Business & Finance

The chief executive of troubled Qwest Communications resigned late Sunday, reportedly at the request of the company's board. Joseph Nacchio was replaced by Richard Notebart, whose executive experience includes posts with telecommunications specialists Ameritech Corp. and Tellabs Inc. Qwest is laboring under $26 billion in debt, its share price has lost 92 percent of its value in less than two years, and its Dutch subsidiary, KPNQwest, collapsed last month and is in liquidation.

XO Communications Inc. became the latest casualty of the slump in its industry, filing for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code. XO, based in Reston, Va., targets small and midsize broadband customers and employs about 6,700 people. It said no layoffs or facility closings were expected as it pursues reorganization.

Discussions have reached an advanced stage for the sale of TRW Inc.'s aeronautics division to Goodrich Corp., The Wall Street Journal reported. Both companies declined to comment on the report, which did not mention a likely selling price. TRW, however, already has rejected a series of hostile takeover bids from defense contractor Northrop Grumman that have risen to $6.8 billion. Honeywell International, United Technologies, and L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. also have expressed interest in TRW's aeronautics business, the Journal said. Charlotte, N.C.-based Goodrich Corp., formerly known as B.F. Goodrich when it specialized in making tires, now focuses exclusively on its aerospace business.

The Home Depot took issue with a published report that it has ordered all 1,400 of its stores not to sell to the US government. In a statement, the world's largest hardware and home-improvement chain said that since it never has been "a federally approved contractor," it was "restating our existing policy," which could change "at some point in the future." The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said Sunday that Home Depot ordered its outlets earlier this month not to honor federally issued credit cards or purchase orders or even to accept cash for items intended for federal use.

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