Among other items: Capital One Financial plans to close its Federal Way site employing 256 people by March 4; and Sirius and XM, the two big players in the emerging satellite-radio business, both announced gains in subscribers yesterday.

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Washington Mutual’s new president and chief operating officer, Stephen Rotella, will receive a signing bonus of $2.6 million plus 220,000 restricted shares of WaMu common stock when he starts work Jan. 10, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Rotella, who is coming to WaMu from New York-based JP Morgan Chase, will get a starting annual salary of $900,000 and a guaranteed bonus of at least $2 million for 2005. His bonus target for 2005 is $2.5 million; the actual bonus will be based on the company’s performance.

WaMu announced last week that Rotella would take the title of president, which had belonged to Kerry Killinger, who remains chairman and chief executive. The COO title is new to WaMu.

256 to lose jobs at Capital One Financial site in Federal Way

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Capital One Financial plans to close its Federal Way site employing 256 people by March 4, the company said in a notification to the state’s Employment Security Department. The site’s closure is part of a previously announced plan by the Virginia-based company to cut costs.

All workers will receive career counseling and seminars. Full-time associates will be eligible for severance packages, including retraining assistance and outplacement services.

Shareholder sues over Nextel Partners stock plan

A shareholder has sued Kirkland-based Nextel Partners and company directors, asking a judge to enforce a stock-purchase agreement as part of a planned $35 billion acquisition of Nextel Communications by Sprint.

Nextel Partners is 32 percent owned by Nextel Communications, which also is being sued along with Sprint.

In a lawsuit filed yesterday in Delaware Chancery Court, stockholder Donald Fragnoli claims Nextel Communications and Sprint are portraying the buyout as a “merger of equals” to avoid paying more than $3 billion for Nextel Partners’ stock. An outright sale would trigger the agreement, he said.

Nextel Partners spokeswoman Susan Johnston said the company is reviewing the lawsuit.

Nation and World

Satellite radio subscribers on rise, report 2 competitors

Sirius and XM, the two big players in the emerging satellite-radio business, both announced gains in subscribers yesterday as 2004 drew to a close.

Washington, D.C.-based XM, the larger of the two, said it had recently surpassed 3.1 million subscribers, having started out the year with 1.3 million. Sirius, which is based in New York, said it had passed the 1 million mark, having started out 2004 with about 260,000.

Competition between the two companies has been heating up fiercely over the past year, with each one signing contracts for hundreds of millions for sports and talk programming. Both have enlisted help from automakers in marketing the services, under which users pay a monthly fee for coast-to-coast access to hundreds of channels, many of them commercial-free.

Compiled from Seattle Times business staff, Bloomberg News and The Associated Press