In Business This Week: Headliner
Steve Jobs: Apple's Core Employee
Steven Jobs always manages to include blockbuster news in his annual keynote speech at the Macworld trade show. This year was no different. On Jan. 5, Jobs unveiled an ambitious Internet strategy calling for Apple Computer to provide e-mail, online greeting cards, and other services. He also announced that Apple sold a record 1.35 million units in the December quarter. At one point, Jobs was interrupted by teens chanting, "Steve rocks!"
That was just the warmup for the most crowd-pleasing news of all: Two-and-a-half years after returning to Apple as interim chief executive, Jobs finally made official what most people assumed long ago: He will stay on as full-time CEO. Jobs says his performance has quelled concerns that he could not run Apple and preside over Pixar Animation Studios, too. "I just thought it was time," says Jobs. "The reality is that I am CEO of Apple, so my title might as well reflect it." So will his pay--which will move up from the $1 annual salary he got as interim CEO.By Peter Burrows in San Mateo; Edited by Mark FrankelReturn to top
In the Mail: GM Car Coupons
Well, it worked before....General Motors announced on Jan. 4 that it would mail $500 coupons to millions of U.S. customers, a ploy it used successfully to induce sales in 1998. The next day, the auto industry announced that it had hit a new sales record--16.9 million cars and light trucks in 1999. But GM's sales of 5 million vehicles failed to break its 1978 record and left it with a disappointing 29% share--down from 35% in 1990. GM hopes the "loyalty coupons" will help get it back over 30%. Trouble is, three can play at this game. Two years ago, Ford and Chrysler responded with coupons of their own, and even accepted GM coupons at their dealerships.Edited by Mark FrankelReturn to top
Sayonara to the Net's "Tokyo Joe"?
The Securities & Exchange Commission on Jan. 5 sued Yun Soo Oh Park--better known by his nom du Web, "Tokyo Joe"--charging that he defrauded investors who subscribed to his Web- and e-mail stockpicking alerts. The SEC alleges that Park would repeatedly buy shares in a company, recommend the stock to subscribers, then sell his own stock as the price rose. The complaint also charges Park "touted" the shares of cigar importer DCGR International Holdings, not revealing that the company gave him 100,000 shares. Park's attorney says he'll fight the charges.Edited by Mark FrankelReturn to top
For years, Compaq Computer has struggled to build the internal capability to match Dell Computer and Gateway's success at building personal computers to customers' specifications, with little luck. On Jan. 4, the PC giant decided to purchase the skills it lacks. The Houston computer maker agreed to pay $370 million in cash for the custom-assembly operations of distributor Inacom. The deal, which adds 2,500 employees to Compaq's rolls, also gives it the ability to track orders online.Edited by Mark FrankelReturn to top
Techies Get Their Own News Radio
Will radio listeners tune in to technology news as readily as they do talk shows and traffic reports? CNET, which operates the Web's most popular technology news site, is betting that they will. On Jan. 3, it announced a deal with radio broadcaster AMFM to create all-tech radio shows featuring product reviews and interviews with industry leaders. It will start at one San Francisco station this month and roll out to the rest of AMFM's 440 stations later this year. Following an alliance with General Electric's NBC unit, it's CNET's latest bid to expand into other media.Edited by Mark FrankelReturn to top