Pacific Northwest Bellevue-based Coinstar has named a replacement for Chief Executive Officer Dave Cole, who plans to retire March 31. Coinstar, an owner and...

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Pacific Northwest

Retail

Bellevue-based Coinstar has named a replacement for Chief Executive Officer Dave Cole, who plans to retire March 31.

Coinstar, an owner and operator of self-service coin-counting machines, said Tuesday that Chief Operating Officer Paul Davis will succeed Cole as CEO effective April 1. Cole, 60, has been Coinstar’s CEO since 2001.

Davis, 51, joined Coinstar in April as COO after working as an independent consultant with consumer packaged-goods and retail companies.

From November 1999 to October 2001, he was president of North American operations at Starbucks.

Nation / World

Insurance

Gustav claims may hit $10 billion

Residential and commercial insurance claims could total $4 billion to $10 billion. More than a million customers, including some refineries, lack electricity.

And retailers are gearing up for a burst of sales once residents who fled the Gulf Coast return.

Snapshots of Hurricane Gustav’s economic impact revealed Tuesday that the storm was hardly as damaging as feared, particularly for the region’s vast network of energy facilities.

But it will be days, if not weeks, before business as usual returns.

While Gustav’s force paled in comparison to Hurricane Katrina, which cost insurers $41 billion, oil workers, utility crews, fishermen and other business owners fanned out across the Gulf Coast on Tuesday to assess damage and make preparations to restart operations.

Economy

Manufacturing, construction slide

For the nation’s lumber companies, automakers, home builders and other manufacturers, the final half of 2008 may be as sluggish as the first.

Slow consumer spending and high gas prices have stalled manufacturing, and even some bright spots are expected to dim.

Exports, which have propped up the sector, may slide as economies overseas slow.

Meanwhile, construction spending is at a seven-year low that has spread from housing to nonresidential projects.

The Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday its reading for the nation’s manufacturers fell to 49.9 in August from 50 in July, matching economists’ expectations, according to Thomson/IFR.

A reading below 50 signals contraction, while a reading above 50 signals growth.

Telecommunications

Alcatel-Lucent appoint top leaders

Alcatel-Lucent on Tuesday named two executives from the aerospace and telecommunications industries as its new CEO and chairman, hoping to turn around the money-losing technology giant.

The world’s largest manufacturer of fixed-line telecommunications gear appointed Ben Verwaayen, a former chief executive of BT Group, as its chief executive, and former EADS co-CEO Philippe Camus as its new chairman.

Verwaayen, who is Dutch, and Frenchman Camus replace the U.S. and French executives behind the $11.4 billion deal that combined France’s Alcatel and U.S.-based Lucent two years ago that has yet to lead to a quarterly profit.

Compiled from Seattle Times business staff and The Associated Press