Haslam associate apologizes
The former president of the nation’s largest diesel fuel retailer has apologized for the language he used in secret recordings.
The recordings captured former Pilot Flying J President Mark Hazelwood using racial slurs and profanely criticizing his own board of directors and boss Jimmy Haslam’s football team and fans. A jury who heard the recordings convicted Hazelwood this year of conspiracy, wire fraud and witness tampering.
Hazelwood’s new defense team said in a prepared statement Monday that the jury shouldn’t have heard the recordings. It’s requested a new trial.
In the statement, Hazelwood said he regrets the language he used.
Pilot Flying J is controlled by the family of Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. The Haslams haven’t been charged with any wrongdoing. The governor hasn’t been involved in the company in recent years.
OuterBox expands in Akron
Digital marketing and web design company OuterBox is expanding its downtown Akron office, Crain’s Cleveland Business reported. The company is located on the third floor of the Kaiser Building on South Main Street and is expanding onto the second floor.
“We love being in downtown Akron and particularly the Kaiser Building,” CEO Justin Smith told the publication.
KraftWerks operation to grow
Kraftwerks Engineering plans to invest about $4.4 million in its Medina operation and create 45 new jobs by 2021, the Medina Gazette reported. The city is considering providing a job-creation grant of up to $18,750 a year for six years to the company, the newspaper said.
Dow index boots smaller GE
General Electric Co. is shrinking again, becoming a mere shadow of the globe-spanning conglomerate that it was before the Great Recession.
GE said Tuesday that it will spin off its health-care business and sell its interest in Baker Hughes, which provides drilling services to oil and gas companies.
The moves were announced as GE disappeared from the Dow Jones industrial average, replaced by a drugstore chain. GE was an original component in the Dow back in 1896 and had been a continuous member since 1907. But on Tuesday, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. took its spot in the stock index of 30 blue-chip companies.
The committee that picks Dow components wanted to add a health-related stock to better reflect the overall economy.
Leaks prompt Lexus recall
Toyota’s Lexus luxury brand is recalling about 121,000 cars worldwide because of fuel leaks in the engine that can cause fires.
The recall covers certain 2006 through 2013 IS350 cars, as well as the 2010 through 2014 IS350C, and the 2007 through 2011 GS350 and GS450h. All have 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engines.
Toyota says a diaphragm material in the fuel injection system can harden over time and crack, allowing fuel to leak. The company would not say if the problem has caused any fires, crashes or injuries.
Most of the recalled cars are in the United States. Dealers will replace the fuel delivery pipe with a new one containing improved parts at no cost to customers.
London grants Uber reprieve
A London court gave ride-hailing firm Uber a shorter than usual license to keep operating in the capital, accepting Tuesday the firm’s claim that it has changed its aggressive corporate tactics and is now a more responsible corporate citizen.
But Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot granted an operating license lasting just 15 months, short of the five-year permit Uber had had been seeking. That means the company will remain under scrutiny and serve a probation period of sorts in meeting regulators’ terms.
Compiled from staff and wire reports.
Business news briefs, June 27: Former Pilot Flying J president apologizes for comments