Business

Bank Failure Fallout
8:08 am
Tue February 22, 2011

WaMu execs face federal lawsuit

Kerry Killinger, former Washington Mutual Bank president, chief executive office and chairman of the board, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Cliff Owen AP Photo

Several former Washington Mutual executives have been notified by the federal government that they'll be sued over their role in the collapse of the Seattle-based bank.

The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that sources familiar with the suit say the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation intends to seek more than a billion dollars in damages.

To be named in the suit are:

  • Kerry Killinger, former WaMu CEO 
  • Steve Rotella, former president and chief operating officer 
  • David Schneider, former head of the bank’s home load division

All three executives have denied wrongdoing.

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HUMANOSPHERE
1:37 pm
Fri February 18, 2011

Young biz entrepreneurs compete for social good

Cynthia Koenig and her Wello
Tom Paulson KPLU Humanosphere

If you walked into the dimly lit, wood-paneled room and listened to the fast-paced talk by Cynthia Koenig, you might be forgiven for thinking she just sounded like another one of those young, profit-oriented entrepreneurs looking for money from venture capitalists or other kinds of investors.

Koenig is, actually, one of those money-seeking young business types, except that the primary goal of her proposal is to make life a lot easier and safer for millions of poor women around the world.

Hence the Wello, a kind of goofy looking water-carrying wheel-barrel (no, that’s not a typo) that she and her colleague, Colm Fay, at the University of Michigan’s business school want to sell to poor people.

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workplace safety
11:06 am
Fri February 18, 2011

Workplace deaths rise, after several years of drops

An example of the dangers of “trench digging” illustrates how workers should not stand near or under operating machinery.
OSHA Training Institute, Southwest Education Center / elcoshimages.org

When you leave home for work, you probably assume you’ll live to come back at the end of the day.  For 86 workers, that didn’t happen last year.

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Business
1:24 pm
Fri February 11, 2011

Microsoft teams up with Nokia

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in London 2/11/2011
Nokia

In a widely expected move, Microsoft and Nokia have announced they're joining forces on the smartphone front. Nokia has long been a leader in the cell phone industry, but has fallen behind Apple and Google in the smartphone arena. Microsoft has been playing catch-up with its Windows Phone 7. The new partnership melds Nokia hardware with Microsoft software in what the companies hope will be a winning combination. 

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AIR FORCE TANKER
10:17 am
Fri February 11, 2011

Verbal sparring begins as military refueler bids submitted - again

An F-16 from the California Air National Guard aligns with the boom from a Boeing, KC-135 Stratotanker. On Thursday, Boeing and Airbus’ parent company EADS America submitted competing bids for the third time for a contract to build a new tanker. (File)
AP

Final bids were submitted Thursday by Boeing and Airbus' parent company, EADS for the contract to build the Air Force's in-flight refueling tanker. The Air Force could announce the winner as early as next month, but the award is likely to be sidetracked by politics and protests.

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Aerospace
12:13 am
Fri February 11, 2011

Premiere of 747-8 to cap big week for Boeing

Boeing's 747-8 Intercontinental will be flying "in a matter of weeks," says spokesman Jm Proulx. The superlative version of the company's iconic jet will have its premiere at a celebration this weekend in Everett.
Image courtesy of Boeing

It's been a big week for aerospace in the Puget Sound region. The Boeing company turned in its final bid for the air force refueling tanker on Thursday. CEO Jim McNerney took his strongest stance yet for building a 737 successor. And earlier this week, analysts and suppliers heard briefings on the state of the industry at an aerospace convention in Lynnwood

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Business
2:01 pm
Thu February 10, 2011

Groupon's coffee buzz: Starbucks' CEO joins board, invests in site

Howard Schultz is joining the board of Groupon, the web 'coupon' site, as well as making a financial investment. The Starbucks CEO is pictured last March in Seattle at the company's annual shareholders meeting.
AP

Howard Schultz announced his investment in the enormously popular consumer-discount site Groupon Thursday. At the same time, Groupon confirmed the Starbucks CEO's election to its board

TechFlash's John Cook reports Schultz' investment "is not connected to Starbucks":

...but having the leader of the world's leading specialty coffee retailer on the board certainly will add some interesting possibilities. Starbucks has been expanding its digital footprint aggressively in recent months, adding features such as mobile payments and free in-store wi-fi.

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Business
1:27 pm
Wed February 9, 2011

Microsoft looking for more technical know-how at the top

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's Xbox 360 Kinect avatar as seen at his CES 2011 keynote address
Simon Bisson (sbisson) flickr.com

Microsoft wants more engineers leading the company. According to a Bloomberg report, CEO Steve Ballmer wants his senior executives to have solid technical backgrounds in addition to business expertise. Bloomberg's Dina Bass reports the new strategy may be announced later this month. A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment.

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Business
1:23 pm
Wed February 9, 2011

One year later: Did Idaho's "love letter" attract Washington and Oregon businesses?

Idaho Gov. Bruce Otter delivers his 'love letter' to Washington and Oregon businesses, in 2010.
justmaketheshift.com

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. So we thought it was a good time to update a story from nearly a year ago. Last March, Idaho Governor Butch Otter penned a "love letter" to Washington and Oregon businesses. He was trying to romance companies into moving to his state.

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Boeing
12:49 pm
Fri February 4, 2011

No end of the line for Boeing 767?

In Everett, Boeing leaders Kim Pastega (right), Kenneth Shirley (left), Edward Callahan, Darrel Larson and Jerry Deinas applaud at Wednesday's celebration of the 1,000th 767 airliner. They were also applauding the new production bay for the 767 line.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

The future might be a bit brighter for aerospace workers in the Puget Sound region. Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief Jim Albaugh says the company can still find customers for its wide-body 767. He says the line won't be shut down, even if Boeing doesn't win the competition to build refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force.

Change in stance

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Business
4:19 pm
Tue February 1, 2011

First-ever tax amnesty for Washington businesses

Alan Cleaver (alancleaver_2000) flickr.com

Washington businesses with overdue taxes can now pay them off without penalties and interest. It's the state Department of Revenue's first-ever tax amnesty. Delinquent taxpayers have until April 18th to apply for the temporary program and must pay their taxes by April 30th. Full details, including the application form, are available at PayMyTax.org.

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Smart Commuting
3:06 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

Mobile app for ridesharing could ease pain of 520 tolls

A new smart phone app is being piloted by the state to reduce SR 520 congestion and pollution.
WSDOT Flickr

Tolls on the 520 bridge are set to start this spring and they could be as high as $3.50 each way. 

Frustrated?  There's an app for that. 

An Irish company called Avego created a new smart phone app for "real-time ride sharing." Company leaders say it encourages more carpooling. 

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Business
7:51 am
Fri January 28, 2011

Microsoft beats expectations for Q2 with strong sales of Xbox Kinect and Office 2010

Strong holiday sales of XBox 360 consoles with the new Kinect motion controller played a starring role in Microsoft's strong financial report.
PRNewsFoto Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft handily beat Wall Street's expectations, posting record revenue: nearly $20 billion in its second quarter.

The company says the strong financial report was fuelled by rebounding business demand, as well as swift sales of the Kinect motion controller for its Xbox 360 video games. 

Xbox sales booming

Microsoft says it sold 8 million Kinect motion controllers in just 60 days this past holiday season, far exceeding the company’s expectations, as well as Wall Street's.  

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Coffee Business
6:36 pm
Wed January 26, 2011

Starbucks sales and earnings up again, shares down on outlook

Another strong financial report is boosting Starbuck's morale, but not its stock price.
Photo by Gary Davis KPLU

Starbucks has done it again. The coffee giant says its global revenues reached a record: $3 billion in the first quarter. Profits were up 44 percent compared to a year ago, thanks in part to the chain's growing popularity with coffee drinkers around the world.

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Business
10:55 am
Tue January 25, 2011

Horizon Air rebranded as Alaska

A Horizon Bombardier Q400 with the new Alaska logo
Alaska Air Group

Seattle-based Alaska Air Group is consolidating its two airlines under the same brand. Horizon Air's Bombardier Q400 turboprop planes are being repainted with the Alaska Airlines logo. Alaska and Horizon will continue to operate as separate airlines.

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