GE Promotes 3, Restructures

General Electric named three vice chairmen and said it would consolidate its 11 businesses into six groups in the broadest restructuring since chief executive Jeffrey R. Immelt took control in September 2001.

The changes surround Immelt with executives who helped restore GE profit growth after shifting into faster-growing areas including health care, water treatment and security. David L. Calhoun will head infrastructure, Michael A. Neal will be chief of commercial financial services, and John G. Rice will oversee industrial. Vice Chairman Dennis D. Dammerman, head of the finance units, will retire after 38 years with GE.


SEC Urged to Delay Vote on Rule

Eight Republican senators urged the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission to postpone a vote on a controversial mutual fund rule.

A federal appeals court told the agency on Tuesday to reconsider the costs of and alternatives to the rule, which forbids mutual fund chairmen from having ties to management. SEC Chairman William H. Donaldson, who is leaving his post next Thursday, quickly scheduled a vote on the issue for his final public meeting. The initial rule passed on a 3 to 2 vote last year.

Sen. Michael D. Crapo (R-Idaho) and seven other senators sent a letter to Donaldson calling the swift move "inappropriate."

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which sued the SEC over the original rule, also sent a letter saying the vote "would constitute a profound departure from the requirements of the administrative process." An SEC spokesman declined to comment.


Dell Incentives Challenged in N.C.

The North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law filed a challenge to the biggest corporate incentive package ever in the state -- $280 million in tax breaks and subsidies for Dell to put a computer plant in Winston-Salem.

In exchange for creating at least 1,500 jobs at the plant, and investing at least $100 million over 15 years in the area, Dell is getting $242 million in state incentives and a local package worth $37.2 million.


Former FBI Agent Pleads Guilty

A former FBI agent pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in a penny-stock case. Lynn Wingate pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklyn to providing confidential government information to her boyfriend, Jeffrey A. Royer, another former FBI agent who was convicted of racketeering, securities fraud and other charges in January.

Royer was accused of passing information on investigations of companies to the leader of a stock-manipulation scheme.


Mediator Recesses UPS Talks

A federal mediator has ordered a break in contract negotiations between UPS and the Independent Pilots Association, while still encouraging the two sides to come together on their own to break their impasse, UPS said.

UPS stressed that despite the mediator's ordering of a recess, under the Railway Labor Act, the pilots can't strike while mediated talks are ongoing. Two major items that remain unresolved in the talks are pensions and compensation.


VW Vans Have Clutch Problems

Volkswagen is recalling 44,000 Touran vans worldwide because of problems in the six-speed gearbox on 2-liter TDI models.

The clutch on 2004 and 2005 models can develop excessive wear, leading to transmission damage and eventual failure, Volkswagen said.

Toys R Us Buyout Approved

Shareholders approved a $6.6 billion buyout of Toys R Us by a private consortium. About 98 percent of the shares that were voted, 125.6 million, favored the purchase by two private equity firms, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Bain Capital, and a real estate developer, Vornado Realty Trust. The deal, to pay stockholders $26.75 a share, is expected to close at the end of July and would end the retailer's 27-year run as a public company.

Best Buy approved a 3-for-2 stock split as its shares trade near an all-time high. Shareholders of record on July 13 will receive one additional share for every two shares owned, and the additional shares will be distributed on Aug. 3, the country's largest electronics retailer said. This is Best Buy's 10th stock split.

Delphi, whose accounting is being investigated by U.S. regulators, named turnaround specialist Robert S. Miller Jr. as chief executive. Miller will succeed the retiring J.T. Battenberg III on July 1, the auto parts maker said.

Federated Department Stores, which is buying May Department Stores, named Timothy M. Adams chairman of its Macy's Home Store unit, succeeding Eric Salus. Adams, chairman of Macy's Florida division, will take over July 25, Federated said.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.

John G. RiceMichael A. NealDavid L. Calhoun