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TELECOMMUTERS, BEWARE: When it comes to climbing the career ladder, there's no substitute for face time. Of 400 managers polled by ITRA Realty Group, 45 percent say employees who work at home tend to advance slower than office workers. And half the executives agree that "working parents who spend one or more days a week at home are at a career disadvantage." Only 27 percent disagree, and 23 percent are neutral.

EXITING CEOS: A record 1,000-plus corporate chief executives have left their jobs since August 1999. Among that group are the heads of Ford, United Airlines, Procter & Gamble, Lucent and Coca-Cola. The reason? Many blame an unrealistic demand for quick returns, says Michael McLaughlin, managing director of Deloitte Consulting, Chicago.

DRIVE THIS WAY: GM is telling employees to keep their hands on the wheel. The nation's largest automaker has instructed its more than 200,000 workers in North America to use hands-free cell phones while driving on company business. The company policy applies to phones owned by employees as well as by GM.

GOING DOWN: Less than a third of 1,015 employers surveyed by WorldatWork, a Scottsdale, Ariz., association of compensation managers, have adjusted planned raises this year. But of those who did, most cut the size of the increase.

A NEW "T' IN CHINA: Tiffany & Co. is opening its first store in China to cater to the growing number of affluent customers there. The luxury jewelry store is to open in December in the lobby of Beijing's Palace Hotel. Tiffany has locations in several other Asian countries.

_ Compiled by Cathy Keim from Times wires