Northwest joins Delta Air Lines and US Airways in saying business is worse than expected as corporate travel declines. Labor disputes also are discouraging some business fliers.
Citigroup reports cutting 7,400 jobs last year
Citigroup Inc., the biggest U.S. financial services company, cut 7,400 jobs last year, according to the company's annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Most of the cuts came from eliminating 4,600 positions at Dallas-based Associates First Capital Corp., the biggest U.S. consumer finance company, which Citigroup bought in November for $26.7 billion.
Citigroup Chairman and Chief Executive Sanford Weill has built his company through a strategy of mergers and cost-cutting, which has usually meant firing workers.
Novell gets new CEO; Schmidt remains chairman
Eric Schmidt, the man brought in to reinvent Novell Inc. four years ago, is stepping down as chief executive officer of the software company.
Schmidt will hand over the reins to board member Jack Messman, president and CEO of Cambridge Technology Partners Inc., which Novell is planning to purchase for about $217 million in stock.
Schmidt will remain chairman of Novell's board and chief strategist for the company.
Japanese banks suffer ratings blow from Fitch
Fitch, an international ratings agency, put Japanese banks on "negative review" yesterday over growing worries about the impact of sliding share prices on their businesses.
Fitch said it has placed the individual ratings of 19 Japanese banks on "rating watch negative." Besides the country's falling stock prices, the agency attributed its move to lingering asset quality problems affecting the banks' future performance. The capacity of each bank to write off problem assets amid Japan's weakening economy will be one focus of the review, Fitch said.
The agency said, however, that its long-term ratings of the banks remain unaffected and "are generally stable in view of the strong government support." Among the banks are Japan's largest.
Toyota Motor takes aim at European diesel market
Toyota Motor Corp., the third-biggest automaker, is to announce plans today to expand its engine plant in Britain to build diesel engines as it tries to increase European sales, people familiar with the situation said.
The automaker will produce 2.0-liter diesel engines at the factory at Deeside, Wales. The engines are made now in Japan.
Toyota Europe President Akira Imai said in a recent interview that such a move would make sense given the growing demand for diesel engines in Europe. They will make up half of all European car sales by 2006, compared with 32 percent last year, industry analysts estimate.
This column was compiled from reports by Sun staff writers, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News and Reuters.