corporate governance

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Google Parent Drops 'Don't Be Evil'

Alphabet employees still have to 'do the right thing'

(Newser) - Big changes are happening at Google, including a code-of-conduct alteration that has raised some eyebrows: New company Alphabet officially became Google's holding company on Friday, and the famous "Don't Be Evil" motto isn't part of its creed, the Verge reports. But being evil is still apparently... More »

Bank of America to Pay $2.43B in Merrill Lynch Settlement

Firm still denies claims it misled investors

(Newser) - Bank of America says it has agreed to pay $2.43 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit related to its acquisition of Merrill Lynch. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of investors that bought or held Bank of America stock when the company announced its plans to buy Merrill as... More »

Pension Fund Sues Walmart Directors Over Mexican Bribery

Suit: Directors, execs should compensate firm for 'gross misconduct'

(Newser) - A major Walmart shareholder is suing current and former directors and execs on the company's behalf over the Mexican bribery scandal . The California State Teachers' Retirement System —America's second-largest public pension fund—wants the directors and executives responsible for Walmart's Mexican unit to reimburse the company... More »

Koch Brothers Skirted Iran Ban, Made Millions: Report

Bloomberg profiles violations by Koch Industries over years

(Newser) - Despite former President George W. Bush calling Iran part of the "axis of evil" and a 1995 ban on doing business there, hard-right supporters the Koch brothers kept selling millions of dollars of petrochemicals to the nation until at least 2007, using complex legal maneuvers and plenty of subsidiaries... More »

Cost-Cutting Companies Target No. 2 Execs

Corporations eliminate second-in-command roles to save on costs

(Newser) - Cost-cutting at American's largest corporations is hitting the executive suite, with CEOs rolling up their sleeves to take on more day-to-day responsibilities and laying off their No. 2s. In the 18 months leading up to June 2009, 40 major companies eliminated COOs or presidents, the Wall Street Journal notes, while... More »

Let Employees Roam the Web

(Newser) - Protecting against viruses and encouraging productivity is all well and good, Farhad Manjoo writes on Slate, but “locking down” company computers isn’t the way to go about it. Companies that “block the Web and various other online distractions on the theory that a cowed workforce is an... More »

Why Corporate Boards Seldom Do Their Jobs Well

Directors largely responsible for missteps, but keep their jobs

(Newser) - Recent shareholder meetings at Citigroup and the Bank of America devolved into morality plays—wronged shareholders berated executives, executives apologetically vowed to improve—with a rather curious epilogue: every member of the board of directors was reelected. The reason is that corporate boards are often filled with under-informed, over-paid yes-men... More »

Good CEOs Are Boring: Brooks

(Newser) - Recent studies have yielded a good picture of the ideal CEO, and the life of the party he ain’t, writes David Brooks in the New York Times. Traits like empathy, good communication skills, and team-building aren’t very important. Flamboyant visionaries rarely work out. No, those who often thrive... More »

'08 Saw More Raises for CEOs: Survey

(Newser) - More American CEOs than not received raises in 2008, Reuters reports. An AFL-CIO poll of 946 chief executives saw 480 with increased pay, while 463 took a cut. Salaries were up 7%, too; execs with raises earned an average of $5.4 million, while those who saw cuts took in... More »

Citigroup Drops $50M on Fancy Corporate Jet

... After taking $45B in federal bailout funds, fumes indignant Post

(Newser) - Citigroup may be going down in flames, but at least the seats will be nice. Citigroup is buying a brand-new $50 million corporate jet, the New York Post reports, headlining the sale, “JUST PLANE DESPICABLE,” on account of the $45 billion the company has received from Uncle Sam.... More »

Commode for 35K? Ousted CEO Thain Had Lavish Taste

Details emerge on $1.2M office work

(Newser) - Recently-axed Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain may have steered his company to a $15.4 billion fourth-quarter loss, but he did so from a really nice office. Details are emerging about Thain's $1.2 million redecoration, Bloomberg reports. Among the purchases noted by CNBC: $87,000 for area rugs, $68,... More »

Recession Shreds Publishing Industry; Is Literature Next?

Until outfits learn to cope with digital challenges, it'll be a tough go for writers

(Newser) - The publishing industry has been battered in the past month, as large houses hemorrhage editors and consolidate divisions, leading some to wonder if literary publishing will ever be the same, Jason Boog writes on Salon. The list of ills is long: too-high advances paid to a dwindling number of sure... More »

Biggest Convention Donors Usually Need Favors

No limit to funds given to parties' gatherings

(Newser) - Major donors to the Democratic and GOP conventions this year either have business pending with politicians or have recently received a favorable ruling, the Los Angeles Times reports. From cable companies to a government union to an electric utility, millions of dollars have flowed into party coffers—but both sides... More »

What Will Apple Do After Jobs?

Geniuses don't exactly grow on trees, analyst argues

(Newser) - What happens to Apple post-Steve Jobs? That’s been the question since the iconic CEO appeared worn at the June Apple Developers Conference. And the answer isn’t easy, writes Brian Caulfield in Forbes. “It's not like you can say, 'Let's go find ourselves another genius,'” commented a... More »

HP Exec Busted for Passing IBM Secrets

Exec shared rival's confidential info with new HP bosses

(Newser) - A former Hewlett-Packard vice president faces federal charges for sharing trade secrets from IBM, the Wall Street Journal reports. The exec requested confidential pricing information while he was working for IBM. Two months later, he got a job at HP and emailed the info to an HP executive, according to... More »

France's Top Newspaper Faces Crisis

Le Monde says 20% of its journalists must leave by next week

(Newser) - In the past year, the French newspaper Le Monde has endured the worst crisis in its history, losing its editor-in-chief and failing to appear on newsstands for days during a series of strikes. Now its 340 staffers have been given an ultimatum, writes the Guardian: Unless about 20% accept voluntary... More »

Icahn Again Skewers Yahoo

'Why did you permit Google to leave you in the dust?' investor asks board

(Newser) - Investor Carl Icahn broadened his attacks on Yahoo today, targeting not only the recent failure of a Microsoft takeover deal but longtime performance issues, the Wall Street Journal reports. "Why did you permit Google to leave you in the dust?" he wrote to the board. More »

Growing Pains Plenty Evident at Facebook

But Zuckerberg stays put, gets veteran help after hitting potholes

(Newser) - Facebook is seeing a lot of challenges lately, with ads selling at rock-bottom prices, revenue not nearly rivaling MySpace, and third-party developers defecting to OpenSocial networks (MySpace, again). But unlike other companies’ young founders, Mark Zuckerberg isn’t about to step aside. And thanks to his tight control of Facebook's... More »

Cisco Develops a Lighter Touch in Acquisitions

Tech giant develops new strategy for new era in takeovers

(Newser) - Cisco, once famous for swallowing small companies whole and digesting them without leaving a trace of their former brand names (or management), is forging a new acquisition strategy. As it targets new, Internet-based technologies that it’s less familiar with, the company has developed a lighter touch, as evidenced by... More »

Deutsche Telekom to Buy Greek Stake

Deal for 20% of Greek phone co. conditional on management control

(Newser) - Deutsche Telekom plans to buy a 20% stake in Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) of Greece, for $3.92 billion. The deal is conditional on the German carrier getting management control, and the company will open talks immediately with the Greek government, the only larger shareholder. The OTE stake will let... More »

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