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5 top Goldman execs took home $69M in ‘10

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.  paid its top five executives a total of $69.6 million in cash and stock last year as the firm rebounded from the austerity imposed during the financial crisis.

That is up from total 2009 compensation for the five of $5.3 million, according to the firm’s annual proxy filing on Friday. Get the full story »

Facebook exec fired for stock acquisition

Facebook Inc. fired a senior manager for buying shares of the social networking powerhouse in a private, secondary-market transaction last September — four months before Goldman Sachs Group Inc.  announced its investment in Facebook, the Web site TechCrunch reported Friday, citing multiple sources. Get the full story »

Fannie, Freddie execs paid $35M in last 2 years

Top executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were paid handsomely in the last two years, while the government agency in charge of regulating the bailed-out mortgage backers was ill-equipped to do anything about it, according to a federal review. Get the full story »

CEO of beleaguered J&J still got $29M in 2010

After a year in which Johnson & Johnson’s product quality control was deemed such a shambles that the U.S. government will oversee some plants, the board had praise for Chief Executive William Weldon and awarded him almost $29 million in overall compensation.

The once golden reputation of the diversified health care giant was tarnished by seemingly endless recalls of widely used consumer products as well as recalls of medical devices and products from other units in 2010. Get the full story »

Abbott, Kraft cited for women in management

The National Association for Female Executives named seven Illinois companies among its Top 50 companies for executive women.

Abbott of North Chicago and Kraft of Northfield were among the Top 10. Five others made the Top 50: Allstate Insurance of Northbrook; HSBC North America of Mettawa; McDonald’s Corp. of Oak Brook; Northern Trust of Chicago; and State Farm Insurance of Bloomington. Get the full story »

CEO resigns in Clearwire management shakeup

Clearwire Corp. CEO Bill Morrow has resigned, two other top executives are leaving and the finance chief is moving to an operational role in a massive management shakeup at the wireless service provider.

Morrow will be replaced on an interim basis by Chairman John Stanton, according to the company, which is seeking billions in funding to expand its high-speed wireless network. Get the full story »

GM’s CFO bows out after 14 months

After just 14 months at General Motors Co., Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell is leaving the automaker, possibly to pursue a job as a CEO at another company.

On Thursday, GM said Liddell would be replaced by Treasurer Dan Ammann, a former Morgan Stanley managing director, starting April 1. Get the full story »

New corporate structure calling at Avon

Avon Products Inc. is splitting itself into two units, focusing on developed and developing markets and shaking up its management weeks after the world’s largest direct seller of cosmetics took the blame for problems in markets such as Brazil.

Avon said it would move its six commercial business units into two major business groups. Get the full story »

Nuveen completes acquisition of FAF Advisors

Chicago-based Nuveen Investments, which serves the wealthy and institutions, has completed its acquisition of U.S. Bancorp’s FAF Advisors.

The deal, announced in July, called for U.S. Bancorp to get a 9.5 percent stake in Nuveen as well as an $80 million cash payment.

Nuveen is a portfolio company of Madison Dearborn Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm. Get the full story »

General Growth top execs to step down next week

General Growth Properties Inc. Chief Executive Officer Adam Metz and President and Chief Operating Officer Thomas Nolan will leave the company Dec. 22, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The moves had been expected. Get the full story »

Legg Mason sells rest of Sears Holdings stake

Legg Mason Capital Management Inc. sold its remaining position in retailer Sears Holdings Corp. during the third quarter, according to a Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, ending the ownership of erstwhile Sears believer Bill Miller. Get the full story »

Survey shows women still lagging in law firms

Women lawyers continue to lag behind their male counterparts in rank, clout and pay, according to a survey by The National Association of Women Lawyers, due in part to new structures at firms that limit opportunities for women to advance.

Now in its fifth year, the survey is the only national study of the nation’s 200 largest law firms that annually tracks the progress of women lawyers in private practice and collects data on firms as a whole rather than from a subset of individual lawyers. Get the full story »

More Starbucks workers gloomy about cutbacks


Four years ago, generous benefits and opportunities for advancement convinced Leigh Swanson to use her new master’s degree in human resources to manage a Starbucks cafe. She called it one of the best workplaces she had ever experienced.

Then, in 2007, with the coffee chain in the midst of a building binge, the worst downturn since the Great Depression hit, hammering Starbucks’ bottom line. Sharp cost-cuts, the introduction of corporate efficiency tools like scheduling software and an increased emphasis on pushing product sales have helped the company return to record profitability.

They also led Swanson to quit in May. The disappearing perks and the financial fixes dampened her enthusiasm for recruiting potential new partners, as Starbucks calls its employees. “I found it really sad. I was really invested,” said Swanson, who was in charge of a Starbucks in the Florida Panhandle. “I just didn’t feel proud anymore. I wasn’t in it to manage a McDonald’s.” Get the full story »

Canada blocks BHP-Potash deal

The Canadian government on Wednesday blocked BHP Billiton’s $39 billion bid for Potash Corp., the world’s biggest producer of a key crop nutrient, halting what had been the world’s biggest takeover attempt this year and sending Potash Corp. shares tumbling.

Ottawa said the Anglo-Australian miner’s takeover bid offered no likely net benefit to the country as required by Canadian law. BHP has 30 days to make additional representations to the Canadian government before the decision is final. Get the full story »

General Growth hurt by reorganization expenses

General Growth Properties, the U.S. mall owner expected to emerge from bankruptcy in early November, reported negative third-quarter funds from operations, taking a hit from reorganization expenses.

Funds from operations for its core mall properties were losses of $29.3 million, or 9 cents a share, compared with a positive $88.9 million, or 28 cents a share a year earlier. Get the full story »