NPR's CEO departs, Ford's top executives are rewarded, and more
National Public Radio: CEO Departs After Video Sting
National Public Radio CEO Vivian Schiller resigned on Mar. 9 after a secretly recorded video surfaced showing another NPR executive, who had already tendered his resignation, referring to the Tea Party wing of the Republican party as racist and suggesting the network would be better off without federal funding. The comments, made to men posing as possible donors from a Muslim organization, follow Schiller's controversial dismissal of commentator Juan Williams in October for saying on Fox News (NWS) that airline passengers in "Muslim garb" make him nervous. NPR Chairman Dave Edwards announced that Schiller's resignation was accepted with "genuine regret."
Ford: Top Executives Reap Big Rewards
Ford Motor (F) awarded CEO Alan Mulally $56.5 million in stock for the automaker's turnaround. Executive Chairman Bill Ford received $42.4 million, also in shares. The company made the payments as part of a 2009 and 2010 incentive plan. During those years, Ford earned $9.28 billion after $30.1 billion in losses from 2006 through 2008. The two executives will also receive other compensation for 2010, including salary and benefits, which will be revealed in a proxy report in coming weeks.
Wal-Mart: The Big Box Retailer Goes Small
On Mar. 16, Wal-Mart (WMT) will begin construction of its first Express store, a retail branch less than a tenth of the size of the companies average supercenter. The company plans to open as many as 40 of the scaled-down stores this year. The world's largest retailer is seeking new avenues of growth, as sales at its stores open for at least a year have fallen for seven straight quarters. The first Express stores will cost $1.2 million each to build and will feature a pharmacy, grocery section, 75 parking spaces, and three or four checkouts.
Deutsche Telekom, Sprint Nextel: Talking About T-Mobile
Deutsche Telekom has held talks to sell its T-Mobile USA unit to Sprint Nextel (S) in exchange for a major stake in the combined entity, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The companies have not agreed on a price. A merger would allow Bonn-based Deutsche Telekom to keep a stake in one of its biggest markets, while making it easier to finance investments for a faster next-generation network. T-Mobile lost about 56,000 customers last year, while Sprint, AT&T (T), and Verizon Wireless all boosted their counts.
Warner Bros.: Friending Facebook for Movie Rentals
Warner Bros. is testing an online movie rental service offered through Facebook. The move is part of the studio's efforts to reach customers without going through Netflix (NFLX), which offers a DVD subscription and unlimited streaming service starting at $7.99 a month. Under the program, Facebook users can click a "rent" icon and pay a $3 fee to watch The Dark Night within 48 hours. More titles will follow. The service allows users to post comments as they watch. Facebook will take a slice of the revenue.
On the Move
— Lloyd's: New CEO António Horta-Osório replaces consumer banking and insurance chiefs
— Gome Electrical: Chairman Chen Xiao resigns
— Goldman Sachs (GS): Michael Carr and Dusty Philip named co-heads of M&A in the U.S.