Each week in Face Time, NJBIZ editors approximate Chris Christie's mood and facial expressions based on the news.
FACE TIME: DEFENSIVE
Christie was left playing D after the two loves of his life — wife Mary Pat and town hall meetings — were under assault in the press. At least the Sandy relief delays could be explained easily. Thousands of dollars on banners, lighting and flags is tougher to explain away.
WINNERS AND LOSERS
Avis Budget – WINNER
After losing out on the Hertz/Dollar Thrifty saga that dragged on longer than an off-off Broadway rendition of 'Cats,' Parsippany-based Avis completes a merger of its own: the $500 million takeover of Zipcar. How did they get Zipcar after failing on Dollar Thrifty? They tried harder.
Anthony DeZenzo – LOSER
Elsewhere in Parsippany, you have this fine public servant. The police chief was so dedicated in his 31 years of service that he apparently never took a day off, so he's cashing out 414 days at $375,000. Soon, property tax assessors will be answering those 911 calls.
David Crane – WINNER
A lot of CEOs do philanthropic work in New Jersey and beyond. But for NRG Energy's chief, it's not a one-and-done event. Crane's made solar power for Haiti a personal priority since the 2010 earthquake; he returned there last week with a team of employees to bring reliable power to a hospital.
Johnson & Johnson – LOSER
A tough week for Big Pharma: Regulators are trying to toughen the tax code to stop companies from shifting profits overseas; last week, ProPublica found pharma firms paid doctors $2 billion to pitch their products. On top of that, a jury ordered J&J to pay $8.3 million over a DePuy lawsuit.
Rutgers University – WINNER
Did you think getting Christie's signature was the final hurdle for the higher education realignment? Guess again — it still needed approval from the Middle States Commission. The agency gave its blessing last week; the hurdles may be gone, but the path remains tricky.
Barnabas Health – LOSER
University Hospital is a merger hurdle that should have been cleared ages ago. Barnabas, we were told, would swoop in and rescue the hospital, cementing its presence in Newark. Now, the hospital has issued an RFP; has the window closed for Barnabas to get in?