OPERATIONS

N.J. teen charged with making racial comment over intercom in Walmart

BY CSA STAFF

New York City A 16-year-old customer at a Walmart store in Washington Township, N.J., has been identified as the person who took over the public-address system and ordered black people to leave the store, police said Saturday, the Associated Press reported.

Police said the boy, whose name is not being released because he is a juvenile, went on the intercom at Walmart’s store last week Sunday and announced: “Attention, Walmart customers: All black people, leave the store now.”

The teen was arrested Friday on charges of harassment and bias intimidation. Authorities said he was released to the custody of his parents; they did not know whether he had a lawyer.

“This was an extremely disturbing event on many levels,” Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton said at a news conference. “Any statements like these that can cause harm or grave concern must be addressed as quickly we possibly can.”

Dalton said the case would be handled in juvenile court in neighboring Atlantic County, where the boy lives.

“We’re pleased this matter is resolved,” Walmart spokesman David Tovar said in a statement issued after the news conference. “We have updated our intercom system at this store to prevent this from happening again. We again apologize to all of our customers and associates who had to listen to something so offensive.”

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OPERATIONS

Benetton changes up executive management

BY CSA STAFF

Rome Benetton Group SpA said late Thursday it has named Franco Furno and Biagio Chiarolanza to jointly run the company, according to a report by Wall Street Journal.

Furno and Chiarolanza will each receive seats on Benetton’s board and will hold the title of co-chief executive, according to a Benetton spokesman.

According to WSJ, the change at the helm is the latest sign of the Benetton family’s struggle to set a course for the iconic clothing retailer in an increasingly cut-throat sector, which includes Sweden’s popular Hennes & Mauritz brand.

On Thursday, Benetton said net profit for full-year 2009 fell 21% to 122 million Euros ($168 million), as sales fell 3.7% to 2.05 billion Euros.

Gerolamo Caccia Dominioni will formally step down as CEO in April.

Benetton said it expects revenue in the first three months of 2010 to be in line with revenue from the same quarter of 2009, when revenue stood at 449 million Euros.

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Einstein Noah Restaurant Group announces CFO departure

BY CSA STAFF

Lakewood, Colo. Einstein Noah Restaurant Group announced that its CFO Rick Dutkiewicz is leaving the company to pursue other interests.

Dutkiewicz served as CFO of Einstein Noah since October 2003 and his departure will become effective on April 9.

The company said it has engaged a prominent executive search firm to identify a replacement and management is confident that the process will conclude quickly and without disruption to the business.

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