Planet Hollywood boss to become Tropicana president
With a new owner on the horizon, Planet Hollywood Resort’s top executive is leaving to become president of the Tropicana Las Vegas.
Tom McCartney will oversee the Tropicana’s operations beginning Dec. 14 as the property goes through a $125 million renovation, the Tropicana announced Monday.
McCartney’s replacement has not been named. His departure comes as Harrah’s Entertainment moves to take over the Planet Hollywood Resort. The Nevada Gaming Control Board confirmed Monday that Harrah’s has applied with state regulators to buy the resort.
McCartney signed a three-year employment agreement in January as Planet Hollywood Resort’s chief executive officer and president, taking over the property’s operations from Michael Mecca. Mecca had held the position since a joint venture led by restaurateur Robert Earl was formed in March 2003 to buy the Aladdin.
New rules unveiled to help homeowners in short sales
The Treasury Department unveiled sweeping rules this week to help financially troubled homeowners who need to sell but can’t get a price high enough to pay off their mortgages. Homeowners will even get $1,500 to help cover their moving costs.
The plan is designed to help homeowners who don’t have the income or debt levels to qualify for a loan modification under the Obama administration’s $75 billion Making Home Affordable program. The plan establishes timelines, a standard process and documents, and cash incentives for participation.
About one in 10 home sales this year was a short sale or an estimated 500,000 sales, according to the National Association of Realtors. In areas like Las Vegas, southern Florida and California, the ratio is far higher.
To qualify under the new guidelines:
•The property must be the homeowner’s principal residence.
•The homeowner is delinquent on the mortgage or default looks likely.
•The loan was made before Jan. 1 this year and is less than $729,750
•The borrowers’ total monthly mortgage payment exceeds 31 percent of their before-tax income.
The plan is designed to accelerate the necessary agreements between lenders, real estate agents, buyers and sellers.
Electronics sellers, e-tailers post sales gains in November
Electronics sellers and online merchants thrived in November, particularly the start of the holiday shopping season, but clothing and luxury merchants struggled, according to estimates released Wednesday.
Those results, combined with a trimmed sales prediction for retailers’ official November results, raise worries that some sectors could face tough going in the critical countdown to Christmas as they grapple with frugal Americans contending with job insecurity and tight credit.
“Last year, it was uncertainty that was driving the cautiousness,” said Mary Delk, director of Deloitte Consulting. This year, it’s “anxiety about their (own) personal finances” that’s making shoppers more frugal.
The International Council of Shopping Centers cut its November sales forecast on Tuesday, citing more shoppers who are saying they’re putting off holiday shopping compared with a year ago.
The battered jewelry sector rose 4.6 percent in November, according to MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse sales figures being released Wednesday.
Both apparel and luxury excluding jewelry weakened in November after showing signs of life in the fall. Sales for mall-based apparel chains fell 5.7 percent, on top of an 11.3 percent decrease last year.
Chief executive resigns from position at General Motors
General Motors Co. CEO Frederick “Fritz” Henderson stepped down Tuesday after the board determined that the company wasn’t changing quickly enough.
Chairman Ed Whitacre Jr. said at a hastily called news conference that he will serve as interim CEO, and an international search for a new CEO and president is planned.
Whitacre thanked Henderson for his work during a period of challenge and change, but said it is time to accelerate the pace of rebuilding the largest U.S. automaker.
The resignation comes just eight months after Henderson, 51, replaced former chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner, who was ousted March 29 by the Obama administration’s government’s auto task force.
Henderson has been with GM his entire career and was the government’s choice to run the beleaguered company after Wagoner left. Whitacre, picked by the government in June to be chairman of the new GM, is considered an industry outsider, having run AT&T Inc. for 17 years.