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 Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
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