More layoffs ahead at Cisco

Cisco Systems is preparing to lay off about 1,300 workers just a few months after the world's largest maker of computer networking equipment warned that growing economic uncertainty is making it tougher to close sales with its customers. The cuts announced Monday represent about 2 percent of Cisco System Inc.'s payroll of 65,000 workers. Last year, San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco shed about 10,000 jobs as part of a program aimed at saving about $1 billion annually.

German firm picking up Peet's Coffee & Tea

Coffee chain Peet's Coffee & Tea Inc. is going private for $977.6 million -- but it's not being sold to Starbucks, its giant Seattle rival. Instead, German conglomerate Joh. A. Benckiser will shell out $73.50 a share to buy the Emeryville, Calif., company, paying a 29 percent premium on Friday's $57.16 closing price. Peet's had just under 200 stores as of this spring.

RailAmerica to go to a rail rival for $1.39B

Genesee & Wyoming said that it will buy RailAmerica for about $1.39 billion in a deal that combines the two largest short-line and regional rail operators in North America. The combined company will operate 108 railroads in the U.S. and abroad. Greenwich, Conn.-based Genesee & Wyoming will pay $27.50 in cash for each share of RailAmerica Inc., which is based in Jacksonville, Fla.

Bank of America cuts 9% of its ATM network

Bank of America Corp., the lender targeting $8 billion in expense cuts, reduced its automated teller network almost 9 percent this year by yanking most of the devices deployed at U.S. gas stations and malls. The bank's total number of ATMs fell by 1,536 in the first half, a record decline, leaving it with 16,220 as of June 30, the Charlotte, N.C.-based firm said last week. Bank of America didn't renew deals to place its machines at sites owned by Simon Property Group Inc., the biggest U.S. shopping mall owner, and gas station operator Valero Energy Corp.

Insurer Fairfax now RIM's top investor

Research in Motion shareholder Fairfax Financial Holdings almost doubled its stake in the BlackBerry maker, making it RIM's biggest investor and offering a vote of confidence to the ailing Canadian company. Fairfax, an insurer run by Toronto-based investor Prem Watsa, owns 51.9 million RIM shares, according to a regulatory filing. It held 26.8 million shares as of April 1, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company raised its stake to 9.9 percent, worth about $351 million.

Amazon unveils tuition reimbursement plan

To reward hourly workers and help them learn new skills, Amazon.com said it would offer a tuition reimbursement program, paying up to 95 percent of tuition, textbook and associated fees for such courses as aircraft mechanics, computer-aided design, machine tool technologies and nursing. The program -- which pays up to $2,000 per year for four years -- is available for full-time hourly Amazon employees in the U.S. who have been with the company at least three consecutive years.

Thompson, late of Yahoo, has new CEO gig

Scott Thompson, the former Yahoo CEO who stepped down in disgrace because of résumé-padding after less than four months on the job, has found a new top job in the tech world, far from Silicon Valley. Thompson has been appointed CEO of ShopRunner, a Pennsylvania start-up that seeks to sign up paying members for a service that offers shipping perks from a variety of websites. Thompson joined the company's board while still president of eBay-owned PayPal, and his experience at PayPal could come in handy as ShopRunner seeks to launch a payment system of its own, called PayRunner.

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