Pacific Northwest Microsoft said yesterday that its head of human resources, Ken DiPietro,is leaving the company and that Lisa Brummel will...

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Pacific Northwest


Microsoft said yesterday that its head of human resources, Ken DiPietro,is leaving the company and that Lisa Brummel will fill his position effective immediately.

Brummel, 45, joined Microsoft in 1989 and has led its home-and-retail division for the past 10 years. DiPietro was corporate vice president of human resources for the past two years.

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Retailer snubs TIAA-CREF request

Despite a campaign by one of the nation’s most formidable institutional investors, won’t halt the practice of annually replenishing the pot of shares available for employee stock grants.

TIAA-CREF, which manages teachers’ pensions, has been waging a war against “evergreen” plans, which don’t require shareholder approval to issue stock. The giant financial concern has targeted dozens of its portfolio companies, but Amazon of Seattle has become the lone holdout.

Amazon had no immediate comment. The Internet retailer secured shareholder approval for the “evergreen” amendment in 2000.

Venture Financial Group

$25 million deal reached for bank

Venture Financial Group of Olympia announced it plans to acquire Washington Commercial Bancorp, the parent of Redmond National Bank, for stock and cash worth about $25 million.

The deal would add about $100 million in assets and two King County branches to Venture’s network of 14 branches in four counties.

Eddie Bauer

Speigel OKs loan for bankruptcy plan

Spiegel, which owns the Eddie Bauer clothing chain of Redmond, agreed to borrow $300 million from JPMorgan Chase, General Electric and Credit Suisse First Boston to pay creditors under a plan to exit bankruptcy.

The loan is the final piece of Spiegel’s proposed plan to exit bankruptcy by giving ownership of the company to Commerzbank and other unsecured creditors.

Organic Holding

Money acquired to open more cafes

Organic Holding of Seattle yesterday said it would use $3 million in second-round funding to open more soup-and-sandwich cafes.

The company, which runs two Organic To Go cafes in Seattle and Issaquah, purchased 12 Briazz locations April 14 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The company plans to convert the former Briazz stores in the next three months to Organic To Go cafes.


Kirkland firm buys 7 MCI call centers

Kirkland-based vCustomer said Thursday that it bought seven call centers from telecom giant MCI: six in the United States and one in the Philippines. Terms weren’t disclosed.

The centers will add more than 3,000 employees to vCustomer’s payroll, bringing the total to more than 6,000. As part of the acquisition, vCustomer will serve MCI exclusively for seven years.

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