Today in the Fortune 500: GM could be back in the auto loan business, executives leave AMD and Microsoft and Ford wants 7,000 new workers.January 11, 2011: 5:14 AM ET
The Fortune 500 comes out just once a year, but the companies on it make headlines every day. Here then are today's highlights of news and happenings coming from the biggest names in business.
By Shelley DuBois, reporter
IS GMAC BACK? Top auto company General Motors (GM) is contemplating getting back its auto loan business, formerly called GMAC. GM needs the business, renamed Ally Financial, to enable the car company to offer better access to wholesale credit for dealers who buy cars and trucks in showrooms. The government could weigh in on the deal since it partially owns both GM and Ally Financial, which had a hand in GM's spiral during the crisis. [Wall Street Journal]
TECH EXITS Chip company AMD is forcing out CEO Dirk Meyer. AMD has publicly said that Meyer resigned, but sources claim that he was pushed out by the board because of perceived inadequate leadership into tablet and server system markets. AMD (AMD) Chief Financial Officer Thomas Seifert will serve as interim CEO. [Wall Street Journal].
Also, Microsoft (MSFT) executive Robert Muglia will be leaving the company this summer. He's the president of Microsoft's server and tools business, which has been doing relatively well. A source claimed there was tension between Muglia and CEO Steve Ballmer about how to fund areas such as cloud computing that aren't yet delivering big sales numbers. [Wall Street Journal]
TECH TRASH TALK on the rise today before the much-anticipated announcement of Apple's (APPL) iPhone carrying Verizon (VZ) service. Both AT&T (T) and Verizon executives are knocking the other company. One verbal blow from Verizon spokesperson Jeffrey Nelson: "It must be backwards day at AT&T." Oh snap. [New York Times]
COLLATERAL DAMAGE The deal could hurt Google (GOOG), whose devices running the Android operating system have provided users with smartphones that carry Verizon. The Verizon iPhone could deprive Google of 2 million Android phone shipments this next year. [Bloomberg Businessweek]
FORD WANTS YOU, 7,000 of you to be exact. At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Ford (F) announced plans to hire 7,000 workers over the next two years. That breaks down to 2,500 hourly workers, 4,000 factory workers and 750 new engineers. [Bloomberg Businessweek]