By Sarah N. Lynch and Aruna Viswanatha WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White says her team will not shy away from high-stakes trials, and not just strike settlements with wrongdoers, but a string of recent court setbacks shows she has her work cut out for her. On Tuesday, a federal judge in California rejected a securities fraud case brought by the SEC and said the agency had "not carried its burden of proof" against two former senior executives at Basin Water Inc who were accused of fraudulently boosting their company's revenue. That defeat came one week after a Kansas jury cleared Stephen Kovzan, an executive at technology company NIC Inc. The SEC had accused him of concealing a payment of more than $1.18 million used to fund perks for the then-CEO, including vacations, clothing, houses, spa treatments and a luxury car. But a jury disagreed and rejected all of the SEC's claims.
Microsoft Corp is considering Qualcomm Inc Chief Operating Officer Steve Mollenkopf as a candidate for its new chief executive officer, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, as it reaches the final stages of a four-month search process. The world's biggest software company is down to a "handful" of candidates with no clear leader, including a hitherto unconsidered technology executive, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters this week. In the past few months, most attention has focused on Ford Motor Co CEO Alan Mulally, a friend of Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's current CEO who announced his plans to retire earlier this year. Microsoft declined comment on its CEO search, and Qualcomm declined comment on Mollenkopf's potential candidacy.
(Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co said it would divide its North American business into two units, as part of its plan to return to a franchise model instead of owning bottlers. The company said the division will result in two operating units - Coca-Cola North America and Coca-Cola Refreshments. The world's largest soda company said the Coca-Cola North America division will be led by J. A. M. Douglas. Paul Mulligan will lead Coca-Cola Refreshments, the bottling division of the business, the company said.
Ford Motor Co said on Thursday that it is adding more than 11,000 new jobs in the United States and Asia in 2014 as it rolls out 23 new vehicles, the biggest launch year in the company's 110-year history. The second-largest U.S. automaker will hire more than 5,000 workers in the United States, including 3,300 salaried positions. Ford will hire 6,000 workers in Asia. The hiring comes as Ford plans to launch 23 new cars and trucks in 2014, 16 of which will be introduced in North America.
By Alwyn Scott NEW YORK (Reuters) - Boeing Co said on Thursday it planned to eliminate up to 1,200 jobs in Washington state and move them to other U.S. locations as it reorganizes research and development functions. The move will reduce Boeing's reliance on unionized engineers in the Seattle area, and follows other steps Boeing has made to move jobs outside the state this year. Boeing is also entertaining proposals to place the factory for its newest jetliner, the 777X, outside Washington in part to avoid union conflicts. In May Boeing said it would put design and support centers around the country, reducing those jobs in Washington.