SUGAR FREE: Northrop Grumman Corp. said that Chief Executive Ronald Sugar plans to retire at the end of the year. The Los Angeles defense contractor said Sugar, 61, will be replaced as CEO on Jan. 1 by Wes Bush, the company's current president and chief operating officer. Bush, 48, has been elected to the board, effective immediately. Sugar also serves as Northrop's chairman. When he retires, lead independent director Lewis W. Coleman, 67, will become the board's non-executive chairman. Sugar will continue advising the company as chairman emeritus until his official retirement date of June 30, 2010.

ACQUIRED: Aerospace company Hi-Shear Technology Corp. said it has agreed to be acquired by a British company for $132 million in cash. The Torrance company, which makes components for rockets and satellites, said it signed a definitive merger agreement with Chemring Group PLC, a London defense contractor. Hi-Shear stockholders would receive $19.18 per share, a 61 percent premium over Hi-Shear's Tuesday closing stock price. Chemring, which makes materials for the defense industry, said that it expects to close the deal in the fourth quarter pending shareholder and other approvals.

MALIBU SCANDAL: Wells Fargo & Co. fired an employee accused of using a bank-owned home in the exclusive Malibu Colony for personal use. Cheronda Guyton, a senior vice president, had been seen using the beachfront home by neighbors after the bank acquired it from the former owners, who were victims in the Bernard Madoff fraud case. The couple had been forced to sign over the property to Wells Fargo to help satisfy a larger debt. The bank investigated after reports in the Los Angeles Times.

RECOVERY DELAY: California's economy will continue to shed jobs at a rapid rate through the rest of this year and the job picture will remain flat for 2010. Growth will only resume in 2011, according to the latest UCLA Anderson Quarterly Forecast. The state's unemployment rate will top out at 12.2 percent in fourth quarter 2009 and fall back slightly to an average 11.6 percent for 2010, a slight improvement from UCLA Anderson's bleak forecast issued three months ago. Since then, national consumer confidence ticked up quicker than expected, forecast author Jerry Nickelsburg wrote in the report.

BAN UPHELD: In a victory for Thousand Oaks biotech giant Amgen Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit let stand a U.S. ban on the sale of Roche Holding AG's Mircera. Amgen, a marketer of a profitable line of anemia drugs, accused Roche in 2005 of patent infringement. Mircera, which is available in several other countries, is most comparable to Amgen's original anemia drug, Epogen, which had U.S. sales of $2.5 billion in 2008.


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