Keurig, Campbell team up on soup pods
Keurig Green Mountain Inc., struggling with sluggish demand for its coffee pods and brewers, is looking for a pick-me-up from chicken soup. The Waterbury, Vt.-based company is working with Campbell Soup Co. to offer two varieties of soups in its K-Cup system: a homestyle chicken noodle and a Southwest-style chicken noodle. The products mark Keurig's first foray into food, according to a statement. Keurig is seeking new sources of growth after tepid sales of K-Cups and a slow rollout for its new cold-drink machine forced the company to cut its forecast last month.
U.S. job openings soar even as hiring lags
U.S. companies are advertising a lot more jobs. But when it comes to filling them, many remain cautious. Job openings soared 8 percent to 5.75 million in July, the most since records began in 2000, the Labor Department said. Meanwhile, total hiring slipped to just below 5 million, from nearly 5.2 million in June. The figure suggests that many businesses are having trouble finding people with the skills they need. How quickly businesses fill their open jobs can have a big impact on hiring and wages.
Longtime CEO to retire at Express Scripts
Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefits management company in the U.S., said George Paz will retire as its CEO in May. Tim Wentworth, who was named president of Express Scripts last year, will replace Paz as CEO. Paz will remain chairman of the company, and Thomas Mac Mahon will remain lead independent director. The move is scheduled to happen after the company's next annual shareholder meeting. Paz, 60, has been CEO of Express Scripts for 11 years and oversaw its $29.1 billion acquisition of former competitor Medco in April 2012. Wentworth, 55, was the CEO of Medco's specialty pharmacy business before the merger.
Harvard survey: Income inequality hurts
Income inequality will remain a persistent problem despite brighter prospects for U.S. companies globally, according to an annual survey of Harvard Business School alumni. Fifty-eight percent of the respondents said they thought the U.S. economy would either become more competitive or at least hold its ground against other countries over the next three years, a marked improvement from 2011 when just 29 percent felt that way. But only about a third of respondents said they expected companies to be able to increase pay and benefits for workers. The wealth disparity alarmed many of the surveyed executives, with 45 percent saying that rising poverty levels could hurt their businesses.
Court halts strike by Lufthansa pilots
A German court issued an injunction ordering a halt to a strike by pilots at Lufthansa, Germany's biggest airline, that caused the cancellation of 1,000 flights affecting 140,000 travelers. Lufthansa welcomed the ruling by the state labor court in Frankfurt but said that a special, reduced timetable it had drawn up for the day would remain in place. It said that largely normal services would be resumed on Thursday. The pilots' union, Vereinigung Cockpit, has been calling regular short-term strikes in the long-running labor dispute, which comes as Lufthansa restructures to meet increasing competition from Gulf airlines.
Quiksilver files for bankruptcy in U.S.
Quiksilver, a ubiquitous clothing brand at surfing hot spots from the U.S. to Australia, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for its U.S. division. The brand, founded in 1969 in Australia, enlisted a stable of huge names to represent its image over the years, including surfers Kelly Slater and Tom Carroll. Yet after what turned out to be its golden decade in the 1990s, Quiksilver has faced rising competition, particularly in the U.S. The company said Wednesday that its European and Asia-Pacific businesses are going strong and are not part of the bankruptcy filing.
New York City eateries to use salt warnings
Some sub sandwiches, movie theater pretzels and even milkshakes and salads will soon come with a first-of-its-kind salt warning symbol in New York City after officials agreed to stake out new ground in a national push for healthier eating habits. The city Board of Health voted unanimously to require chain eateries to put salt-shaker emblems on menus to denote dishes with more than the recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams of sodium. That's about a teaspoon. Applauded by public health advocates but slammed as misguided by salt producers and restaurateurs, the plan is a first in the U.S. and furthers a series of novel nutritional efforts in the biggest city.