Wed, Mar 20, 2013 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

ELECTRONICS

Samsung eyes smart watch

Samsung Electronics Co is developing a wristwatch as Asia’s biggest technology company races against Apple Inc to create a new industry of wearable devices that perform similar tasks as smartphones. “We have been preparing the watch product for so long,” Lee Young-hee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business, said during an interview in Seoul. “We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them.” Lee had no comment on what features the watch may have, how much it would cost and when it would go on sale.

PHARMACEUTICALS

AstraZeneca to lay off 1,600

Struggling Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC said on Monday that it would eliminate 1,600 jobs, mostly in the US and the UK. The job reductions would be equivalent to nearly 3 percent of AstraZeneca’s global work force of 57,200 workers. Even the global headquarters will be shifted, from London to Cambridge, England, as the company moves many of its scientists near top centers for bioscience research. The changes, to be made between now and 2016, are expected to produce annual savings of about US$190 million.

MEDIA

Newspaper to start charging

The Washington Post said on Monday it would start charging frequent readers for online access starting in the middle of this year, with some details still to be finalized. The move, which had been expected, will require a paid subscription after 20 articles or multimedia features have been read per month, the Washington Post Co said in a statement. The Post’s homepage, section front pages and classifieds will not be limited, the statement said. The company said an exact launch date had not been decided, nor had the subscription price.

SEMICONDUCTORS

ARM chief retiring

The chief executive of British chip designer ARM Holdings, Warren East, is retiring after nearly 12 years in the role, the company said yesterday. He will step down on July 1, making way for new chief executive Simon Seagars, the current group president, who has been with ARM since 1991. The British firm has seen strong share performance in recent years on buoyant demand for its processors, which are used in smartphones and tablets.

AUTOMAKERS

Peugeot, union reach deal

Plans by troubled French carmaker Peugeot Citroen to shed more than 11,000 jobs cleared a major hurdle on Monday. After long negotiations with management, the company’s central works committee approved the compensation package with union members representing 76 percent of the employees voting in favor, according to the carmaker’s industrial director Denis Martin. After further consultations the job cuts and compensation package should receive final approval in the second half of next month.

GAMING

Electronic Arts CEO quits

Electronic Arts on Monday announced that chief executive John Riccitiello is stepping down and that the US video game giant would make less money than initially expected this quarter. Riccitiello will leave as chief and the board of directors effective March 30, the company said. Electronic Arts veteran Larry Probst was appointed to lead the company’s executive team, while the board of directors searches for a replacement for Riccitiello.

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