SAGE APPOINTS NORTH AMERICA CEOIrvine, Calif. — The Sage Group has appointed telecommunications industry veteran Sue Swenson as the new president and CEO of the British software company’s North American business.

Swenson will lead Sage North America starting May 1. Sage ousted its top North American management team last October. The company develops accounting and business management software such as Peachtree, Abra, Act!, Accpac, FAS and BusinessVision.

Swenson is currently chief operating officer of Atrinsic (formerly New Motion), a digital media entertainment content provider, but most of her experience is in the phone industry. She spent much of her career with Pacific Bell, where she held senior management positions in marketing and customer service, and rose to become vice president of consumer marketing. Swenson subsequently became president and CEO of Cellular One, followed by positions as COO of Leap Wireless International, T-Mobile and Amp’d Mobile.

IRS SCHEDULES STIMULUS PAYMENTS

Washington, D.C. — The Internal Revenue Service said that it would begin sending out more than 130 million economic stimulus payments in weekly installments starting May 2, with the distribution schedule based on the last two digits of the recipient’s Social Security number.

The initial recipients will be those whose Social Security numbers end between 00 and 20, and who have elected to receive their tax refunds by direct deposit. For those who don’t use direct deposit, paper checks will be sent starting May 16. Taxpayers must file a tax return by April 15 if they want to be among those receiving the first round of payments. The latest date to file and receive a payment is October 15. The IRS also added an online calculator to its Web site to help people determine the amount that they will receive. The IRS plans to complete the initial round of payments by early July.

BLOCK SELLS OPTION ONE UNIT

Kansas City, Mo. — H&R Block has sold the mortgage loan-servicing business of its Option One Mortgage Corp. subsidiary to investor Wilbur Ross’ private equity firm in a transaction valued at approximately $1.1 billion.

The troubled business has been on the block since last year in the midst of the turmoil in the mortgage market. Block shut down Option One’s mortgage origination activities after a sale agreement with Cerberus Capital Management fell through in December.

Under the agreement, both Block and Ross’ firm will be freed from any obligations if the transaction does not close by May 30, 2008. The ultimate purchase price will be based on a formula to be applied to the closing-date balance sheet of the servicing business.

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