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Business briefs

For Friday, October 15, 2010

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:08 a.m. HST, Oct 15, 2010


Kona Hospital selects interim CEO

Kona Community Hospital has appointed Kathryn Harter as interim chief executive officer, effective Nov. 1.

Harter, who is currently the hospital's chief nurse executive, has 33 years of professional experience, including 19 years in administration. She most recently served as chief nursing officer at Wythe County Community Hospital in Virginia, a 110-bed for-profit facility. Kona Community Hospital, founded in 1914, is a 94-bed, full-service hospital.

Walmart to stock more local produce

BENTONVILLE, Ark. » Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says it will double its sale of locally sourced produce in the U.S. by the end of 2015.

The move by the world's biggest retailer is part of a new sustainable agriculture strategy that looks to steer more business to small and medium-size farmers globally while also reducing farming's environmental impact.

Walmart plans to buy more of select U.S. crops. It also anticipates providing training to 1 million farmers and farmworkers in emerging markets and selling $1 billion in food sourced from 1 million small- and medium-size farmers.

Walmart says it will start asking suppliers about water, energy, fertilizer and pesticide used per unit of food produced. The retailer also wants to lower food waste at its stores.

Occidental CEO will relinquish post

NEW YORK » Under heavy criticism from shareholders over his lofty compensation, Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s longtime chief executive said yesterday he'll relinquish his role as CEO next year and take a pay cut.

Ray Irani, who made nearly $150 million from 2006 to 2009 and was America's sixth-highest-paid CEO last year, will remain company chairman. He plans to retire at the end of 2014, according to a regulatory filing.

Occidental made the decision five months after investors protested Irani's pay package at the company's annual meeting. It's a sign that investors are gaining some sway over corporate boards, especially those that granted executives handsome pay packages during the recession.

Verizon to join AT&T in selling iPad

NEW YORK » In a sign of warming relations between the two companies, Verizon Wireless will start selling Apple Inc.'s iPad at the end of this month, the companies said yesterday.

The news follows published reports that Verizon Wireless will start selling a version of the iPhone early next year. The companies have not confirmed the reports, and Verizon Wireless has downplayed the possibility of an iPhone for its current network.

AT&T Inc. is Apple's exclusive U.S. carrier for the iPhone. It's also the only U.S. carrier that's compatible with the "3G" version of the iPad, which allows for cellular data access.

Verizon Wireless won't sell the 3G version. Instead, it will sell the Wi-Fi version, with the option of bundling it with a "MiFi" gadget for about $130.

U.S. trade deficit with China at peak

The U.S. trade deficit widened in August, with the politically sensitive imbalance with China reaching its highest mark on record, according to government figures released yesterday.

The trade deficit grew to $46.3 billion, up from a revised $42.6 billion in July and exceeding forecasts for a gap of around $44 billion. The deficit with China accounted for $28 billion of the August shortfall, up from $25.9 billion the month before. The overall deficit is now at an annual rate of $502.5 billion, up 34 percent from the $374.9 billion deficit for 2009.

On the Move

PBS Hawaii has hired Marche Kawai as director of business support. She will work with the business community that provides underwriting funds for PBS' broadband content and broadcast programming as well as community outreach and education initiatives.

***

Servco Pacific's board of directors has announced two new members:

» Warren K.K. Luke is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hawaii National Bank and its holding company, Hawaii National Bancshares.

» Christian H. Chia is president and chief executive officer of OpenRoad Auto Group Ltd.

***

GoDaddy.com, a top domain-name registrar as well as the world's largest Web hosting provider, has donated $10,000 to the Hospice of Hilo capital campaign. The donation will help fund the first neighbor island inpatient hospice facility.

***

The University of Hawaii Federal Credit Union has collected $10,536.25 in donations for the Aloha United Way campaign. UHFCU found creative ways to exceed its goals, including raffles for free employee parking and a paid day off, Zippy's gift cards and jewelry as well as employees donations.





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