National Briefs: New shake-up at Heinz Co.

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NEW YORK -- HJ Heinz Co. named Eduardo Luz as president of its North America division, shaking up management for the second time after Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and 3G Capital took over the ketchup maker.

Mr. Luz is replacing Brendan Foley, who is departing, according to an emailed statement Sunday from Michael Mullen, a spokesman for Pittsburgh-based Heinz. Melissa Werneck was named senior vice president of global human resources, replacing Kristen Clark, who also is departing. Fernando Pocaterra, president of Heinz Latin America, is leaving as well.

Heinz CEO Bernardo Hees appointed Mr. Foley, Mr. Pocaterra and Ms. Clark to their posts in June as part of a broader management overhaul. The CEO has been on a cost-cutting drive, following the $29 billion acquisition in June by Jorge Paulo Lemann's 3G and Berkshire, led by Warren Buffett. Mr. Hees has cut jobs, announced plans to shut factories and changed policies to trim office expenses.

A successor for Latin America will be announced at a later date, Heinz said.

Accenture wins contract

WASHINGTON -- Accenture Plc, the second-biggest technology consulting company, will take over construction of healthcare.gov, the Obamacare enrollment website that debuted with crippling computer problems in October.

The U.S. government has awarded Accenture's Federal Services unit a one-year contract, with an initial payment of $45 million, the Dublin-based company said in a statement Saturday. Accenture will succeed Montreal-based CGI Group Inc., which drew criticism for the website's early stumbles.

While the site has improved, healthcare.gov's first two months were marred by delays, error messages and garbled data that bogged down insurance sign-ups in the 36 U.S. states served by the federal system. Accenture led construction of California's better-performing state exchange.

Neiman Marcus hacked

DALLAS -- Neiman Marcus confirmed Saturday that its customers are at risk after hackers breached the Dallas company's servers and accessed the payment information of those who visited its stores.

The news comes on the heels of a disclosure from Target that a similar data breach at its stores may ultimately affect up to 100 million customers, far more than originally feared. The Neiman breach was first reported Friday by cybersecurity reporter Brian Krebs, who said that there had been a spike in fraudulent credit and debit charges on cards that had been used at Neiman Marcus stores.

Gas price at 12-week high

OXNARD, Calif. -- The average price for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps climbed 8.41 cents in the past three weeks to $3.3459 a gallon, the highest level since October 17, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.

The survey covers the period ended Friday and is based on information obtained from about 2,500 filling stations by the Camarillo, Calif.-based company. The Friday retail price is 2.12 cents higher than a year ago, Lundberg said. The U.S. average reached a 2013 peak of $3.795 in the Feb. 22 survey.

Deadly balcony collapse

PHILADELPHIA -- A fourth-floor balcony collapsed during a birthday party at a Philadelphia apartment, killing a young man and injuring two women, police said Sunday.

The crash occurred at the historic John C. Bell building, built in 1906, which was converted into apartments decades ago.

-- Compiled from news services


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