He began his career as a counselor for disturbed children, but it was as a banker that he made a name for himself. As of June 5, Independent Bank Corp. in Ionia, Mich., has a new president: Charles Van Loan.
Some people's names and jobs are combinations made in heaven. The new associate pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in Denver is Amy Miracle. San Franciscan Les Plack is an advertisement for himself: He's a dentist. Michelle Magazine is senior vice-president of, yes, magazine publishing at Scholastic Inc. Reece Overcash is chairman of The Associates, a profitable financial firm. And CNN Washington Bureau Chief William Headline must have interviewed Joseph Coyne, public relations chief at the Federal Reserve.
Some names, though, are almost too right. The head of Hughes Aircraft's cloak-and-dagger computer-security business? Morgan Death.
Ross Perot's Presidential campaign is spooking investors in Mexico. The once-booming Mexican Bolsa de Valores, which had held steady for three months, took a nosedive in mid-June, losing 15%, when Perot's campaign heated up. The Texas billionaire doesn't like the proposed North American Free Trade Agreement.
To make matters worse, investors got wind that the Mexican telephone workers' union plans to sell its stake in market leader Telefonos de Mexico. And the U.S. Supreme Court's June 15 ruling that the American government could kidnap Mexican nationals chilled bilateral relations. Investors now wonder if their fiesta is over.
Tyco Toys was flying high until a June 17 sell-off drove the stock down 11.1%, to 16. Industry sources say that investors got a case of the jitters when they heard that Kenneth Heebner, a money manager with Boston's Capital Growth Management, was unloading as many as 1.4 million shares. Heebner's response: "I don't know what all the fuss is about. Maybe I didn't sell."
Some speculate that Heebner may have reacted to a report by investment analyst Thomas Kully of William Blair & Co. "The only thing we said is that a couple of [Tyco's] products were a touch slower," says Kully. Tyco Chief Executive Richard Grey shrugs off the stock drop. "A short-term weakness in a couple of categories is not significant to our overall results," he says.
Intel is closer to stopping rival Advanced Micro Devices from selling clones of Intel's most popular chips. On June 17, a federal jury in San Jose, Calif., decided that AMD didn't have the right to use proprietary Intel software embedded in AMD's clone of the Intel 287 chip. The verdict also affects AMD's clone of the widely used Intel 386 chip and could delay by several months AMD's plans to introduce a 486 clone by yearend.
AMD has one more legal worry. An arbitrator has ruled that AMD can sell its version of the 386, but another Intel suit argues that AMD can't use Intel software in it.
IBM says the new version of its OS/2 operating system will snatch sales from Microsoft's popular Windows software. But while OS/2 has sold 400,000 copies in its first two months on the market, customers have complained of minor but annoying glitches. IBM has been working to fix the bugs.
Now, Tom Steele, director of the 400-programmer Boca Raton (Fla.) outpost that developed OS/2, has resigned unexpectedly after 28 years with IBM. Sources close to IBM believe Steele took the fall for the problems IBM is having with the 2-million-line program. Steele says he couldn't pass up a job offer from computer maker Intergraph in Alabama, where he was raised.
Even before it opens, Batman Returns is a big hit at Frederick's of Hollywood. Frederick's faithful are scurrying to buy slinky getups much like the one worn by Michelle Pfeiffer, who plays Catwoman in the Warner Bros. film. The risque retailer reports sales are up by 30% for their Catsuit, a body-hugging unitard in lace or lycra. Frederick's' 195 lingerie shops sell six different styles for up to $50.
Five years back, Frederick's reports, it did a booming business in push-up bras following release of the film Dangerous Liaisons. The ingenue whose plunging neckline inspired the copycats? None other than Michelle Pfeiffer.
When it comes to pay, CEOs and their boards don't see eye to eye. Coopers & Lybrand recently surveyed more than 500 CEOs and more than 500 board members to gauge the strength of their agreement or disagareement with a series of statements. Here's the percentage of CEOs or directors who strongly agreed with the following propositions: