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Management Changes at Volkswagen Chattanooga
After successfully completing its ramp up, the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga has passed the landmark of 3,000 employees and continues to hire local talents. At the same time, several foreign service employees will leave Chattanooga for new assignments and hand over responsibilities to locally developed successors. In addition, a major management reshuffle will become effective by July 1st.
At the top management level Don Jackson will leave his position as president of manufacturing of Volkswagen Group of America. He said: “The ramp up of our plant is completed and I know that the local team has the skill to improve our new plant to the next level. I am proud to have helped create new jobs in North America and develop people. After the fourth ramp up of a car plant it is the right moment now to take a break and then pass on my experiences to regional business to help rebuild America’s manufacturing base.” Frank Fischer, CEO and Chairman of Volkswagen Group of America, Chattanooga Operations, thanked him:” Don’s experience and advice was a crucial factor for the successful ramp up of the plant and the development of a local leadership team. We thank him for his support, will stay in touch and wish him the very best for his plans here in Chattanooga”. Don Jackson’s responsibilities will be taken over by Frank Fischer on an acting basis, until a successor is named.
Among other management changes Lothar Grensemann, general manager for the paint shop, will leave for the partner plant in Emden, Germany, and be succeeded by Dean Parker. Fernando Ribiero, general manager for controlling, will leave for Mexico and be succeeded by Tom Miller. On all levels, this summer more than thirty foreign service employees are taking new assignments worldwide.
Frank Fischer said: “They had a very challenging job in managing the successful completion and ramp up of the new plant and building the new team. We thank them for their outstanding performance and wish them all the best for their future career.”
At the same time I am very proud of our new local managers who have developed within the company the last years. They will be crucial for our future success in Chattanooga.”
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Last Update on October 23, 2014 07:29 GMT
ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Labor Department will report today on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. Economists forecast that weekly applications increased 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 280,000.
Also today, Freddie Mac will report on average mortgage rates for this week. Last week, the average for the 30-year loan slid to 3.97 percent.
The Conference Board will release its index of leading indicators for September as well. In August, the index - a gauge designed to predict the economy's future health - rose but at a much slower pace than the previous month
On the business side: Southwest Airlines, United Continental, American Airlines, Union Pacific, 3M, Comcast, General Motors and Caterpillar will report quarterly financial results before the market opens.
Amazon and Microsoft will report earnings after the market closes.
APPLE PAY GLITCH
SAN JOSE, CALIF. (AP) -- Bank of America is apologizing for double-billing customers who made purchases using Apple's new mobile payments service.
A bank spokeswoman said Wednesday that the glitch involved about 1,000 transactions and that all duplicate charges will be refunded.
Some customers who used Apple Pay with debit cards issued by Bank of America have complained they were charged twice for a single transaction.
Apple says it was aware of the glitch, which it said affected "a very small number of Apple Pay users." The Cupertino, California-based company has not disclosed how many customers have used Apple Pay since it became available Monday.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- The American Postal Workers Union called upon Harvard University's president to oppose a deal between Staples Inc. and the U.S. Postal Service, or resign her seat on the office supply company's board.
Staples, based in Framingham, Massachusetts, began providing postal services at some of its stores last year, under a partnership with the financially-struggling Postal Service.
The union, which represents some 200,000 workers, took out a full-page ad Wednesday in the Harvard Crimson, the Ivy League school's student newspaper, saying President Drew Gilpin Faust should use her position on the board to push for an end to the deal or resign from the company board. The union says Staples is using poorly-trained workers to handle mail in a low-security environment.
Neither Faust nor Staples responded to requests for comments.
YAHOO-CEO AT CROSSROADS
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Signaling her reign has reached a pivotal juncture, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is trying to convince restless shareholders that the long-struggling Internet company is heading in the right direction.
Mayer staunchly defended her strategy during a Tuesday presentation that addressed recent criticism leveled by activist investor Starboard Value LP, a New York hedge fund with a history of leading shareholder mutinies.
Starboard contends that since Mayer became CEO in July 2012, Yahoo has been wasting money on ill-advised acquisitions and a bloated payroll while mismanaging its lucrative stake in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group.
In her rebuttal, Mayer described the $1.6 billion spent her more than 30 acquisitions as smart investments that have made Yahoo more competitive in the increasingly important mobile-device market. She also highlighted cost-cutting measures.
And she insisted that Yahoo wouldn't have been in a position to make as much money as it has on its Alibaba holdings if she hadn't taken steps to ease "years of tension and hard feelings.
Zuckerberg speaks Chinese; Beijing students cheer
BEIJING (AP) -- China may ban Facebook, but not its co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, and he entertained an audience of students with a 30-minute chat in his recently learned Mandarin Chinese at a prestigious Beijing university.
There was no explicit discussion of the ban or any Facebook effort to enter the China market during Wednesday's question-and-answer session at Tsinghua University.
But Facebook CEO Zuckerberg noted during his talk that the social media giant already helps some Chinese companies gain customers abroad. He cited computer maker Lenovo's ads on Facebook in India.
Zuckerberg married Chinese-American Priscilla Chan in 2012 and said he was learning Chinese.
His pronunciation was far from fluent, but he maintained the conversation for a half hour and the students responded with warm cheers for his effort and laughter at his humor.
BEIJING (AP) -- A gauge of the health of China's manufacturing industry inched higher in October but factory output was at a five-month low in a sign of slowing domestic and foreign demand.
HSBC said Thursday the preliminary version of an index based on a survey of factory purchasing managers rose to 50.4 from 50.2 in September. Figures above 50 on the 100-point scale indicate expansion.
HSBC's chief China economist says manufacturing likely stabilized in October but the "economy continues to show signs of insufficient effective demand."
Earlier this week, China reported economic growth in the third as growth based on trade and industrial investment runs out of steam.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A World Series opener involving the San Francisco Giants set a record low TV rating for the second time in three seasons.
San Francisco's 7-1 win over Kansas City drew a 7.3 rating and 12.2 million viewers Tuesday night on Fox, according to fast national ratings by Nielsen Media Research.
That broke the previous low of a 7.6 rating and 12.2 million for the Giants' 8-3 victory over Detroit in 2012. San Francisco's 11.7 win over Texas in the 2010 opener got an 8.9 rating.
The rating for this year's opener began with a 6.9 from 8:05-8:30 p.m. EDT and peaked at 8.5 in the half hour starting at 9 p.m. With the Giants scoring three runs in the first inning and leading 5-0 by the fourth, the rating ended at 5.7 from 11:30-11:41 p.m.
Still, Fox said Wednesday it expects to win the prime-time night and have its best Tuesday night since February 2012.
Fox Deportes averaged 273,000 viewers, a record for Spanish-language World Series coverage.
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