TIME FOR CHANGE: Nora McAniff, newly minted executive vice president of Time Inc., has shuffled her staff. Group president Ann Jackson, who is responsible for Real Simple, The Parenting Group and Time Inc.’s relationship with Essence, adds In Style to her portfolio. Stephanie George, president of In Style, now reports to Jackson. George had reported to Ann Moore, who was named chairman and chief executive of Time Inc. last month. Peter Bauer has been named president of People. He was the magazine’s publisher. Those duties were handled by McAniff, who had been president of the People Group. Jackson and Bauer report to McAniff.
ABOVE THE FRAY: Wal-Mart Stores will begin to expense options with the start of its next fiscal year on Feb. 1, 2003. Also on Wednesday, Wal-Mart chief executive Lee Scott and chief financial officer Thomas Schoewe signed sworn statements attesting to the accuracy of the firm’s financial statements ahead of the September deadline for companies with fiscal years ending Jan. 31. Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. Wednesday joined Sears Roebuck & Co., Burlington Industries, DuPont and Gap Inc., which, as reported, filed on Tuesday among fashion and retail firms complying with the SEC deadline. Liz Claiborne Inc., Kohl’s Corp. and VF Corp. filed on Wednesday, ahead of their required deadlines. None of the companies reported restated operating statements. Jones Apparel Group was also scheduled to file by Wednesday, but at press time it could not be confirmed if it had.
LEVI’S DOWNGRADE: Moody’s Investors Service downgraded its ratings Wednesday on seven issues of Levi Strauss & Co.’s debt, affecting approximately $2.1 billion in securities. The San Francisco-based owner of the Levi’s and Dockers brands had its senior implied rating reduced one place to B2 from B1 and its senior unsecured issuer rating demoted two places to Caa1 from B2. Both are considered speculative or “junk” status, as were the previous ratings. Levi’s overall negative rating was maintained.