OPERATIONS

Poll: 132 million have yet to finish holiday shopping

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Yonkers, N.Y. — Poll results released Thursday by Consumer Reports found that, with only five shopping days left until Christmas, 68% of shoppers – or about 132 million Americans – have yet to finish their gift shopping.

Seventeen million are estimated to hit stores on Christmas Eve.

When asked which gift they were most likely to grab at the last-minute, 62% of shoppers said they would go with a gift card or gift certificate, 27% would opt for cash, while 15% would select liquor. Lottery tickets and candy would be a last-minute choice for 12% respectively, while 4% would issue an IOU or gift-to-be-determined.

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FINANCE

Most Americans optimistic about finances in 2013

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Whiting, Ind. — More than half of U.S. adults are feeling positive about what 2013 may hold for them financially, according to survey results released Thursday by CouponCabin.com and conducted by Harris Interactive.

The survey found that 52% of U.S. adults are optimistic that 2013 will be a better year for them financially than years past, up from 48% last year.

On the flip side, 37% said they do not think 2013 will be better financially, while 11% said they weren’t sure. Nearly four-in-10 (39%) said they plan to overhaul their finances in 2013.

When it comes to how U.S. adults will do the overhauling, topping the list was the 43% who will focus on tackling debts for their credit cards, car and mortgage.

"Regardless of their financial situation, many people see the start of a new year as a chance to refocus and retool their finances," said Jackie Warrick , president and chief savings officer at CouponCabin.com. "Our survey reveals more people are optimistic about what the coming year holds than they were last year, but it’s not always an easy road. Tough financial challenges still exist for many Americans and will continue as the economy stabilizes."

Thirty-nine percent of those polled said they feel less financially secure than they did at the beginning of 2012, while 40% said they are neither more or less financially secure. More than one-in-five (22%) said that when they look back at the start of 2012, they feel more financially secure now than they did at the beginning of the year.

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News

Former Best Buy exec jumps to Symantec

BY CSA STAFF

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Symantec, a global leader in security, backup and availability solutions, has appointed Stephen Gillett as its EVP and COO.

Gillett will report to Steve Bennett, chairman and CEO, effective Friday, December 21. Prior to joining Symantec, Gillett was EVP and president of Best Buy digital, global marketing and strategy. Gillett has been a member of Symantec’s board of directors since January 2012 but will step down effective immediately. At Symantec, Gillett’s initial responsibilities will include marketing, communications and the IT function.

At Best Buy, Gillett was responsible for the company’s digital, e-commerce, marketing, information technology, customer insights, enterprise strategy, corporate development, new business ventures, enterprise customer care and channel design. Prior to joining Best Buy, Gillett was CIO and EVP of digital ventures at Starbucks. Prior to Starbucks Stephen held executive roles at Corbis, Yahoo and CNET.

"Stephen is the perfect fit for the direction we are taking Symantec," said Bennett. "He has been deeply involved in the transformation of a number of high profile companies at the executive level and is highly respected in the CIO community worldwide. Stephen’s appointment will ensure that Symantec is well-positioned for addressing our consumer and business customers’ needs. He will have an immediate impact due to his familiarity with the company from his tenure on the board. His arrival is timely as we continue to finalize our strategic direction and operational plan to be announced in late January."

"Great companies are defined by their market position, customer base, brand awareness, the quality of their products and by the type of industry they’re involved in," said Gillett. "Symantec is strong in all of these areas. I look forward to working with everyone at Symantec to help the company achieve its full potential."

Gillett will operate out of Symantec’s world headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. He holds a bachelor of science from the University of Oregon and an MBA from San Francisco State University.

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