Sunday, December 14, 2003

Queen City Rewind


The week in business news in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

WINNERS

Comair. The airline, source of much growth at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, took delivery of the 1,000th regional jet from supplier Bombardier Aerospace. But the joy could be short-lived if Comair clashes with its pilots and flight attendants over pay cuts early in 2004.

Yale University. Former Procter & Gamble Co. CEO John Pepper is taking a job as vice president of finance and administration at his alma mater. In Cincinnati, we can thank Pepper for the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, among other things. He just can't seem to get this retirement thing quite right.

LOSERS

Kroger Co. Strikes in California help cut earnings by more than half, and now the Cincinnati-based grocery giant has "withdrawn" its 2003 earnings forecasts. Growing competition from non-union Wal-Mart looms.

George Fiorini. Already indicted on securities fraud charges, he's now in personal bankruptcy court. Hmm ... As Rewind's mother always said, if you can't say anything nice ...

WHAT'S THAT ALL ABOUT?

Only nine months after he was hired, Mark Wallisa abruptly departed as vice president of sales at the Greater Cincinnati Convention & Visitors Bureau. For an organization selling Cincinnati to the world, it's not a good sign when the chief salesman packs up his desk and leaves.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"The softest and strongest Charmin for your end zone." Somewhere, William Procter and James Gamble probably are rolling in their graves after reading the tagline for Charmin bath tissue's new Super Bowl commercial, the first-ever for Procter & Gamble Co. Let's put it this way: If Rewind blushes at a P&G commercial, anything is possible.

APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE

Members of United Auto Workers Local 2332 at Mason's Ube Automotive plant, locked out since early November in a contract dispute, saved the company's bacon Wednesday night. When an overheated wheel washing machine sent flames and smoke up a smokestack, union members picketing outside called the Mason firefighters, who evacuated the plant and put out the fire. Think this might come up at the bargaining table?

THE CRYSTAL BALL

Procter & Gamble Co. will be among the first U.S. companies to start selling products in Iraq. P&G already has participated in a job fair there and started the ball rolling. Welcome to life in the New Iraq.



Look Who's Talking: Carol Zupancic
Pepper foresees two years at Yale
Queen City Rewind
All welcome in this place
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Tristate business notes
Prepare now for April 15
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