Business briefs: Pittsburgh region's gas prices hold steady
March 21, 2017 12:00 AM
FILE - In this July 23, 2015, file photo, a man walks past the Comcast Building in New York. Comcast says Dave Watson will become CEO of its cable unit in April 2017 to replace Neil Smit, who is leaving the role. Watson, who has worked at Comcast for more than 25 years, has been chief operating officer of Comcastâ€™s cable unit since 2010. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
From staff and wire reports
Gas prices in the Pittsburgh area held steady in the past week, according to an online price tracking website. A gallon of regular cost, on average, $2.52 as of Sunday, according to GasBuddy’s survey of more than 700 gas stations in the region. By comparison, the national average dipped 0.3 cents per gallon to $2.29. Pittsburgh-area drivers are paying about 46 cents more than a year ago at this time, but less than the $3.85 cents per gallon seen on March 20 in 2012. Gas prices are expected to head back up in time for Memorial Day and the summer driving season.
Uber president resigns
Jeff Jones, president of the embattled ride-hailing company Uber, has resigned just six months after taking the job, the company said. Uber didn’t say why Mr. Jones left. “We want to thank Jeff for his six months at the company and wish him all the best,” it said. Mr. Jones told the tech blog Recode, which first reported his resignation, that his values didn’t align with Uber’s. Mr. Jones had left Target, where he was chief marketing officer, to join Uber in September. Mr. Jones is the latest of several high-level executives to leave the San Francisco-based company.
Comcast cable changes leadership
Comcast’s cable unit is switching up its leadership ranks, with longtime executive Dave Watson taking over for Neil Smit as CEO. Mr. Smit will become vice chairman of Comcast Corp. at the start of next month. Comcast said that he will work with Mr. Watson on the transition for a few months and then will work part time for the company. Mr. Watson, who has worked at Comcast for more than 25 years, has been chief operating officer of Comcast’s cable unit since 2010. Besides providing cable service, the Philadelphia-based cable giant also owns the NBCUniversal media conglomerate.
Wells Fargo reviews policy on branch visits
Wells Fargo, the lender struggling to recover from a scandal involving bogus customer accounts, is reviewing its policy of giving retail bankers a day’s notice before internal inspectors visit a branch. The San Francisco bank unit that monitors risk began on-site exams for misconduct and stepped up a mystery shopper program last year after Wells Fargo was fined $185 million by U.S. regulators for opening accounts without customers’ knowledge. Community bank head Mary Mack unveiled a compensation plan for retail-bank employees this month that favors customer-service scores over sales goals. Retail customers opened 40 percent fewer checking accounts in December from a year earlier and submitted 43 percent fewer credit-card applications.
Vodafone's Indian unit to merge
British telecom company Vodafone’s Indian unit announced a merger with Idea Cellular, a local company, creating India’s largest telecom operator, with around 400 million customers. Vodafone will own 45.1 percent of the combined company and Idea will have a 26 percent stake, while the rest will be owned by public shareholders after the merger, which is expected to be completed next year, the companies said in a joint statement. At present, Bharti Airtel is India’s biggest telecom player, with a market share of 23.6 percent and a customer base of 265.9 million.
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