HEY, IT'S ONLY OUR CUSTOMERS. The Customer Respect Group, a consulting firm that advises companies on how to interact with customers online, put out its fourth annual Online Customer Respect study of 100 large U.S. companies. The results: Only 35 got "good" or "excellent" ratings and 30 continue to share online customer Information without permission. The best site was Hewlett-Packard, and five others figured in the "excellent" category: American Express, Intel, Medco Health Solutions, Sprint, and UPS. The Customer Respect Group interviews consumers and examines companies' Web sites to create an index of online performance. The lowest on the list was Berkshire Hathaway, which, according to the group, "does not conduct extensive online customer interactions." More surprising, according to the group, were low performers Morgan Stanley, Pepsi, and Viacom, which are considered consumer savvy.
YUM, YUM, EAT 'EM UP. If you had any doubts Oracle wants to buy out the entire software industry, put them to rest. Oracle hired Greg Maffei, former Microsoft CFO, as its president and CFO. Maffei oversaw an aggressive run of expansion at Microsoft from 1997 to 2000. Recently, Maffei was CEO of fiber-optics firm 360Networks. Maffei, 45, will oversee Oracle's legal, human-resources, manufacturing, distribution, and real-estate operations in addition to his role as CFO. Oracle's previous CFO, Harry You, left in March to take the top spot at BearingPoint.
NOTHING CHANGES. Speaking of Microsoft, the judge who originally ruled in the Microsoft antitrust case and ordered a breakup of the company said he'd do the same thing today, given Microsoft's aggressive business practices. Thomas Penfield Jackson, who retired as a federal judge last year, told Bloomberg News, "Nothing has changed, to my observation, in the five years that have elapsed since my decision."
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