"I believe that what has happened is part of what we've seen over the last several years of the politics of personal destruction" -- Linda Chavez, on withdrawing her name for Secretary of LaborReturn to top
The Day the Music Died
College students flocking back to campus after winter break are finding it's now harder to score bandwidth than a sixpack. The reason? More than 120 colleges and universities, including Vassar, Swarthmore, and the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, have started regulating access on the Internet because of congestion due to Napster, the popular music download site.
New software they're installing, by Packeteer Inc. and others, is an alternative to the Napster ban imposed at many universities last year. At Vassar, students trying to use Napster get only 2% of the college's Internet pipeline between 8 a.m. and midnight. Retrieving e-mail or using Net search engines, which previously could take up to a minute, now take just a few seconds. Napster junkies must grab their music in the wee hours or face delays. "We've been very happy with the results," says Diane Balestri, Vassar's head of computing and information services. Students haven't. Ross Aiken, 19, a sophomore at Occidental College in Los Angeles, complains a Napster download now takes 5 to 6 hours instead of 5 to 10 minutes: "It's aggravating to find yourself limited."By Spencer E. Ante; Edited by Sheridan PrassoReturn to top
Friendly Skies Indeed
His official title is chairman, but maybe US Airways' Stephen M. Wolf should be called by a different name: King Midas. For the third time in his career, Wolf has negotiated the sale of an airline he's heading. And as he did before at United Airlines and Republic Airlines, Wolf has turned the sale into a sackful of gold.
If antitrust regulators approve US Airways' controversial sale to UAL Corp. this April (page 34), Wolf will get $33.7 million in options, plus $7.6 million in severance pay, $4 million in long-term incentive pay, and free travel for seven years. Even if they nix the deal, Wolf still could pocket more than 561,000 options that became exercisable as soon as shareholders approved the sale last October. They're worth nearly $25 million based on the current share price of $44. That's on top of the $17.5 million in options and severance he got from selling United to its employees seven years ago, and the $4.3 million he received from selling Republic to Northwest Airlines in 1986.
Wolf defends his US Airways payout, pointing out he has done well for shareholders, who'll get a 130% premium on their stock if the deal closes. True enough. But they still have to buy their own plane tickets.By Michael Arndt; Edited by Sheridan PrassoReturn to top
Why Detroit's Loss Is Japan's Gain
The buzz at the Detroit auto show this year was about the grim outlook for U.S. carmakers in 2001. But among Japanese execs, it was a different story. They were buzzing about how great a year it's going to be for them, with sales growth of 4% even as the U.S. market shrinks.
It won't be the first time. Japanese cars have a history of doing well when sales of U.S. cars slow. Here's why:
-- Lag time. Japan tends to be behind the U.S. in rolling out new concepts like SUVs and minivans. So by the time demand cools, the Japanese have fresher, better-targeted vehicles, such as the Toyota Sequoia ($40,000) just hitting the showrooms. "Compared to the Big Three who pioneered these areas, we're just getting started," says Koichi Amemiya, Honda's U.S. operations chief.
-- Flight to quality. Worried consumers resist impulse buys and think about resale value. Japanese models consistently rank high.
-- Brand loyalty. Consumers who first bought a Japanese small car are trading up to high-end Japanese SUVs.
Of course, a long slump will spare no one. But Nomura Securities says Japanese carmakers tend to take about 12 months to feel a slowdown. That may well be the buzz at the 2002 auto show.By Chester Dawson; Edited by Sheridan PrassoReturn to top