Category Archives: IT&C

Venice under Water

The recent “acqua alta” (high water) in Venice, Italy reached a depth of 1.56 meters (5 ft, 1 in.) on Monday – the deepest flood in 22 years, and the fourth highest flood level in recent history, claimed Venice’s Tide Center. The water began to subside on Tuesday, while residents and tourists made their way through the city, hip-waders or not – one man even took the opportunity to ride his wakeboard through Piazza San Marco more

Icahn boosts Yahoo stake

Icahn boosts Yahoo stake

Activist investor buys $67 million worth of shares this week, according to SEC filings.

NEW YORK (AP) — In a move likely to fuel speculation over Yahoo Inc.’s search for a new chief executive, activist investor Carl Icahn has bought up close to 7 million additional shares of the Internet company, according to regulatory filings.

Icahn, a billionaire hedge-fund manager who threatened to oust Yahoo’s board this summer after it rejected a deal with Microsoft Inc., snapped up about $67 million worth of shares over three days this week, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Icahn bought 6.8 million shares for an average of $9.92 each in three batches from Monday through Wednesday, bringing his total stake to 75.6 million, or nearly 5.5% of the company, according to the filing.

Yahoo is looking for a new leader after co-founder Jerry Yang said earlier this month that he will step down as chief executive as soon as the company’s board finds a successor. more

Sweden in recession as 3Q GDP falls

Sweden in recession as 3Q GDP falls

Sweden has slipped into recession as the economy shrank for the second consecutive quarter, the Scandinavian country’s statistics agency said Friday.

Statistics Sweden said seasonally adjusted gross domestic product fell 0.1 percent in the third quarter, compared to the previous quarter. GDP also fell 0.1 percent in the second quarter, the agency said.

The technical definition of recession is at least two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth.

STMicroelectronics Cuts Forecasts as Orders Slide

TMicroelectronics Cuts Forecasts as Orders Slide

By Juho Erkheikki

Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) — STMicroelectronics NV, Europe

Xerox guidance in line with forecasts

Xerox guidance in line with forecasts
The printing and copying giant said profits for 2009 would be about what analysts expect; cautions that extraordinary volatility of dollar could impact results.

By David Goldman, staff writer

EW YORK ( — Document services and imaging company Xerox Corp. said Monday that its 2009 profit would be roughly in line with analysts’ forecasts.

The Norwalk, Conn.-based Xerox (XRX, Fortune 500) said profits would be in range of $1 to $1.25 per share, which is roughly in line with consensus estimates of $1.16 a share, according to Thomson Financial.

The company said its expectations reflect the “extraordinary volatility” of the dollar but added that it is sufficiently capitalized to weather the economic and financial downturn.

“We’re managing our operations with a close eye on the bottom line,” said Anne Mulcahy, Xerox chief executive officer, in a statement. “Despite the current economy, the backlog of orders for our products …along with our disciplined approach to cost management give us confidence in the overall health of our business and our ability to navigate through these challenging times.”

Xerox said its recent restructuring efforts will save the company $200 million next year and it is encouraged that its backlog of product orders and multi-year document services contracts will carry the company through an uncertain economic climate. Source CNN

Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang to step down

Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang to step down
After a rocky stint as chief executive, company co-founder will return to former role as ‘Chief Yahoo’ once replacement is found.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yahoo Inc. co-founder Jerry Yang is stepping down as chief executive, ending a rocky reign marked by his refusal to sell the Internet company to Microsoft Corp. for $47.5 billion — more than triple Yahoo’s current market value.

The change in command announced Monday won’t be completed until Yahoo finds his replacement. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said it is interviewing candidates inside and outside Yahoo in a search led by its chairman, Roy Bostock, and the executive recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles.

“Jerry and the board have had an ongoing dialogue about succession timing, and we all agree that now is the right time to make the transition to a new CEO who can take the company to the next level,” Bostock said.

Yang, who started Yahoo with Stanford University classmate David Filo in 1994, will revert to “Chief Yahoo,” a titular role he filled before replacing former movie studio boss Terry Semel as CEO in June 2007. He will also remain on Yahoo’s board of directors.

“I will continue to focus on global strategy and to do everything I can to help Yahoo realize its full potential and enhance its leading culture of technology and product excellence and innovation,” Yang said in a statement.more

Sun to Cut up to 6,000 Workers Amid Financial Crisis

Sun to Cut up to 6,000 Workers Amid Financial Crisis

Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) — Sun Microsystems Inc. plans to cut as many as 6,000 jobs as the company tries to cope with plunging sales of server computers to financial firms, market-share losses to bigger competitors, and a spiraling stock price.

The reduction, which will eliminate as much as 18 percent of the staff, will shave $700 million to $800 million from annual expenses, Sun said today in an e-mailed statement. The moves will cost as much as $600 million in the next 12 months.

The Santa Clara, California-based company is cutting back in response to “global economic realities,” Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Schwartz said. Sun, the fourth-largest server maker, last month posted its second loss in three quarters and said its financial-services customers were curbing orders until they have more liquidity.

“We see the level of concern spreading around the world,” Schwartz said in a telephone interview. “Customers are saying, `I am in pain, and I need budget relief.”’ more

BT slashes 10,000 jobs

Telecoms giant has 160,000 people working for it worldwide, of whom 110,000 are directly employed

BT is axing 10,000 workers, or 6% of its global workforce, with several thousand expected to go in the UK as the company looks to cut costs and reduce its reliance on contractors in the face of the global economic downturn.

The company, which announced an 11% fall in second quarter profits, said it has already cut 4,000 mostly contractors jobs and a further 6,000 will go by next April. The majority of those job losses will be among BT’s own staff and the axe is expected to fall particularly heavily in the UK. more

Bailout’s Next Phase: Consumers

Bailout’s Next Phase: Consumers

WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson officially abandoned his original plan to buy troubled assets from financial institutions. While the government will continue to invest in those firms, he said, it would also now focus on the nation’s struggling consumers.

In detailing the next phase of Treasury’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, Mr. Paulson indicated the government would continue flooding financial institutions with cash, but would also try to increase the availability of student loans, auto loans and credit cards. He said he’s also examining ways to help prevent foreclosures.

The market supporting consumer finance “is currently in distress, costs of funding have skyrocketed and new issue activity has come to a halt,” Mr. Paulson said in remarks at the Treasury Department Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 411.30 Wednesday, or 4.7%, to close at 8282.66 — a sign that some investors, too, are worried about the perilous state of the economy. But investors attributed some of the decline to Treasury’s switch, as the bailout’s widening focus underscores the depth of the economy’s problems as well as new strains on the government’s rescue net. more