Business Digest

BUSINESS DIGEST

February 28, 2007

Maryland: Government

4 area leaders get state jobs

Four Baltimore-area government and civic leaders have been named to jobs at the state Department of Business and Economic Development, the agency said yesterday. Samuel J. Lloyd, formerly Baltimore's director of minority business development, was appointed assistant secretary for small business. Dominick E. Murray, who was economic development officer for the Baltimore Mayor's Office under now-Gov. Martin O'Malley, was named assistant secretary for regional development for the Baltimore region. Devon L. Dodson, formerly vice president of the Greater Baltimore Committee, was named chief of staff. David Tillman, a spokesman for the city's housing agency, was appointed executive director of public affairs.

Jamie Smith Hopkins

Disputes

Visicu faults iMDsoft statement

Visicu Inc., the Baltimore company that develops remote monitoring systems for intensive care patients, yesterday dismissed an announcement by iMDsoft, a competitor who is bringing a challenge to Visicu's patent. "It's a last gasp of desperation on their part," Dr. Brian A. Rosenfeld, a Visicu founder and senior vice president, said. Earlier in the day, Massachusetts-based iMDsoft said that as part of the patent challenge, Visicu is "limiting all its patent claims." Phyllis Gotlib, chief executive officer of Massachusetts-based iMDsoft, said, "It clearly strengthens our competitive position in the market." Rosenfeld said what had been issued by the U.S. Patent Office was a meeting summary, not a ruling, and it "adds clarity to our claim."

M. William Salganik

Airlines

AirTran to begin BWI-Maine service

AirTran Airway said yesterday that it will begin seasonal service to Portland International Jetport in Maine from Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on June 7. The carrier will offer three daily round-trip flights between Portland and BWI, connecting to 13 destinations. Portland will be AirTran's 56th city. The low-fare carrier will also begin service from Portland to Orlando International in Florida on June 9 with one daily round-trip flight.

Meredith Cohn

Personnel

Legg Mason names Angelica to board

Legg Mason Inc., a U.S. money manager that oversees $945 billion, said former AT&T Inc. pension manager Robert Angelica will replace Carl Bildt on its board. Bildt stepped down as a board director in October to become Sweden's minister of foreign affairs, the Baltimore-based company said yesterday. Angelica retired last year as head of AT&T Investment Management Corp., which handles the retirement assets of the largest U.S. telephone company. Angelica's appointment raises the number of members on Legg Mason's board to 13, with 12 who are independent.

Pennsylvania: Investing

Harley lowers profit forecast

Harley-Davidson Inc. cut its profit forecast for this year, saying a three-week strike at its York, Pa., factory reduced motorcycle production more than it initially estimated. Full-year earnings will increase by a range of 4 percent to 6 percent, the Milwaukee-based company said. Harley in January forecast annual growth of 11 percent to 17 percent each year through 2009, and reiterated that profit goal yesterday. Harley said it expected to ship up to 66,000 bikes this quarter, a reduction from a forecast of up to 84,000 earlier this month.

Nation: Automakers

Chrysler offers $100,000 buyouts

Chrysler Group will offer blue-collar workers at plants targeted for production cuts up to $100,000 each to leave the company as part of a recovery plan announced earlier this month. Under the buyout offer, workers would receive a pretax lump-sum payment of $100,000 plus six months of medical and vision coverage in exchange for their departure. The early retirement package includes a $70,000 payment, plus health care that follows provisions of the United Auto Workers' national agreement.

Compensation

FedEx capping pension plan

FedEx Corp. is capping the traditional pension plan offered for most of its employees. Instead it will offer a cash balance plan, which lets workers take benefits with them if they leave the company. Under FedEx's program, disclosed yesterday, most employees who participate in a pension plan will begin accruing benefits under a cash-balance formula, which FedEx calls the Portable Pension Account, effective June 1, 2008. Current retirees won't be affected, FedEx said.

Retailing

Pathmark, A&P are in talks

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