ELLISON TOPS AP LIST OF HIGHEST-PAID CEOs: Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellison, a longtime fixture on the list of the world's richest people, is now ensconced atop The Associated Press rankings of the top-paid chief executives in the United States. Ellison established himself as the best-paid CEO among major U.S. companies by persuading Oracle to award him a fiscal 2008 pay package valued at $84.6 million under AP's calculations of total pay, which include executives' salary, bonus, incentives, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation, and estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year. Here's The AP's Top 10 list:
1. Ellison, Oracle Corp., $84.6 million
2. John Thain, Merrill Lynch & Co., $83.1 million
3. Leslie Moonves, CBS Corp., $67.6 million
4. Richard Adkerson, Freeport- McMoran Copper & Gold Inc., $65.3 million
5. Bob Simpson, XTO Energy Inc., $56.6 million
6. Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., $53.9 million
7. Kenneth Chenault, American Express Co., $51.7 million
8. Eugene Isenberg, Nabors Industries Ltd., $44.6 million
9. John Mack, Morgan Stanley, $41.7 million
10. Glenn Murphy, Gap Inc., $39.1 million
MARS TO RAISE PRICES ON CANDY PRODUCTS: The maker of Snickers bars and M&Ms candies said it is raising wholesale prices on various items to offset the higher costs of raw materials, packaging and energy, the second major candy company in the past week to announce such a move. The statement issued this week by Mars follows a similar announcement by its larger rival, The Hershey Co., which cited the spiraling costs of everything from cocoa and peanuts to fuel and utilities. The privately held Mars did not say which products will go up in price, or by how much. But it said the majority of the price increases will take effect Oct. 17, while several other changes will be introduced through March. Last week, Hershey said it raised prices on its products by an average of 11 percent, a move that the company said it expected would cut into its sales volumes.
SEINFELD SIGNS ON AS MICROSOFT PITCHMAN: Junior Mints, Yoo-hoo, Drake's Coffee Cakes, puffy shirts: These are all things Jerry Seinfeld has endorsed -- at least in his alter ego on his classic sitcom. Now, add Microsoft software. Seinfeld will be a key pitchman in a planned $300 million fall advertising campaign for the software giant, a person familiar with the plans confirmed to The Associated Press on condition on anonymity because the deal has not been formally announced. The Wall Street Journal first reported the plans. Citing people close to the situation, it reported the comedian will be paid $10 million for appearing in ads with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.
KELLOGG BRINGS BACK HYDROX COOKIE: Kellogg Co. announced Thursday that it has reintroduced the Hydrox brand for a limited time to mark the 100th anniversary of the cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookie. The Battle Creek, Mich.-based company says Hydrox cookies started returning to store shelves this week. The treats were introduced in 1908. They were reformulated and rebranded as Droxies in 1999 by Keebler Co., which Kellogg acquired in 2001. Kellogg says the new cookies will contain zero grams of trans fat per serving. They will be available at a suggested retail price of $3.19 for a 14-ounce package.
BEE NEWS SERVICES
15: Percentage of baby boomers who said retirement saving was the most important financial lesson they learned from their parents, according to findings of a study of generational differences in retirement planning conducted by Mathew Greenwald and Associates.
21: Percentage who believe they have done an "excellent job" saving for retirement.
57: Percentage who reported success in avoiding credit card debt. (This is 24 percentage points lower than their parents' responses.)
21: Percentage of U.S. workers who regularly attend afterwork drinks with co-workers, according to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive for CareerBuilder.com.
15: Among those who attend, percentage who say they attend to hear the latest office gossip.
13: Percentage who say they go because they feel obligated.
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