November 15, 2013

Briefcase

Former AAA official named Downtown Portland director

A former travel agency owner and vice president of AAA Northern New England has been named Executive Director of Portland’s Downtown District.

Steven Hewins assumed his new position on Thursday, according to a press release issued by the organization, which represents the interests of 400 businesses in a geographic area that encompasses more than 600 properties.

Hewins was named interim executive director in August after the retirement of Jan Beitzer. The organization then undertook a nationwide search to find a replacement.

Hewins founded Hewins Travel Consultants in 1982. It began in his apartment on Munjoy Hill. The business eventually grew to 11 locations across Maine and 75 employees. Hewins Travel was acquired by AAA Northern New England in 2007.

Heinz Co. closing three plants and cutting 1,350 jobs

H.J. Heinz Co. is closing three plants in North America and cutting 1,350 jobs in an effort to operate more efficiently.

The food maker said Thursday that it will close facilities in two states and Canada over the next six to eight months. The cuts total 200 jobs in Florence, S.C., 410 jobs in Pocatello, Idaho, and 740 employees in Leamington, Ontario.

Heinz will shift production from these locations to other existing facilities in the U.S. and Canada.

The company also said it will invest in remaining facilities and add 470 positions at five factories in Ohio, Iowa, California and Canada.

Lockheed Martin cutting its workforce by 3.5 percent

Lockheed Martin is cutting 4,000 jobs, about 3.5 percent of its workforce, as the defense contractor continues to look for ways to lower costs amid reduced government spending.

“In the face of government budget cuts and an increasingly complex global security landscape, these actions are necessary for the future of our business,” CEO Marilyn Hewson said Thursday in a statement.

Kimberly-Clark to spin off health care as separate firm

Kimberly-Clark Corp., which makes Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers, said on Thursday that it plans to spin off its health care business into a separate publicly traded company. Kimberly-Clark’s stock jumped 5 percent in after-hours trading following the announcement Thursday.

The health care business, which makes medical devices and surgical products, has about $1.6 billion in annual sales. The spinoff is expected to be completed at the end of the third quarter of 2014 and is subject to market, regulatory and other conditions. Kimberly-Clark is working with Morgan Stanley on the deal.

Robert Abernathy, who is president of Kimberly-Clark’s Europe group, will become CEO of the new health care company. Abernathy has worked at Dallas-based Kimberly-Clark since 1982.

– From staff and news services

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