Business week in review
Sunday 23 December 2012
Euan Sutherland, the chief operating officer at B&Q-owner Kingfisher, is downing his DIY tools to become the chief executive of The Co-operative Group. Mr Sutherland, who has 18 years' experience at companies, including Boots, Dixons, Coca-Cola and Superdrug, will join in May, taking over from Peter Marks. The Co-op delivered total revenues of £13.3bn last year across its banking, grocery, chemist and funeral divisions but its profits slipped in what Mr Marks described as the "toughest" economic conditions in more than 40 years.
In Russia, Norilsk Nickel, the world's biggest nickel and palladium producer, unveiled its co-owner, Vladimir Potanin, as its new chief executive in a Kremlin-inspired deal to end a boardroom war. Fellow Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who owns Chelsea Football Club, will take a 20 per cent voting stake and act as a buffer between Mr Potanin and rival Oleg Derispaska, who owns a share in Norilsk through Rusal, the world's top aluminium manufacturer.
Mark Zuckerberg, boss of Facebook, may have lost friends after the fall in the social network's shares floating at $38 in May, but this week gained others by donating nearly half a million dollars-worth of shares to a Silicon Valley charity.
...at a loss
Sergio Ermotti, the chief executive of UBS, suffered a day of shame this week after the banking giant agreed to pay $1.5bn to US, UK and Swiss regulators for trying to manipulate the Libor inter-bank lending rate. The Financial Services Authority fined the Swiss bank £160m – three-times the £59.5m fine imposed on Barclays in June for Libor-rigging. Mr Ermotti said on Wednesday: "We deeply regret this inappropriate and unethical behaviour."
Lloyd's of London was also in the doldrums when it said Superstorm Sandy could cost it up to $2.5bn. While the brutal storm on the US east coast in October was one of the costliest in the insurance market's history, Richard Ward, the boss of the 324-year institution, said its exposure to the storm is well within the worst-case scenarios its prepares for.
An uncertain economic outlook was blamed by Aggreko, the power supplier, for a forecast £100m shortfall in its revenues next year. Rupert Soames, the chief executive of the company which provided power for the London Olympics, partly blamed the expected fall on the likelihood that some Japanese contracts will not be renewed.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
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