Microsoft will hire 5,000 more workers by next June and spend $5.3 billion on research and development, increases of 10 percent and 20 percent, respectively, chairman Bill Gates announced late last Thursday. The world's leading software company is making aggressive investments as it deploys .NET, a Web-based computing and services system, he said.
Troubled Tyco International has a new chief executive and chairman as of Monday: former Motorola president Edward Breen. News of the appointment sent Tyco's shares up 46 percent Friday, to $12.03 on the New York Stock Exchange. Meanwhile, Motorola's shares declined 10 percent. Overall, however, Tyco stock is off about 80 percent this year amid questions about the company's accounting and ethics. Former chief Dennis Kozlowski has been indicted for tax evasion.
General Electric said it will split its financial services unit, GE Capital, into four parts, effective Thursday. Chairman Jeffrey Immelt said the "simplified structure" means each of the new units will report directly to him. The move is the first big reorganization since Immelt took over last year. GE Capital accounts for 40 percent of the company's earnings.
Electronics and engineering giant Siemens AG agreed to sell majority interest in seven of its noncore businesses for $1.69 billion to US buyout specialist Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR). The operations include makers of harbor cranes, plastics machinery, ceramics, meters, and gas dampers, plus a regional networking services group. KKR will group the units into a holding company based in Luxembourg, with Siemens keeping a 19 percent stake.
Avaya Inc., once the networking and software unit of Lucent Technologies, said it will cut its workforce by another 2,500 jobs as part of a restructuring effort aimed at saving $300 million a year. Last summer, the company announced the layoffs of 3,000 employees. Avaya is based in Basking Ridge, N.J.