April 25, 2009 in Business

Key Tronic names new chief executive


Key Tronic Corp. Friday announced President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Oehlke has resigned due to illness, and that the board of directors had named Craig Gates to replace him.

Gates has been executive vice president and general manager at the Spokane Valley company since 2002. Prior to that, he was executive vice president for marketing, sales and engineering.

Oehlke, 63, has been at Key Tronic since 1993. He became president and CEO in 1997.

Chairman Dale Pilz praised Oehlke and Gates for their leadership over the last 12 years, and said the board is confident Gates can continue to execute a strategy that has shifted Key Tronic into custom design and manufacturing. The company was founded in 1969 as a maker of computer keyboards, and relied on that business through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.


787 edging closer to flight test

Boeing’s Dreamliner is nearly ready to come out – again.

Within the next week, one of the huge doors at the Everett plant will open and the first of the new 787 Dreamliners will roll out onto the flight line by the Paine Field runway.

It won’t fly until June, but after multiple delays the airplane that briefly left the factory in July two years ago is at long last within sight of reaching for the sky.

Ground tests required before the jet can fly are progressing well.

Earlier this week, with Dreamliner No. 1 connected to an external power source, Boeing completed a full simulation on the ground of the jet’s first flight. And in the 787 assembly bay Tuesday, Dreamliner No. 2 successfully completed a test of its ability to withstand the indirect electrical effects of a lightning strike.

Los Angeles

Ex-Facebook exec takes over MySpace

With MySpace falling behind Facebook as the world’s largest online social network, MySpace tapped a former Facebook executive Friday as its new chief executive.

Owen Van Natta, 39, replaces Chris DeWolfe, a co-founder of MySpace, who stepped down as chief executive Wednesday.

Van Natta faces the lofty task of reinvigorating MySpace at a time when Facebook is growing at a faster clip and Twitter, the short messaging site, is grabbing scores of headlines and celebrity attention. While MySpace is still the largest social network in the United States, it has only 130 million users worldwide, compared with more than 200 million for Facebook.


New home sales may have bottomed

After a staggering 74 percent decline from the peak in July 2005, new U.S. home sales appear to be bottoming out.

The pace of home sales, which hit a record-low in January, jumped in February and was flat in March, the Commerce Department said Friday. At the same time, the inventory of new homes for sale dropped a badly needed 5 percent from February levels.

“We believe that the bottom is at hand and that sales will begin turning in the second half of this year,” wrote IHS Global Insight economist Patrick Newport.

New home sales fell just 0.6 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 356,000 from an upwardly revised February rate of 358,000.

From wire reports

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