Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire




Kmart's Julian Day lands CEO post

Troy, Mich. >> Julian Day left grocery retailer Safeway Inc. in June 1998 after five years as chief financial officer with the goal of becoming the chief executive officer of a publicly traded company.

Day accomplished that objective yesterday, when he was named to replace James Adamson as CEO of Kmart Corp. Day, 50, may face a similar long haul when trying to right the bankrupt retailer, analysts said.

"For Kmart to save itself, the company really needed a triumvirate of Julian Day and a great chief merchandising officer and a great store operations officer," said Burt Flickinger, managing director of consulting firm Strategic Resource Group, who has followed Kmart for almost 30 years. "Without that triumvirate, the company still has the same strategic flaws as it had before."

Kmart said the sudden appointment of Day, who joined the retailer in March as president and chief operating officer, was to allow him to better implement the reorganization plan to exit bankruptcy around April 30. Restructuring specialist Adamson, 54, will continue to serve as non-executive chairman.

HIV ads to feature Magic Johnson

NEW YORK >> As competition among makers of HIV drugs increases, GlaxoSmithKline is using perhaps America's best-known HIV carrier to spread awareness among urban blacks of treatment methods and its products.

Earvin "Magic" Johnson's image is being splashed on billboards, subway posters and full-page ads in newspapers and magazines. The ads include photos of a robust-looking Johnson and feature messages such as, "Staying healthy is about a few basic things: A positive attitude, partnering with my doctor, taking my medicine every day."

The market leader in HIV treatments with its drug Combivir, GlaxoSmithKline said its campaign is being conducted in cities with the highest rates of HIV/AIDS infection among blacks, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Washington, D.C. and Newark, N.J.

The campaign also includes educational ads and a speaking tour by Johnson. It is similar to campaigns that have used celebrities to promote awareness about and specific drugs for arthritis, depression and other conditions. But the GlaxoSmithKline campaign is the first of its kind for HIV.

Game? What game? I watch the ads

Big-spending advertisers, take heart. At least one night a year, Super Bowl Sunday, television commercials actually attract some viewers.

Nearly half the 500 people who responded to an online survey this month said they will tune in to the Jan. 26 game just to watch the commercials. Twenty percent said they pay more attention to the ads than to the game.

Of course, not everyone is football crazy, with a full third of people saying they don't give a whit and won't watch. Dining out, going to a movie or renting a video were among the activities those folks would consider.

"Clearly, significant revenue opportunities exist for establishments who offer non-Super Bowl-related activities," said Lee Smith, president of InsightExpress, the online market-research firm based in Stamford, Conn., that conducted the survey.

Tyson Foods launches beef and pork products

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. >> Tyson Foods Inc. is expanding from its traditional chicken business, launching new lines of beef and pork under its own name and featuring its new muscle as the world's largest meat company.

The effort will include $40 million in advertising, scheduled to launch today, and $60 million in additional efforts ranging from store promotions to ads targeting ethnic groups as Tyson adds products through the year. The $100 million includes marketing for chicken products.


Japan's NEC names new president

TOKYO >> The NEC Corp., Japan's leading chip and telecommunications equipment maker, has named a new president, Akinobu Kanasugi, as the company tries to focus more on software and consulting services.

Kanasugi, 61, who ran the NEC Solutions subsidiary for the last three years, will replace Koji Nishigaki, who will step down because of health reasons on March 28. During Nishigaki's four-year tenure, NEC spun off its commodity chip and U.S. computer divisions and reduced the company's work force by about 10 percent, or 16,000 jobs, to offset the global downturn in spending on technology.

Despite those efforts, NEC lost a record &YEN312 billion ($2.6 billion) last year as big clients like Nippon Telegraph & Telephone slashed spending.




>> Communications Pacific has hired Cindy McMillan as senior project manager. She works with corporate clients and on projects involving community outreach. McMillan previously spent five years as a Honolulu City Council legislative aide and one year as the city's Primary Corridor Transportation Project outreach coordinator.


>> The Building Industry Association of Hawaii has named Kenneth Choate president for 2003. He is executive vice president of Haseko Construction Inc. Other new BIA officers are: Immediate Past President Craig Watase, Mark Development Inc.; President-elect John Cheung, CC Engineering & Construction Inc.; Vice President Fred Moore, Honolulu Shipyard Inc.; Secretary Alan Shintani, Alan Shintani Inc.; Treasurer Charles Au, Erwin, Cabrinha & Au; Builder Appointee Paul Silen, Hawaiian Dredging & Construction Co.; and Associate Appointee Melvyn Iwaki, Electricians Inc. Board directors are: Dean Asahina, Maile Romanowski, Denny Sadowski, Scotty Anderson, Karin Holma, Paul Kane, Alan Arakawa, Brian Adachi, Rodney Yamamoto, Carl Cunningham, Margaret Wong and Tom Zimmerman.

>> Pacific Medical Healthcare & Supply Co. President Keith T. Matsunaga has joined the Lanakila Rehabilitation Center for the Blind's board of directors. His previously served as business development director at the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific.

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