The Buzz: December 4, 2000
New GE Chief Knows It
The information technology savvy that Jeffrey Immelt showed as head of General Electrics Medical Systems division may have helped him win the job as replacement for GEs starlike CEO, Jack Welch.
Immelt, who last week was tapped as president of GE and heir to Welch, is credited in part with the more than $1 billion in online sales this year at the unit he heads.
But Immelt has a big job ahead of him, getting the rest of the multibillion- dollar conglomerate into e-business and putting its information systems in order, some in the IT industry said. The first e-commerce snarl Immelt will have to untangle is the integration of Honeywells aerospace e-marketplace with GEs own Express Marketplace.
Other notable appointments last week included David Dorman, the CEO of an AT&T/British Telecom joint venture, to the post of president of AT&T, and former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart to an unspecified senior management job at Oracle.
Dot-commers eye unions
The falloff in value of employee stock options and increasing prospects for cost-cutting layoffs have created a fertile ground for labor union organization at dot-com companies.
Customer service workers at etown.com and ShopAudioVideo.com, both part of Collaborative Media, filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board last week to vote on whether they will be represented by the Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America.
If approved in a vote expected to take place later this month, this would be the first major success for U.S. labor organizers at a dot-com.
But the big enchilada for union organizers is Amazon.com, where unions are trying to organize 400 customer service workers and 5,000 workers at eight distribution centers.
When you need to know
File this under "why didnt anyone think of this before?"
Wireless ISP YadaYada last week introduced a wireless service for PDAs called Bathroom Finder.
In addition to providing addresses for public rest- rooms in 12 cities, the service gives information on accessibility, cleanliness and amenities for each facility.