published Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Biz Briefs: J&J cuts bonuses for top managers

J&J cuts bonuses for top managers

Citing "disappointments" last year, Johnson & Johnson has lowered planned bonuses by 10 percent for new CEO Alex Gorsky and other top executives.

The giant health products maker called its 2012 results a "mix of short-term successes and disappointments." Still, Gorsky received total compensation worth $8.93 million, up about 62 percent from the $5.52 million total he received in 2011, based on the company's annual proxy statement filed Wednesday.

Top Android exec suddenly quits

Andy Rubin has stepped down as the executive in charge of Google's Android operating system for smartphones and tablet computers, ending a seven-year reign that reshaped the technology industry.

The unexpected change announced Wednesday may raise new questions about Android's direction as Google duels with Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and a long list of other companies in the increasingly important mobile computing market. Google is replacing Rubin with Sundar Pichai, an executive in charge of the company's Chrome Web browser and operating system for lightweight laptop computers.

U.S. CEOs hopeful for better times

Chief executives at the largest U.S. companies are much more optimistic about their sales prospects than they were three months ago, though many remain cautious about hiring. The Business Roundtable said Wednesday that 72 percent of its members expect sales to increase in the next six months. That's up from 58 percent at the end of last year. And 38 percent plan to invest more in plants and equipment, up from 30 percent in the October-December quarter, when the Roundtable released its last report.

Alabama eyes title loan rules

An Alabama House Committee has approved a bill that would regulate the issuing of title loans, while allowing most of the title loan businesses to continue operating.

The House Financial Services Committee approved the bill known as the Alabama Title Loan Act Wednesday on a voice vote with only one vote against the proposed legislation. The bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Lesley Vance of Phenix City, says the title loan industry is necessary because many people take out the loans when they're in need of financial help. Opponents claimed the bill does not address what they say are the exorbitant interest rates charged by the industry.

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