Pacific Northwest 3M Chief Executive and Chairman James McNerney Jr. said yesterday that he's not a candidate for the top job at Boeing...

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3M Chief Executive and Chairman James McNerney Jr. said yesterday that he’s not a candidate for the top job at Boeing.

McNerney was among the people cited by analysts as likely candidates to be chief executive at Boeing, where he is a board member.

“As I’ve said before, I am very happy at 3M and believe strongly in the company’s future,” he said. “Rumors notwithstanding, I am not a candidate for any other job, including Boeing.”

Other possible candidates to replace Harry Stonecipher, who was forced out in an ethics scandal, include Alan Mulally, head of Boeing’s commercial airplane business, and Jim Albaugh, who runs its defense business.


144 at Seattle office get layoff notices

Qwest said yesterday it gave layoff notices to 144 Seattle-based employees late last month.

All are employed at the Terry Avenue office, north of downtown. Qwest spokeswoman Shasha Richardson said most of the employees were sales-support specialists. Their final day is June 8.

The Denver firm employs about 4,600 in the state.

Amazon to expand U.K. retailer services agreed to host and provide technology for Marks & Spencer Group’s Web site, expanding its online-services business to Europe.

Marks & Spencer, the U.K.’s biggest clothing chain, will manage the site and ship orders to customers, Seattle-based Amazon said yesterday. The U.S. company will also provide technology for Marks & Spencer’s in-store and telephone-ordering systems.

Puget Energy

$850 million offer of shares planned

Puget Energy will sell up to $850 million of common stock and senior notes, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing yesterday.

The Bellevue utility expects to use the money to repay debt, invest in its subsidiaries and pay corporate expenses. The company did not give a date for the offering or the number of shares it plans to sell.

Washington Banking

Common stock split to take effect May 17

Washington Banking said yesterday it plans a 4-for-3 common stock split to take effect May 17. The Oak Harbor company owns Whidbey Island Bank, which runs 19 branches in five counties.


Head of Japan arm to run global sales

Michael Rawding, the president and CEO of Microsoft’s Japan arm, has been appointed corporate vice president of global sales and marketing for its MSN division, the company said yesterday. Beginning July 1, he will run global sales and marketing for MSN and oversee its Japan operations.

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

Defense contracts

Review requested of Pentagon practices

The Pentagon should conduct a review of how it buys weapons systems to affirm the integrity of the process and control costs, U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee members said.

“The American people clearly do not want to see the continuation of these extraordinary cost overruns,” committee Chairman Sen. John Warner said yesterday after a hearing on the nomination of Navy Secretary Gordon England to be deputy secretary of defense.

The concerns about the military’s purchasing process were triggered by former Air Force acquisition official Darleen Druyun’s conviction on charges of violating federal conflict-of-interest laws and the cost of growth in Army, Navy and Air Force weapons systems, senators said.

Warner said he asked Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who heads an Armed Services subcommittee, to craft an acquisition-reform plan and present it to the Pentagon. McCain in September 2003 raised the first questions about a $23 billion agreement to buy tankers from Boeing; the agreement was eventually scrapped. An investigation into that contract led to Druyun’s conviction.


$22.5 million fine over Xerox audits

Accounting firm KPMG has agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle federal regulators’ charges that it allowed Xerox to manipulate its accounting.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged that KPMG and its partners allowed Xerox to manipulate accounting practices to close a $3 billion gap between actual operating results and results reported to the investing public.

Compiled from Bloomberg News and The Associated Press.