Pinnacle, Publix win People praise

Pinnacle Bank and Publix Supermarkets are among 50 top companies People magazine is recognizing as "employers who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic." In partnership with Great Place to Work, People saluted "50 companies that care" and have supported their employees and community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Publix has given more than 11 million pounds of produce and 500,000 gallons of milk to food banks across the South through Feeding America. Pinnacle Bank staffers called elderly clients during the shutdown and delivered toilet paper, paper towels and disinfectants to its customers. Others gave school supplies and play goods to local schools.

Other companies on the list included Target, Burlington Stores and Nationwide Insurance.


Roark Capital acquires ServiceMaster for $1.5B

ServiceMaster, a provider of home-cleaning and water-damage services, has agreed to a sale to the Atlanta investment fund Roark Capital for about $1.55 billion.

ServiceMaster Global Holdings will sell its residential and commercial cleaning and disaster-recovery businesses to Roark, but retain its much-larger Terminix pest-control subsidiary, according to a news release Wednesday.

Roark will acquire ServiceMaster-branded businesses, plus the Merry Maids chain of home cleaners and the AmeriSpec home inspection business. The brands that Roark will purchase recorded a total of $63 million in sales in the second quarter of this year.

Roark is known for its stable of franchised brands like Arby's and Buffalo Wild Wings, and its portfolio of restaurant brands has made it larger than both Chick-Fil-A and Waffle House, measured by sales.

Last November, Roark acquired the Jimmy John's chain of sandwich shops and in April it made a $200 million investment in The Cheesecake Factory.

Roark also owns franchised businesses that are not in the restaurant space, including Anytime Fitness, Pet Supermarket and Primrose Schools, a network of child-care centers.

ServiceMaster Global Holdings, based in Memphis, will change its name to Terminix after the deal closes later this year. Terminix recorded $534 million in second-quarter sales.


Ford to cut 1,400 jobs

Ford Motor Co. will offer early retirement incentives with hopes of cutting its U.S. white-collar workforce by 1,400 more positions.

Kumar Galhotra, the company's president of the Americas, told employees about the offers Wednesday morning. The company says they're part of an $11 billion restructuring plan that started more than a year ago.

Most of the reductions would take place in the area of Dearborn, Michigan, where Ford has its headquarters and large product development and engineering operations.

A spokesman says Ford expects to meet its goals with the offers. If it doesn't, then it may consider involuntary separations.

The offers will go to U.S. salaried workers who are eligible to retire as of Dec. 31. Those approved to retire would leave the company by the end of the year.

The offers won't go out in every part of the business. For instance, information technology workers and those responsible for rolling out new vehicles will not be affected.

Ford has about 30,000 white-collar workers in the U.S.


United plans 16,370 furloughs

United Airlines said Wednesday it plans to furlough 16,370 employees in October, down from an earlier target of 36,000 after thousands of workers took early retirement, buyouts, or long-term leaves of absence with the industry facing a slow recovery from the pandemic.

Airline officials said the final number could come down further before Oct. 1, when a prohibition on furloughs ends. They said the furloughs would be postponed if Washington approves another $25 billion to help passenger airlines cover payroll costs.

Flight attendants will bear the brunt of the cuts, with 6,920 getting furlough notices. About 2,850 pilots, 2,010 maintenance workers and 1,400 management and support staff would also lose their jobs.

The level of cuts, however, is 55% lower than the number of layoff warnings that United sent to employees in July. The reduction was possible because 7,400 employees took buyouts or early retirement, and up to 20,000 more accepted reduced work schedules or took voluntary leaves lasting up to 13 months.


Netflix inks royal deal

Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, having resettled in California, on Wednesday unveiled new Hollywood careers.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have founded a yet-to-be-named production company and signed a multiyear deal with Netflix, which will pay them to make documentaries, docu-series, feature films, scripted shows and children's programming — giving the couple a global platform six months after their dramatic decampment from the House of Windsor.

Harry and Meghan may appear on camera in documentary programming. But she has no plans to return to acting, according to a representative. She last appeared in the cable drama "Suits" in 2018.

"Our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope," the couple said in a statement. "As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us." They added that Netflix's "unprecedented reach will help us share impactful content that unlocks action." Their productions will be exclusive to Netflix, which has 193 million subscribers worldwide.

It is unclear how much Harry and Meghan will be paid, given their lack of producing experience. A Netflix spokeswoman declined to comment.