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Business Bites

Education

The University of California-Irvine said Aliso Viejo-based chipmaker Microsemi Corp. donated $1.5 million to the university. The money will be combined with $500,000 in matching funds from the UC Office of the President to establish the Microsemi Presidential Chair in Electrical Engineering. The $2 million total endowment will support research, teaching, equipment and graduate fellowships.

— Deirdre Newman

Finance

Banc of California Inc., the largest bank by assets based in Orange County, hired a chief financial officer after an almost year-long search. John A. Bogler, who starts this week, has nearly 30 years of experience in the banking and financial services sector, including most recently serving as CFO of Sabal Financial Group LP since 2014.

— Peter Brennan

Healthcare

Allergan PLC laid off 109 employees at its Irvine campus, according to a recent report to the state Employment Development Department. A company spokesperson said the layoffs, “center around R&D positions associated with R&D pipeline prioritization decisions as well as opportunities to gain additional efficiencies in our organizational structure.” Its Irvine campus houses its U.S. Specialized Therapeutics unit, which includes medical aesthetics, plastic surgery and therapeutic Botox. Meanwhile, Allergan received Korean government approval for Belkyra, an injection designed to reduce double chin. The product, which is part of the Irvine operation, received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in 2015.

— Sherry Hsieh

Tustin-based Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc. said it cut 60 positions, 20% of its workforce, as part of planned changes intended to reduce costs “and better position the Company to achieve overall profitability while it pursues strategic options for its research and development … assets.” The charge to earnings will be $1.1 million to $1.7 million to be incurred in next year’s second quarter. Peregrine faces a proxy battle at its annual meeting this fall.

— Hannah Mitchell

Hospitality

Montage International in Irvine named Brian Karaba executive vice president and chief financial officer. He’s held senior finance roles for 20 years at Marriott International Inc. in Bethesda, Md., and, most recently, Hyatt Hotels Corp. in Chicago.

— Paul Hughes

Insurance

Former Automobile Club of Southern California Chief Executive Robert Bouttier retired on Aug. 1 and was replaced by president and Chief Operating Officer John Boyle. Bouttier became chief executive of the Costa Mesa company in 2012, was earlier president and has worked for AAA for 45 years. He will remain on the group’s board. Boyle has been with the auto club for 28 years.

— Paul Hughes

Manufacturing

Georgia-based Universal Alloy Corp. filed a notice with the state that it’s laying off 149 employees at its Anaheim facility, effective Oct. 1. The aerospace metals maker supplies manufacturers and subcontractors around the world. It employs more than 1,200 people among three facilities. The company didn’t specify a reason for the layoffs.

— Hannah Mitchell

Real Estate

Newport Beach-based Real Office Centers voluntarily terminated its lease at 23 Corporate Plaza in Newport Beach, according to a notice its subleasees received. It also walked away from leases at another Newport Office Building and one in the Irvine Spectrum. It’s now down to one location where it rents co-working spaces in Orange County, The Vine owned by the Irvine Co. The landlord has filed lawsuits to evict ROC for delinquent rent at all of its OC locations.

— Deirdre Newman

Restaurants

Real Mex Restaurants Inc. in Cypress named Judd Tirnauer executive vice president and chief financial officer. He’d held the same roles at Wet Seal LLC in Irvine for about a year. The CFO role had been formally unfilled since Laurie Lawhorne, who’d held the role for about a year, left in mid-2015. Lawhorne spent 10 years in various financial positions with Taco Bell in Irvine and its Louisville-based parent company, Yum Brands.

— Paul Hughes

Other

Orange County Forum founding Executive Director Nancy Dooley is leaving the group to focus on her consultancy. The forum, which started in 1990, offers “non-partisan current affairs discussion and education.” Dooley has managed the forum under her Dooley & Associates in Lake Forest, according to Communications LAB in Orange, the group’s new administrator.

— Paul Hughes

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