CEO LEAVING: DirecTV Group Inc. Chief Executive Chase Carey will leave the El Segundo satellite TV provider July 1 to become vice chairman and chief operating officer at News Corp. Carey, who has been DirecTV's CEO since 2003, is a former News Corp. executive vice president who helped launch Fox Sports and Fox News Channel. Carey will replace Peter Chernin, who announced in February that he would leave News Corp., which held a controlling stake in DirecTV until it swapped its stake with Liberty Media Corp. last year. Liberty is in the process of merging several of its media properties to create a company that will retain the DirecTV name.
MOZILO CHARGED: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged former Countrywide Financial Corp. Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo and two other former executives with civil fraud for failing to disclose to shareholders the deteriorating state of the mortgage business. The lawsuit filed in federal district court in Los Angeles alleges that Mozilo, former Chief Operating Officer David Sambol and former Chief Financial Officer Eric Sieracki issued knowingly false reassurances to shareholders as the company became saddled with risky mortgage loans between 2005 and 2007.
NEW CEO: Burbank online horse racing and horse betting site YouBet.com Inc. said Chief Operating Officer David Goldberg has been named chief executive, effective immediately. Goldberg succeeds Michael Brodsky, who will become executive chairman. Goldberg joined the company in August from Ticketmaster, where he was executive vice president in charge of sales and marketing, mergers and acquisitions, and business development.
ACQUISITION MADE: K-Swiss Inc. said it is acquiring a remaining 43 percent equity interest in French shoemaker Palladium SAS for about $7.1 million. K-Swiss, which makes sneakers and casual shoes, acquired a 57 percent interest in the French company in 2008. K-Swiss plans to launch the Palladium brand in the United States in July.
NEW FINANCING: XCast Labs Inc., a Century City technology company, said that it has closed a $2.7 million financing round led by Santa Monica boutique investment banker Siemer & Associates LLC. Investors in the round, which include Frontera Capital and members of the Pasadena Angels, see XCast, whose technology will be interoperable with the popular VoIP software Skype, as a way to gain a piece of the growing market for residential and business voice-over-Internet services.
NEW MODEL: Santa Monica startup Miles Electric Vehicles Inc., which imports electric vehicles from China, has unveiled a five-passenger, all-electric sedan that it hopes to launch in the U.S. market in 2010. The Coda is expected to have a range of 90 to 120 miles and cost about $45,000. The car and its lithium ion phosphate batteries will be primarily manufactured in China and sold only in California for at least the first year. Miles executives said they are creating a new company, Coda Automotive, to oversee the manufacture and sale of the vehicle.
MORE FILMS: DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. plans to produce more movies annually to increase revenue from theaters, television and licensing, Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg told analysts at a New York investor conference. The Glendale studio, which typically has released only two films a year, will make three movies in 2010 including "Shrek Forever After." The additional movies are expected to help increase the company's home video, stage and merchandise businesses.
LAYOFFS: Nielsen Co., has closed the trade publication Radio & Records, leaving about 30 staffers out of work, and laid off another 10 people at the Hollywood Reporter. The layoffs were the fourth round of cuts at THR in the past year. Associate publisher Rose Einstein and art director Deeann Hoff were among those to leave.
SETTLEMENT PROPOSED: Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. said Securities and Exchange Commission officials have agreed to recommend approval of a proposed $3 million settlement that would end a long-running investigation of the chipmaker's stock option practices under previous management. The Camarillo company was among four tech companies highlighted in a 2006 Wall Street Journal article that led to a wide-ranging SEC investigation of option backdating. Vitesse eventually was delisted from the Nasdaq, its board and top management replaced, and several product units sold to raise cash.
CARWASHES SUED: California Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet filed lawsuits to shut down six L.A. carwashes for failing to register with the state. The businesses are considered to be in violation of Assembly Bill 1688, the Carwash Worker Law, which the state Legislature approved in 2003 to better regulate carwash and polishing businesses. Holly Macriss, executive director of the Western Carwash Association, said the named businesses are not members of the Folsom-based association. The state carwash law is scheduled to expire Jan. 1, but legislators are taking steps to make the law permanent.
EARNINGS: Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. reported a fiscal 2009 net loss of $163 million. Quarterly results were not broken out, but the company's fourth quarter loss was estimated at $28.6 million, with revenue down 9 percent to $463 million. UTi Worldwide Inc. reported first quarter net income of $9.8 million, 27 percent less than a year ago. Revenue fell 35 percent to $768 million. Guess Inc. reported first quarter net income of $32.5 million, 32 percent less than a year ago. Revenue fell 10 percent to $441 million.
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