In Business This Week: Headliner
Christos Cotsakos: A Rich Haul in Cash Machines
Christos M. Cotsakos, CEO of online broker E*Trade Group, had been grappling with a big drawback of online banking: You can't get any cash out of your PC. But now he has found a way, through E*Trade's online banking arm. This week. Cotsakos said he's buying privately held Card Capture Services Inc., a Portland (Ore.) operator of 8,500 automatic teller machines.
Loading up on ATMs is Cotsakos' next step in an effort to make E*Trade a virtual financial-services center--and to spur growth at the online banking unit, which has only 130,000 accounts. The real-world ATMs not only let customers withdraw and deposit cash but also give the marketing-savvy Cotsakos another ad vehicle. He plans to plaster E*Trade's name on all the machines, thus trumpeting the brand in drugstores, grocery stores, and gas stations. He'll also use the screens to flash E*Trade ads to customers. Next up: programming the ATMs to let you check out your E*Trade account--and even buy stock.By Louise Lee in San Mateo, Calif.; Edited by Anne NewmanReturn to top
Microsoft Gears Up for E-Commerce
Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer still smarts when he recalls turning Ford away when it asked the software giant to bid on building its new electronic exchange. Microsoft had the software, but it didn't have the expertise to piece together its software to make the system work--and archrival Oracle won the job. "I was not in any kind of position to bid on that deal," Ballmer says. On Mar. 13, Microsoft took a step to change that. It set up a $1 billion joint venture with Andersen Consulting to develop e-commerce applications using Microsoft's newly minted Windows 2000. Andersen also agreed to train 25,000 consultants to put together systems using the new operating system. Ballmer's message for Oracle, Sun Microsystems, and IBM: Microsoft is ready to rumble.Edited by Anne NewmanReturn to top
Can Xerox Print Money?
The market value of Xerox has plunged by $21 billion since Richard Thoman took the CEO job last April. So investors are welcoming his moves to return some credibility to the beleaguered company. The latest: Xerox' $2 billion splash on Mar. 14 in the small-office and home-office printing market. In partnership with Sharp and Fuji, it's launching a line of low-cost inkjet printers to compete with Hewlett-Packard--and to restore some sizzle to lagging sales. By Mar. 31, Xerox is expected to unveil another strategic alliance and a cost-cutting plan. Analysts expect it to eliminate thousands of jobs, mostly in manufacturing.Edited by Anne NewmanReturn to top
Go West, Electronic Market
The first all-electronic stock exchange in the U.S. won't be in New York. On Mar. 14, the venerable but fading Pacific Stock Exchange agreed to turn its equity trading over to Chicago-based Archipelago Holdings, one of the fastest-growing electronic markets. Archipelago trades 50 million shares daily, mostly on Nasdaq. The PCX link will give Archipelago the ability to trade shares listed on the New York and American exchanges. The new PCX will guarantee aggressive bidders the fastest execution or a better price--lending support to the Securities & Exchange Commission's opposition to markets that pay brokers to send orders their way.Edited by Anne NewmanReturn to top