Edward Marshall at the Triangle Business Journal writes that over the past 50 years, almost every time a business has a burning platform, the weapon of choice has been a structural solution. Top leaders get terminated. The company is reorganized. There is either centralization or decentralization; re-engineering or de-construction. More recently, the ultimate hammer has been the “Matrix” form of management, ostensibly installed to cope with complexity in our businesses.
The Humane Society of the United States, or HSUS, has purchased shares in Steak ’n Shake Co. and Jack in the Box Inc. in an attempt to influence their purchasing decisions with regard to chicken, eggs and pork, the political lobbying group said.
Stuart Elliot reports in the New York Times that a two-piece Kentucky Grilled Chicken meal at a KFC location in Louisville, Ky. An annual survey of memorable new products gave the top honor for 2009 to the Kentucky Grilled Chicken menu item, which was introduced by the KFC unit of Yum Brands. These are the four other fast-food products that scored the highest in 2009: the McCafe coffees from the McDonald’s Corporation, No. 2; the Torpedo sandwich from Quiznos, No. 6; the Angus Deluxe, also from McDonald’s, No. 7; and Taco Bell Volcano Nachos, from another unit of Yum Brands, No. 8.
Shopping Center Digest Blog reports that rent concessions has been causing agita among landlords in this industry over the last year or so is the pandemic of retailers rushing for rent concessions as an inducement to remain in a shopping center, renew a lease, or to make a new deal. As we’ve said several times before, the balance of power—due to the increasing number of vacant stores and the decreasing number of chains that are aggressively expanding—has for the first time surged to the tenant side.
Reed Abelson reports in the New York Times that as Congress nears votes on legislation that would overhaul the health care system, many small businesses say they are facing the steepest rise in insurance premiums they have seen in recent years. Insurance brokers and benefits consultants say their small business clients are seeing premiums go up an average of about 15 percent for the coming year — double the rate of last year’s increases. That would mean an annual premium that was $4,500 per employee in 2008 and $4,800 this year would rise to $5,500 in 2010.
Penny Starr reports at CNSNews.com that Tom Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said at the organization’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday that Americans and not the government are the answer to the country’s economic woes. At an event Wednesday to launch its ‘Dream Big’ campaign to promote the American free enterprise system, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue said that people, not government, will create the jobs needed for economic recovery.
Stephen Bernard reports at Kansas City.com that activist investor Carl Icahn is offering struggling lender CIT Group a $6 billion lifeline. In a letter Monday to CIT’s board of directors, Icahn said he would give the company the loan to replace a debt restructuring plan CIT has asked bondholders to approve.