In Business This Week: Headliner
John Dasburg: Ready to Cook
Into the frying pan? John Dasburg's unexpected jump from the cockpit of Northwest Airlines to Burger King fulfills his long-held desire to return to Miami. That's where the 58-year-old executive and his wife grew up, attended school, and where Dasburg held his first jobs, including delivering The Miami Herald.
But given Burger King's problems--the chain has been losing market share to smaller competitors for years--Dasburg admits his homecoming will be short. "In the broadest sense, Burger King is in need of a turnaround," says Dasburg, a flamboyant sort remembered by former colleagues for belting out arias as he walked the halls.
One of Dasburg's biggest challenges will be winning over Burger King's franchisees. They run more than 90% of its 11,150 restaurants--and have been openly critical of what they consider to be neglect by Diageo, the British conglomerate that acquired the chain in 1989. "We're going to have to bring peace to the family, if that's possible," admits Dasburg.By Dean Foust; Edited by Monica RomanReturn to top
Coke and P&G Meet over Snacks
Next time you feed a buck into a Coke machine, don't be surprised if a Procter & Gamble product such as Sunny Delight juice drink or Pringles potato chips pops out. On Feb. 21, Coca-Cola and P&G unveiled plans to create a yet-unnamed venture combining both companies' juice and snack businesses, brands such as Minute Maid, Fruitopia, Pringles, and Sunny Delight, which have largely been laggards in their categories. The partnership allows Atlanta-based Coke to tap into P&G's knowledge of the fast-growing juice category, in keeping with Coke CEO Douglas Daft's strategy to diversify the company beyond the soda business. In turn, P&G gains access to Coke's proprietary global distribution network.Edited by Monica RomanReturn to top
Enron: Energizing Quaker Oats
In another coup for its rapidly growing energy outsourcing business, Enron nabbed Quaker Oats as its latest customer. As part of the 10-year, multimillion-dollar pact announced on Feb. 21, subsidiary Enron Energy Services will supply electricity and natural gas and manage the energy infrastructure for 17 Quaker facilities in the U.S. and Canada. Enron, the nation's largest wholesale marketer of gas and electricity, signed $16 billion worth of similar outsourcing deals last year.Edited by Monica RomanReturn to top
A $1 Billion Offer Gets Tuned Out
How much is music file-swapping worth? Evidently, more than $1 billion over five years. That's the amount that Napster (page 51) has offered to pay major music labels that want to shut down its free online music distribution site. Napster says it could launch a new service by July requiring users to pay monthly fees for downloads and even more to copy music on to MP3 players or CDs. With that money, it's offering to pay $200 million a year to major labels such as Sony, Universal, and EMI, and independent artists. But the U.S. recording industry says it's owed much more for copyright infringement facilitated by Napster.Edited by Monica RomanReturn to top