Week in Review: 22/07/12


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The Independent Online


In profit...

Losing your job should really mean you end up in the bottom bit of this column. But how can anyone who can now have a lie-in while dreaming of what he can do with £27.5m in the bank really be "at a loss"?

It emerged on Monday that David Brennan, who was ousted as chief executive at AstraZeneca in April, received that pay-off – which includes a £14m pension pot and £9m in shares he had amassed in the company.

Also on Monday, poorly punctuated internet search engine Yahoo! unveiled a new boss in the form of 37-year-old Marissa Meyer (left), a move celebrated by equality campaigners as the long-time Google executive is six months pregnant. She is also in line to earn more than $100m (£64m) over the next five years, though her base salary is "only" $1m.

On Thursday, Bob Keiller was promoted to become chief executive at oil services giant Wood Group, from being head of the group's PSN division.

...at a loss

The mighty Goldman Sachs hasn't fallen, but Tuesday's news that the investment bank's first-half revenue was at its lowest in seven years is certainly a bit of a stumble.

Chief Lloyd Blankfein, above, pointed to a tough second quarter, as clients reduced riskier activities in response to "continued instability in Europe and concerns about global growth".

If rain has ruined your barbecue plans, spare a thought for insurance giants, particularly RSA. Chief executive Simon Lee said on Wednesday weather damage payouts had cost it £50m in claims so far. May's double earthquake in Italy also hurt the company's finances.

On Thursday, a private shareholder-led campaign at Kurdistan-focused Gulf Keystone Petroleum saw Lord Peter Truscott, a peer who was once suspended from the House of Lords over corruption allegations, not stand for re-election as a director.