Looks like we’ll have to find someone else to pick on. Maui Land & Pineapple announced this week that CEO David Cole will be stepping down at the end of the year. Cole—who’s gotten his share of flack in this space for accepting $4.1 million in stocks and cash even as his company initiated massive layoffs—will remain on in an advisory role and as the company’s rep on the Superferry board. (Hey, he does know a thing or two about sinking ships…ba-dum-cha!) Cole’s replacement is chief operating officer Robert Webber, who inherits a company that posted a third quarter loss of nearly $9 million. Good luck, Rob. You’re gonna need it.
Speaking of top-down shakeups: after changing CEOs last month, Hawaii Medical Center, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August and has laid off hundreds of workers, announced its chief operating officer, Catherine Tanaka, will retire at year’s end. Her successor will be Salim Hasham, who Pacific Business News describes as a “turnaround expert.” Here’s betting that job description has found its way onto more than a few resumes in the last several months.
Alright, let’s just stay on the theme: Hawaii Superferry did a little dismissing/restructuring/realigning of its own, firing business development director Terry O’Halloran and Maui operations manager Duane Kim. The moves come as the Superferry prepares for its December 18 day in court, when an appeal by opponents who say the vessel should never have been launched without a completed environmental impact statement will be heard.
The feds ponied up another $40 billion of our money to teetering insurance behemoth AIG this week, bringing the total price tag of that particular bailout, er, financial rescue package to $150 billion. This is the part where we might normally launch into a rant about all the things that money could have bought, but instead let’s just ask: now that the government is subsidizing insurance anyway, how about we cut out the middle man and get rid of these corporate crooks? No? OK.
Man, we really had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find an “arrow up” story this week. So here’s the barrel scrapage: PBN reports that even as auto sales flatlined, sales of scooters and mopeds shot up statewide this year. Part of the spike was due to high gas prices, but ease of parking was also cited as a factor. That’s definitely the best reason to switch from four to two wheels here in Wailuku, where the infamous Officer Taguma has chalking tires and meting out $60 fines down to a cold science. MTW