Hughes eyes frinedly skies?
Lou Hughes - the odd man out in General Motors' executive shake-up last fall - may jump to the airline business. According to Business Week, the 50-year-old GM veteran is a candidate to be the next CEO of UAL Corp., the parent of United Airlines. As president of GM's International Operations, Hughes feuded with underlings at Adam Opel AG. Last October, Chairman Jack Smith broke up Hughes' empire and put him in charge of GM's 'new business strategy.' GM spokesman Don Walker declined to comment on Hughes' career plans.
A BEHIND-THE-WHEEL PERSON - Jo Cooper, newly named president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufac-turers, is a newcomer to the industry but says she is passionate about cars. 'I'm not an under-the-hood person, but I like to drive,' she said. Cooper said her love of automobiles dates to her childhood in Raleigh, N.C., where her father, an accountant for an automotive shop, brought home Jaguars, Morgans and MGs. Her own first car was an early Ford Mustang. Now she drives a Lexus
SC 300. Cooper, a vice president of the American Forest and Paper Association, will take the helm next month at the newly formed alliance, representing the Washington interests of the former Big 3 and six overseas-based automakers. Ford Vice Chairman Peter Pestillo, the alliance chairman, said, 'Jo Cooper is the perfect leader to guide the organization in this new paradigm.'
HE'S KIDDING, RIGHT? Nissan Division General Manager Mike Seergy is so sure about being able to turn around Nissan North America that he has a half-joking proposal for his merger-minded bosses in Japan - Nissan North America pulling a leveraged buyout of all North American operations. Said Seergy: 'We have (design boss) Jerry (Hirshberg), we have Nissan Research & Development, we have an assembly plant. I have confidence in the people and the products, money is cheap, we have assets and we have shares in the parent company. Am I crazy? No.'
BOMBS AWAY? Crowds in Louisville, Ky., who gather on the banks of the Ohio River next month, may get to see a 15-minute re-creation of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. But state and local officials are urging the promoters to reconsider the idea. The reason: They're concerned it sends an unfriendly message to Japanese businesses in the state. Kentucky has been working for years to recruit Japanese industry. Toyota alone has invested $4 billion there, including a North America manufacturing headquarters 100 miles upriver in Erlanger.