Business Briefs


POSTED: Saturday, April 10, 2010

Planet Hollywood to close April 18

Planet Hollywood will shut down its last celebrity-themed Hawaii restaurant on April 18 after 15 years in business, as its lease at the Bank of Hawaii Waikiki Center expires at the end of the month. It opened in June 1995, followed by a now long-closed Maui location.

“;Honolulu has been very good to us these past 15 years,”; said Planet Hollywood founder and chief executive officer, Robert Earl, in a statement dated April 3.

The restaurant's 72 employees were notified that day.

“;I ... look forward to returning to the market in spectacular fashion in the near future,”; he said, but did not disclose a new site.

Earl, who had been CEO of Hard Rock Cafe before establishing Planet Hollywood, drew in Hollywood celebrities with ownership shares in Planet Hollywood in exchange for their endorsements. The chain kicked off with tons of publicity as its co-owners, including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, attended openings accompanied by other Hollywood glitterati.

No changes have been announced for sister restaurant Buca di Beppo on Auahi Street.


Ex-Fannie Mae execs defend record

WASHINGTON » Two former Fannie Mae executives said yesterday that competitive pressures, combined with the political goal of increasing homeownership, were to blame for the company's decision to back riskier mortgages that fueled the housing bubble.

Daniel Mudd, Fannie Mae's former CEO, and Robert Levin, the company's former chief business officer, testified before a panel examining the roots of the financial crisis. Both executives left Fannie Mae after it was seized by regulators in fall 2008.

Mudd stopped short of a full apology for the company's collapse and the more than $75 billion it has cost taxpayers so far. But, he said, “;I accept responsibility for everything that happened on my watch.”;


Hawaii consumers rate high in debt

Hawaii ranked high for many debt categories during the first quarter, according to a report from credit advocate Credit Karma.

Hawaii was the state with the second-highest average credit card debt per consumer, with $9,200. It was beat by Colorado, which had $9,225 per consumer.

The state also ranked second in average mortgage debt per consumer, which was at $307,619. California topped the list, with $338,025 per consumer.

Hawaii consumers also ranked fourth for average home equity debt, at $65,234. California, Washington, D.C., and Nevada were first through third, respectively.

Credit card debt has remained stable nationally, according to Credit Karma. During the first quarter, consumers paid down credit card debt by less than 1 percent nationally.


On the Move

; » Hawaii Self Storage has hired Naoi Yuen as business development and community relations director. He was previously vice president of Easter Seals Hawaii.

» Aston Hotels & Resort has appointed Kristin Knous as the new senior director of e-commerce. She has 20 years' experience in technology, e-commerce, account management and analysis, and was previously the e-commerce director for Aloha Airlines.

» Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union has announced the following 2010 board of directors: Allan Fujimoto, Gary Iwai and Stanley Inamasu. Other directors include Ann Gima, Darwin Hamamoto, Joseph Magaldi Jr. and Karen Shishido.

» The Hawaii Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers has named Betty Lou Larson as 2010 Social Worker of the Year-Social Justice/Advocacy. She is a housing programs director for Catholic Charities Hawaii.

» Century 21 Hawaiian Style announced that Takako McMillen has earned the Century 21 System's Centurion producer award. She has 20 years of experience in the real estate industry.

» MetLife Bank has recognized Percy Ihara as sales leader for 2009. He has six years of reverse mortgage experience and has been with MetLife Bank since 2009.