In Business This Week: Headliner
Pozen vs. Reynolds: Duking It Out at Fidelity
There's a race on to be Fidelity Chairman Ned Johnson's new top lieutenant. Robert Reynolds, former chief of 401(k) services, was named one of three vice-chairmen and also chief operating officer on June 21. Mutual-fund chief Robert Pozen, too, was named a vice-chairman. The two will compete to be Johnson's second-in-command, sources say.
The change creates a power triad. James Curvey, 65, Johnson's COO for the last three years, also becomes a vice-chairman. But he's stepping down to run the venture-capital unit. He reports to Johnson along with Reynolds, 48, and Pozen, 53. Reynolds gets a key new role: He breaks a tie if the others disagree.
Johnson turns 70 on June 29, but has no plans to retire. He owns 49% of Fidelity with his daughter Abigail, 38, Pozen's top aide. Sources say she may ultimately succeed her father, but isn't ready. Reynolds, a 16-year veteran, learned of his new post last week. "I'm going to stand back and see what's needed," he says. An even bigger job is now his to lose.By Geoffrey Smith in Boston; Edited by Anne NewmanReturn to top
Handspring Vaults into the Limelight
There are signs of life again in the IPO market. On June 21, shares of startup Handspring soared 41% on their first day of trading, before closing at 26 15/16, up 34.7%. That gave the company a market value of more than $3 billion. Begun two years ago by the creators of the popular Palm Pilot, Handspring sells a Palm-compatible handheld computer called the Visor. Analysts figure Handspring will thrive by selling Palm-compatible devices, while Palm itself, recently spun out of 3Com, will focus more on licensing the Palm operating- system software. Although modest by the standards of 1999's initial public offerings, Handspring's successful launch, delayed when tech stocks sank, was seen as a sign of renewed interest in tech among skittish investors.Edited by Anne NewmanReturn to top
Toys Are Tanking at Mickey D's
With the swooning euro clipping its foreign profits, McDonald's has even more riding this year on its annual Teenie Beanie Baby promotion to boost its numbers. But the Happy Meal give-away may be falling flat, too. A preliminary market survey indicates the toys are getting only 50% of the draw of prior years, warns Banc of America Securities analyst Stacy Jamar. McDonald's won't say how the four-week promotion, begun June 13, is faring, though spokesman Palmer Moody concedes there has been no frenzy. But Moody adds that the Ty toys are still this year's best Happy Meal draw, so it's too early to cross the little critters off Mickey D's toy list for 2001.Edited by Anne NewmanReturn to top
A Trash Hauler Appeases the Feds
The beleaguered company Waste Management on June 21 put one foul problem behind it. The nation's largest trash hauler settled SEC charges that it gave false and misleading forecasts in 1999's second quarter. Without admitting or denying the charges, the company, under new management, agreed to "cease and desist" from future violations. The SEC said the company knew at least by June 9, 1999, that its forecasts were unreasonable but didn't warn of shortfalls until July 6, when its stock plummeted. The good news: It wasn't fined. CEO Maurice Myers said the company will move forward to strengthen info systems and shed noncore assets.Edited by Anne NewmanReturn to top