In Business This Week: Headliner
David Dunn: Zip Goes the CEO
The revolving door keeps turning at Iomega, the beleaguered maker of data-storage devices, where Chairman David Dunn can't seem to keep a chief exec in place for long. CEO Jodie Glore, who was brought in only 10 months ago to replace Kim Edwards, abruptly announced his departure on Aug. 22 for "personal reasons." Dunn, who has switched chief executives seven times since co-founding Iomega in 1980, has stepped in as acting CEO until another new chief can be found. Unlike Edwards', Glore's resignation does not appear forced. In a letter to shareholders, Dunn said the move "was not because of a lack of confidence in [Glore]."
It's unclear how long Dunn, 68, will pull double duty at Iomega, which makes the popular Zip and Jaz storage drives. But it will probably be a while. Iomega must compete with far less troubled tech companies for top talent. Just two weeks before Glore's departure, the company finally hired a new chief financial officer and a new treasurer after 14 months of looking. Dunn might be holding down the fort for a long time.By Janet Rae-Dupree; Edited by Mark FrankelReturn to top
Chipmakers Spark a PC Price War
Time for a microprocessor price war? Just two weeks after Advanced Micro Devices unveiled its new top-of-the-line Athlon chip--including a 650-MHz version that outruns Intel's fastest Pentium III--Intel struck back Aug. 22 with price cuts of as much as 41% on its zippiest models. The chip giant left prices unchanged for its less powerful Celeron chips. Analysts were surprised by the size of the Pentium III cuts--Intel's prices are now less than 10% higher than AMD's--which are meant to spur holiday PC sales and keep AMD on a short leash. PC makers, including Hewlett-Packard and Dell Computer, quickly translated the lower prices into discounts of up to 17%. Behind the price cuts lurks the industry's uneasiness over signs of slowing growth. Researcher Dataquest expects PC sales this Christmas to climb 13.3%, their lowest rate in at least five years.Edited by Mark FrankelReturn to top
Filene's Basement Seeks Protection
After 91 years of selling upscale togs to the bargain hunters, discount pioneer Filene's Basement filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Aug. 23. The Wellesley (Mass.)-based chain fell victim in part to outlet malls, which slowed the supply of famous brand-name clothes, as well as stiff competition from TJ Maxx and Wal-Mart, which enjoy more leverage with manufacturers thanks to their larger size. Filene's Basement's 51 stores, mostly in New England, will remain open with $135 million in temporary financing from GE Capital and Paragon Capital. Edited by Mark FrankelReturn to top
Now You Can Trade from 6 to 8 P.M.
Individual investors at last got to indulge in after-hours trading when MarketXT, an electronic trading system formerly named Eclipse Trading, launched its nightly 6-to-8 p.m. (EDT) trading sessions on Aug. 25. Customers of two online brokerage firms can place orders for up to 5,000 shares in 200 actively traded stocks, trading with other investors or three market-making brokers. MarketXT's application to launch after-hours retail trading earlier this year ignited a flurry of similar proposals by competing systems, but the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq market have put off evening hours until sometime next year.Edited by Mark FrankelReturn to top