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James Goodwin: This Is Ual's New Captain Speaking


In Business This Week: HEADLINER

JAMES GOODWIN: THIS IS UAL'S NEW CAPTAIN SPEAKING

It isn't every day that labor torpedoes a top exec's chances to take over the corner office. Then again, UAL, which will be 55%-owned by its unions in 2000, isn't your typical company. That's why James Goodwin, 54, is UAL's new president.

Goodwin, a 32-year veteran of United Airlines' parent who rose through the ranks to run UAL's international and then North American operations, was installed on Sept. 22 after President and CEO-in-waiting John Edwardson resigned abruptly on Sept. 18. Edwardson had clashed with the pilots' and mechanics' unions over issues ranging from pay hikes to a unionization drive for counter workers.

Union officials seem pleased with Goodwin. "The interaction the pilots have had with him have been quite positive," says pilots' union spokesman Madison Walton, noting that Goodwin recently helped establish a new system for getting pilots to their hotels more quickly after flights. But company watchers say Goodwin still may not be the next chief executive when CEO Gerald Greenwald is expected to retire in July.EDITED BY KELLEY HOLLANDReturn to top

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NATIONSBANK'S UNHAPPY MARRIAGE

WHEN NATIONSBANK BOUGHT MONTGOMERY SECURITIES a year ago, many wondered how well hard-charging Chairman Hugh McColl would get along with the investment firm's founder, Thomas Weisel, no shrinking violet himself. The answer came on Sept. 21 when Weisel, 57, resigned as head of what's now NationsBanc Montgomery. Insiders say he was fed up with encroachments by Charlotte (N.C.)-based NationsBank on his San Francisco enclave. The flash point: the bank's recent assumption of control over Montgomery's junk-bond business, which Weisel regarded as its flagship operation. "Weisel viewed that as a virtual breach of contract," says Joan Zimmerman, an executive recruiter at G.Z. Stephens. Weisel won't comment, but friends speculate he'll launch another firm.EDITED BY KELLEY HOLLANDReturn to top

DELL OPENS A DOOR TO THE WEB

ADD DELL COMPUTER TO THE RANKS OF COMPANIES THAT WANT TO BE YOUR WEB "portal." On Sept. 23, Dell announced that its small-business and home PCs will come with software to whisk customers to the Net and an Excite site carrying the Dell brand. The offering, called Dell ConnectDirect, will be through a joint venture with Excite and AT&T Worldnet. The new service reflects growing independence from Microsoft--both by joining with Excite, whose portal rivals Microsoft's, and by offering its own browser as well as Internet Explorer, which comes with Win98.EDITED BY KELLEY HOLLANDReturn to top

BATTLE SCARS AT BATTLE CREEK

SNAP, CRACKLE, KAPUT. Two top execs have quit Kellogg as market share and profits sag. Thomas Knowlton, 52, stepped down as North America president on Sept. 21, six days after Donald Fritz, 51, quit as Europe head. Wall Street suspects the new president, Carlos Gutierrez, is wielding the broom. Kellogg says it won't comment on speculation. As price-cutting squeezes margins, market share has slipped to 31% from 35% in 1996. More than 2,000 staff positions are being reviewed.EDITED BY KELLEY HOLLANDReturn to top


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