Business & Finance

Ford ousted chief executive Jacques Nasser after more than a year of mounting troubles. Board chairman William Clay Ford Jr. will succeed Nasser, putting a Ford family member in charge of day-to-day management for the first time since 1979. The shake-up also will include the elevation of North American group vice president Nick Scheele to chief operating officer, an anonymous source said. Nasser became company chief in January 1999 as Ford gathered itself to overtake General Motors as the US's top automaker. Ford has since faced slumping sales, questions about vehicle quality, and the Firestone tire crisis.

A "state of emergency" is impending in Japan, its labor minister said in announcing September's unemployment figures: 5.3 percent, a new record. The level rose 0.3 percent from the July-August mark, which had been the highest since record-keeping began after World War II. Economists had expected the September figure to be 5.1 percent. The Central Bank warned Monday that Japan likely would not emerge from recession until March 2003.

In a new round of layoff developments:

• Bristol-Myers Squibb said it will retain only about 3,000 of the 5,000 workers from the workforce of newly acquired DuPont Pharmaceuticals.

• GKN, the Redditich, England-based engineering group that makes military helicopters as well as Meineke mufflers and other automotive products, will lay off 1,250 employees, a spokesman said.

• Degussa AG, a leading maker of Plexiglas and other products based on specialty chemicals, likely will add 1,000 more job cuts to the 3,000 announced earlier, a statement said. The company is based in Frankfurt, Germany.

• Additional job cuts at Air New Zealand are "inevitable," the company said in issuing its annual report. The carrier already has announced 800 layoffs and cut executive salaries by 15 percent.

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