Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Thursday, December 23, 1999

Top financial exec quits Microsoft

SEATTLE -- Greg Maffei, who managed huge software profits and a massive cash hoard as Microsoft Corp.'s chief financial officer, is quitting to head a telecommunications company.

Maffei, 39, is the latest in a string of high-level Microsoft executives who have quit to enjoy their wealth, families and to seek out even greener pastures.

He will become chief executive of Worldwide Fiber Inc., a Vancouver, British Columbia-based company that builds and runs high-speed fiber-optic networks.

His replacement, former corporate controller John Connors, 40, will take over Jan. 7, the software company announced yesterday.

Mortgage rates creep up to 7.96%

WASHINGTON -- The average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages climbed to 7.96 percent this week, with other mortgage rates rising sharply as well. The average on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages this week was up from 7.86 percent last week, according to a weekly survey by Freddie Mac, the mortgage broker.

Mortgages rates have been on an upward climb this year. The average rate on a 30-year mortgage hit a low of 6.74 percent at the end of January and a high of 8.15 percent in mid August.

Fifteen-year mortgages averaged 7.57 percent this week, up from 7.47 percent last week.

One-year, adjustable-rate mortgages averaged an initial rate of 6.64 percent this week, up from 6.49 percent last week.

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