Business briefs: Gates charity admits secrecy, tough dealings

The Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation has taken another baby step toward increased transparency, acknowledging in its annual report that the world’s largest charitable foundation is too secretive and hard to work with. The report, posted online Tuesday, includes the usual financial information and a look at the foundation’s plans. But it also offers a glimpse of the organization’s attempts to be more open. CEO Jeff Raikes draws attention in the report to a grantee survey that gave the foundation poor marks for communicating its goals and strategies, and for confusing people with its complicated grant-making process. Raikes released the results in June.

Boeing consolidates defense divisions

The Boeing Co. is slimming down its military aircraft business and cutting workers as the government moves to cut defense spending. The airplane manufacturer will consolidate six divisions into four. Boeing will cut jobs, starting with 10 percent of the group’s executives. The company is not saying how many more workers will lose jobs in the coming months. Boeing said in July that layoffs were likely because of expected government spending cuts. Revenue and profit both fell in Boeing’s defense business in the most recent quarter. Starting Oct. 1, the four new divisions will be St. Louis-based global strike; Ridley Park, Pa.-based mobility; Seattle-based surveillance and engagement; and St. Charles, Mo.-based missiles and unmanned airborne systems.

WaMu judge grants more review time

A Delaware judge has granted a court-appointed examiner more time to review claims and assets in Washington Mutual Inc.’s bankruptcy. The examiner’s request for more time prompted WMI to postpone Tuesday’s scheduled hearing on whether to approve the disclosure statement describing the bank holding company’s proposed reorganization plan. The disclosure statement hearing is now tentatively set for Sept. 24. The deadline for the examiner to submit his final report was moved from Oct. 8 to Nov. 1. The judge appointed the examiner after WMI shareholders said they had been stonewalled in trying to obtain information.

Kia’s top executive resigns after recall

The top executive at Kia Motors has resigned after the company recalled more than 100,000 vehicles worldwide over defective wiring, the automaker said Tuesday. Chung Sung-eun, vice chairman and CEO of South Korea’s No. 2 automaker, stepped down Friday, according to company spokesman Michael Choo. “His resignation comes in the light of the recent global recall issued by Kia Motors,” Choo said without elaborating. He said no successor has been named. Chung was one of two Kia CEOs. Kia Motors Corp. is an affiliate of South Korea’s top automaker Hyundai Motor Co. Together they form the world’s fifth-largest automotive group.

From Herald news services