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CEO resigns at Genworth

Genworth Financial Inc., a Henrico County-based, Fortune 500 insurance company, named Martin P. Klein acting chief executive officer and James S. Riepe non-executive chairman after the early May resignation of Michael D. Fraizer, its chairman, president and CEO.

The company later confirmed it had cut “fewer than 80” jobs at its operations in Richmond and Lynchburg.

The company announced Fraizer’s resignation just before reporting a first-quarter profit that declined from the same period in 2011 and fell below analysts’ expectations.

The resignation occurred less than a month after the company delayed plans to raise funds by selling a 40 percent stake in its Australian mortgage insurance business though a public offering.

Fraizer had led the company since it was created in 2004 as a spinoff of General Electric Co. He directed Genworth’s efforts to recover from the financial crisis and recession in 2008-09, but the company’s stock price has not returned to pre-crisis levels.

Klein is Genworth’s chief financial officer and will remain in that position. Riepe has been the company’s lead director since 2009. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Bill’s Barbecue, a Richmond-area restaurant chain, closed five of its eight locations in a streamlining move. The company leased space in the locations being shuttered but owned the remaining three restaurants. The move meant the loss of 20 jobs, while another 15 employees were transferred to other locations. Bill’s Barbecue opened in Norfolk in 1930 and moved to Richmond a year later. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Dominion Resources Inc., a Richmond-based energy company, and Virginia Commonwealth University will partner on a five-year, micro-grid test project. The School of Engineering’s West Hall will be the site of energy-use research providing real-time energy adjustments in the building and its systems to save energy.  A 4 percent savings, or about $20,000, is expected from the project. (News release)

Gran Tee Investments LLC bought the former Rubatex plant in Bedford for $675,000 at a bankruptcy auction with the intention of restoring rubber production there. Employment at the facility will start at eight to 12 jobs and increase gradually, with hopes of eventually reaching about 200. (The Roanoke Times)

Lingerfelt Development, a Richmond commercial real estate company, bought three Class A office buildings in Chesterfield County’s Boulders Office Park from Pennsylvania-based Liberty Property Trust. The buildings total about 300,000 square feet. The move was based on Lingerfelt’s expectations that the area will experience growth similar to the Innsbrook Corporate Center in Henrico County where it bought several Liberty properties last year. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Markel Ventures, a subsidiary of the Richmond holding company Markel Corp., bought Havco WP LLG, of Cape Girardeau, Mo., a manufacturer of laminated oak and composite wood flooring used in trucks, trailers and containers. (PRNewswire)

The RoomStore Inc., a furniture retailer based in Goochland County, asked a federal bankruptcy court to allow it to close 10 stores in Texas. All but two of the stores are in the Dallas market. The company is seeking to reorganize its business around 28 locations in four mid-Atlantic states. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Spurrier Media Group, a Richmond media research and placement agency, received the account for Springfield Toyota, a Northern Virginia car dealership. Spurrier will develop a complete media strategy plan for the dealership to support its advertising campaign, as well as the opening of its latest facility in 2013. (News release)

The University of Virginia Health System began a stem cell transplant program for the treatment of various blood diseases, including leukemia, lymphoma, and Hodgkin’s disease. The program uses non-embryonic stem cells taken from umbilical cord blood. It will take several months to gauge the effectiveness of the treatments. (News release)

Virginia Commonwealth University’s expenditures in fiscal year 2010 on research and development from federal grants and contracts increased 48 percent over the 2009 fiscal year, placing it No. 79 in rankings by the National Science Foundation. VCU had ranked 102nd. (News release)

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