete with IBM products. "IBM is willing to potentially disadvantage its own systems business," says Merrill Lynch analyst Steve Milunovich. But an order's an order.EDITED BY KELLEY HOLLANDReturn to top
Ameritech Bags a Canadian Bounty
AMERITECH HAS AGREED TO SNAP UP 20% of Canada's major phone company, Bell Canada, for $3.4 billion. The deal, announced on Mar. 24, gives Chicago-based Ameritech a foothold in the North and access to other foreign markets through Bell Canada subsidiaries. Both big phone companies are involved in a dizzying industrywide reshuffling. Ameritech itself is being acquired by SBC Communications, and Bell Canada is merging three eastern Canada phone companies into one. Separately, AT&T recently agreed to buy a third of Canadian local-service provider MetroNet Communications.EDITED BY KELLEY HOLLANDReturn to top