Safeco announced yesterday Chief Financial Officer Christine Mead will retire effective Dec. 31.

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Safeco

Safeco announced yesterday Chief Financial Officer Christine Mead will retire effective Dec. 31. Her decision comes less than a month after Safeco CEO Mike McGavick said he would step down to consider a job in public service.


In April, Safeco said it was looking for a new CFO to reduce Mead’s responsibilities, which also include being president of service, technology and finance.


Safeco said Mead had declined to be considered as a candidate for chief executive. In a letter to employees yesterday, she said she has decided to join friends on a bicycle trip from London to Australia.


Mead, 49, joined Safeco in January 2002 and will not receive retirement benefits, although her departure is being called a retirement. McGavick is to step down Aug. 31 but will remain chairman until at least the end of the year.

Plaza Bank

Hispanic-oriented bank in works


Organizers for a new Seattle bank catering primarily to Hispanic business owners plan to apply for a state charter and deposit insurance within the next month.


Some big-name investors have provided seed money, including former Weyerhaeuser Chief Executive Jack Creighton.


But the bank cannot begin soliciting the $20 million it hopes to raise until its business plan passes muster with regulators, said Carlos Guangorena, a longtime Seattle banker hired to be CEO of the startup bank.

WUTC

Ex-Locke adviser to lead agency


David Danner has been appointed executive director of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, responsible for telecommunication rates, utility companies and other services.


Danner, who will start in mid-September, will be paid $92,000 a year.


He is a member of the state Pollution Control Hearings Board and was the energy and telecommunications policy adviser to Gov. Gary Locke and senior policy adviser at the Department of Information Services.

ASG Consolidated

Profit nearly triple at seafood firm


ASG Consolidated, the parent of American Seafoods, reported yesterday a nearly threefold increase in second-quarter profit, earning $10.5 million on net sales that dropped 2.6 percent to $124 million.


The profit increase was largely due to gains on foreign exchange and other derivative contracts, according to the Seattle company, which harvests, processes and distributes seafood.


Its operating profit fell 43.5 percent to $9.6 million, partly because of lower sales volumes in certain processing businesses and the higher cost of fuel, freight and other items.


ASG posted a profit for the first six months of $40.2 million, up 61.2 percent from a year ago.


Compiled from Seattle Times business staff


Pacific Northwest

Boeing

2 companies order 16 737 planes


Boeing said yesterday that San Francisco-based leasing company Pegasus Aviation Finance ordered six 737-800s valued at $400 million.


Boeing also confirmed the completion of an agreement with India-based Jet Airways for 10 737-800s, valued at nearly $680 million.


T-Mobile USA

More subscribers boost revenues


T-Mobile USA grew revenues and net income during the second quarter after adding 972,000 subscribers, bringing its total to 19.2 million, it reported yesterday.


The Bellevue-based company is a subsidiary of German telecom company Deutsche Telekom.


Revenues in the second quarter were $3.6 billion, a 28.2 percent increase from the year-ago period. Profit was $387 million, a 61.3 percent increase.


In terms of subscribers, the company is behind Cingular Wireless, Verizon Wireless and the new Sprint Nextel, which expects to close its merger today.


Compiled from Seattle Times


business staff and Bloomberg News