Business briefs: HP’s Whitman adds chairman to CEO role
PALO ALTO, Calif. – Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman is assuming the title of chairman after the departure of interim chairman Ralph Whitworth, who resigned to deal with health issues.
HP has split the roles of chairman and CEO since Mark Hurd resigned as CEO in 2010. The company has faced shareholder displeasure over a series of missteps and slumping sales. Whitworth, an activist shareholder, was named to the company’s board to placate investors.
Whitworth announced his resignation Tuesday.
Whitman has been CEO since 2011.
She took over from Leo Apotheker, who was CEO for less than a year before being forced out.
After the appointments were announced, HP shares fell 12 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $34.31 in extended trading. The shares are close to their highest levels in three years, as the company appears to be finding some stability.
Key adviser to Jobs leaving Apple board
San Francisco – One of the most trusted advisers to late Apple CEO Steve Jobs is retiring from the iPhone maker’s board of directors.
Bill Campbell’s departure after 17 years on Apple Inc.’s board cleared the way for the company to appoint Susan Wagner, a founding partner of money manager Blackrock, as a director.
The changes announced Thursday come against a backdrop of criticism about a shortage of women in key positions at major technology companies.
Wagner becomes the second woman on Apple’s eight-person board. Andrea Jung, the former CEO of Avon Products Inc., has been on Apple’s board since 2008.
The 73-year-old Campbell worked in marketing as an Apple executive in the 1980s and joined the board in 1997 shortly after Jobs returned as the company’s CEO.
Feds: FedEx shipped for illegal pharmacies
SAN FRANCISCO – Federal authorities Thursday charged FedEx with assisting illegal pharmacies by knowingly delivering painkillers and dangerous drugs to customers without prescriptions.
The indictment filed in federal court in San Francisco alleges that FedEx Corp. conspired with two related online pharmacies for 10 years ending in 2010.
The Department of Justice announced the charges in Washington, D.C. It wants FedEx to forfeit $820 million it says the cargo company earned by assisting the illicit pharmacies.
The Memphis, Tennessee-based delivery company is accused of shipping powerful sleeping aid Ambien, anti-anxiety medications Valium and Xanax, and other drugs to customers who had no legitimate medical need and lacked valid prescriptions.
FedEx insists it did nothing wrong. The world’s largest cargo company says it handles 10 million packages a day and shouldn’t be in charge of “assuming criminal responsibility” for every delivery.
Rival shipping company UPS Inc. paid $40 million last year to resolve similar allegations, and the Atlanta-based company said it would “take steps” to block illicit online drug dealers from using its delivery service.
In 2011, Google Inc. agreed to pay $500 million to settle allegations by the Justice Department that it profited from ads for illegal online pharmacies.