Boris Johnson"s possible demise is making ministers "grow wolves" fangs" as leadership rivals mobilise

Boris Johnson's travails are prompting rivals to emerge from the woodwork - but Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak, and others are yet to win over Conservative MPs. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks after winning his seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip in the general election of 2019.REUTERS/Toby Melville Prior to the recent scandals, Boris Johnson was tipped to be prime minister for a decade. But now, his grip on power is weakening — and leadership rivals are emerging. However, all have flaws. There is no obvious replacement for the most successful Conservative prime minister since Thatcher. It is almost unthinkable, but thinking about it, Conservative MPs most definitely are. Just two years after Boris Johnson secured the party's biggest victory since Margaret Thatcher's 1987 win, his backbenchers are openly discussing his departure —and who will succeed him. A few weeks ago, Conservative figures suggested Johnson could call a snap election to refresh his majority and cement his hold on power for another five years. Pundits predicted he could be in Number 10 for a decade. But then came successive leaks, allegations of conflicts of interest, self-dealing sleaze, lockdown-busting parties, and a slew of polls giving Labour a growing lead. Now there is a real chance that Johnson's tenure could be shorter than Theresa May's. May held the reins for just three years before resigning as post-Brexit negotiations and a hung parliament paralyzed her government and Westminster. In the summer of 2019, Johnson was waiting in the wings. The leadership campaign pitted Johnson against Sajid Javid and Matt Hancock, men he would later join his Cabinet. Rory Stewart garnered some support as a dark horse candidate, while Jeremy Hunt got down to the final two — and, ultimately, paid for it with a seat on the backbenches. In reality, the contest was a formality. Everyone knew Johnson — who famously, when a child, said he wanted to be "world king" — would take the crown. This time, perhaps because no one expected his demise so soon, things are quite different. There is no obvious pretender to the throne. Here's a look at who might be Britain's next prime minister.Liz Truss: '#InLizWeTruss'—Sebastian Payne (@SebastianEPayne) November 30, 2021 Liz Truss, Foreign Secretary and longest-serving government minister, appears on paper to be in with a shout. Having shed her pro-Remain stance to become a buccaneering libertarian, she regularly tops ConHome's ministerial league table (in fact, every month consecutively for over a year now). Truss has a penchant for photoshoots — some of which go awry — but recently channeled Thatcher by posing in a tank in Estonia, presumably in the hope of sending the Tory right wild. She has also been putting in the leg work, wining, and dining colleagues at the swanky private members club 5 Hertford Street. And yet it seems she is having limited success at winning MPs over. Despite asking backbenchers for weeks whether they fancy Truss as their next prime minister, Insider has yet to find one who backs her. "Liz Truss is not going to get in," says one MP. Another adds: "I would be astonished if Liz was in the final two."Asked if they would prefer Truss to Johnson, a third replied: "Urgh, she's no better."Rishi Sunak: The Chancellor's chancesUK Chancellor Rishi Sunak and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in London on Friday.HM TreasuryRishi Sunak has the opposite problem. He was a relative unknown at the start of the pandemic, a junior Treasury minister with little experience of speaking to the public at large. At that time, Sajid Javid, then Chancellor, was given an ultimatum by Johnson and his then-chief of staff, Dominic Cummings, to sack his entire team of advisers and rely on a joint unit. When Javid refused, Sunak was brought in — just as his role would become crucial to helping the country through the COVID-19 pandemic. Sunak's team has actively promoted 'brand Rishi' in the last 18 months— meaning he has relatively high cut-through among the wider public. The brand is the polar opposite to Johnson's: one of quiet competence, perhaps a little boring and nerdy, but not without self-deprecating charm. Yet his role in the high-spending, high-taxing government has not gone unnoticed: Sunak's popularity has sunk among Tory members in recent months. While some MPs still believe "he can come and save us," says one backbencher, it's hardly conclusive. "The Chancellor lost support on tax and cost-of-living issues," says a 'Red Wall' MP, a traditional Labour party seat that fell to the Conservatives in Johnson's 2019 victory.  A former minister gives a more damning verdict."Rishi comes with Dom Cummings baggage — Dom is working for Rishi, maybe not explicitly, but his whole motivation is to get Rishi into No 10 and that has to worry people," the MP tells Insider. "We can't have the country run by Dom Cummings any longer. He ran it for Boris. Now he is running it to get rid of Boris. Since 2016, Dominic Cummings has been behind all the decisions of this country." Also runners — or dark horses?Beyond these two figures, there is no consensus about who could take the reins. One MP favors Penny Mordaunt, a Brexiteer former minister, and Royal Navy reservist, who is said to have been on maneuvers almost as long as the others. Another fancies James Cleverly, a Foreign Office minister, and former Conservative party chairman, who "ran the machinery of the party and is incredibly well thought of". Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, has some supporters but others argue she would struggle for having failed to address the crisis of small boats, filled with immigrants, crossing the Channel. Robert Buckland, the former Justice Secretary, is said to be canvassing support, while Tom Tugendhat, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, is talked about in the same terms as Stewart once was."I have even heard [backbenchers] Graham Brady and Julian Lewis saying they would be the dream ticket," one MP scoffed. The names run on and on. Backbenchers argue that they do not need a chosen replacement to depose Johnson, which is technically correct. But the reality is that there is no viable alternative around which to coalesce without at least a couple of strong contenders. It has made more would-be leadership hopefuls start to mobilize."The possibility of a leadership challenge has made a number of the Cabinet decide they can't be sheep," says one member of the government. "Now they are growing wolves' fangs."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 15th, 2022

How Netflix is changing the global entertainment industry

Netflix has reshaped the market for global storytelling with shows like "Squid Game" and "Money Heist," and transformed its business in the process. Netflix Netflix is writing the playbook for global entertainment. The streaming company reshaped the market for content and transformed its business in the process. It's exploring areas including video games for its next frontier.  See more stories on Insider's business page. Since Netflix began its worldwide expansion in 2016, the streaming service has rewritten the playbook for global entertainment — from TV to film, and, soon, video games.Hollywood used to exports most global hit series and movies. Now, thanks to Netflix's investments in international TV and film, programming like South Korea's "Squid Game," Spain's "Money Heist," and France's "Lupin" are finding massive audiences around the world.Netflix figured out that to thrive on an international stage it needed both US mass-market programming like "Stranger Things," as well as local content that could win over viewers in specific markets (and produce breakout hits).Read more about how Netflix's strategy for buying international TV shows is changing, according to producers who have worked with the streamer and its rivalsThe strategy helped the streaming service grow its customer base to 214 million global paid subscribers, as of September.Its momentum is also reinvigorating production in places like Germany, Mexico, and India, as companies like Amazon, Disney, WarnerMedia, and Apple follow Netflix's lead. Read more about how Netflix's global focus is changing international production marketsNetflix has reoriented its leadership around its new global model.The streaming company, cofounded by tech entrepreneur Reed Hastings, promoted content chief Ted Sarandos to co-CEO in 2020, which cemented the status of content within the organization. Meanwhile, Bela Bajaria, who had been in charge of international non-English TV, took the reins of the overall TV business, and product chief Greg Peters took on additional duties as COO, including streamlining how global teams work together. Peters also hired a new talent chief with international experience, former PepsiCo executive Sergio Ezama, to lead Netflix's global workforce.View our full interactive chart of Netflix's top leadersThe company has also formed an elite team of 23 interdisciplinary execs to help make its biggest decisions. Known internally as the "Lstaff " — the "L" stands for leadership — the group sits between the company's officers and its larger executive staff of vice presidents and above, who are called the "Estaff."Read more about Netflix's elite 'Lstaff' of 23 execs that helps the company make its most important decisionsNetflix's growth has made it a desirable place to work in recent years, as well, despite some of the tests its corporate culture has faced as it's grown. Public US work-visa data shows that Netflix, which says its pays staffers "market value," has offered six-figure annual base salaries for lots of roles in engineering, content, marketing, finance, and more.Netflix salaries revealed: How much engineers, marketers, content execs, and others get paidNetflix is searching for its next frontierStill, Netflix is facing more competition than ever from an influx of rivals that are learning to play its game.Nearly every major media company, from Disney to WarnerMedia, now runs a streaming service. Their platforms are stockpiled with tentpole movies and TV shows that used to only be found in theaters or on linear TV, and their libraries now rival Netflix's.The competition is pushing the streaming giant to keep evolving.Netflix recently expanded into podcasting and even started peddling merchandise for series like "Squid Game" and "The Witcher."The company is also bringing video games into its mobile streaming app.It hired in July Facebook's former head of Reality Labs, Mike Verdu, as its vice president of game development, and has been hiring for other video-game-related jobs.Read more about what Netflix's video-game roles reveal about its strategyThe streamer plans to approach gaming like it did movies and TV shows. It's starting slowly. It's commissioning and licensing mobile games, some of which are based on existing franchises like "Stranger Things." Then, it plans to experiment with other kinds of video-game storytelling, like it did with its original series."Maybe someday we'll see a game that spawns a film or a series," Peters told investors in July. "That would be an amazing place to get to and really see the rich interplay between these sort of different forms of entertainment."Here's a list of our recent coverage of how Netflix is disrupting facets of the entertainment industry: The Netflix effect on global TV: Netflix's 'Squid Game' is part of a robust international TV strategy that's far ahead of rivals, especially in South Korea10 reasons 'Squid Game' became a global phenomenon, according to a Netflix marketing execNetflix's Q3 subscriber growth was fueled by the Asia-Pacific market. Exclusive traffic data shows how hits like 'Squid Game' drove engagement.'Squid Game' and other Netflix hits may have reversed the streamer's growth slump, exclusive app data suggestsInternational TV producers describe how streaming competition is changing their markets, from Netflix's shifting priorities to rising budgets and costsHow Netflix's strategy for buying international TV shows is changingNetflix's Mark Millar plans to build a streaming superhero universe starting with 'Jupiter's Legacy,' after inspiring some of Marvel's biggest storiesData shows how heavily Netflix is leaning into international TV shows, especially in its upcoming projectsHow to sell a show to Netflix with the help of an easily digestible pitch document, according to a workshop by one of the streamer's execsA Netflix slide deck shows how it's trying to fix lofty problems in personalization like over-inflating a show's popularity and how to measure goals like 'joy'On filmmaking:Netflix is courting Hollywood filmmakers like "Tenet" director Christopher NolanHow Zack Snyder fits into Netflix's plans to build franchises to compete with Disney and WarnerMediaOn video gaming: Netflix is hiring for a slew of gaming jobs that shed light on its video-game strategyWhy Netflix's new video-game strategy will live or die by how well it can create mega movie and TV franchisesNetflix's evolving business model and corporate structure:Netflix org chart: We identified the 71 most powerful people at the streamer and who they report toHow top HR execs at Hollywood companies like Netflix and NBCU work to fight pandemic burnout and keep staff from quitting amid the Great ResignationMeet the top data science execs at Netflix, Disney, WarnerMedia, and more Hollywood companies who are masterminding the streaming wars and hiring hundreds of new workersAn internal Netflix meeting meant for senior staffers played a role in the streamer's recent clash with employees. Here's what happens at the quarterly reviews.The 15 most powerful marketing leaders in the streaming-video wars, from Netflix's Bozoma Saint John to the trio of execs driving Disney's strategyNetflix has hired former PepsiCo exec Sergio Ezama as its next chief talent officerNetflix lays out its M&A strategy, and experts weigh in on the kinds of companies it could buy8 top legal execs at Netflix who are helping the streamer navigate complex content deals and international regulations12 deputies under Netflix's product boss Greg Peters, as his responsibilities grow to include new areas like video gamesNetflix's global TV boss Bela Bajaria is shaking up the content division, making new hires and big promotions. Meet her team.Netflix CMO Bozoma Saint John is building her marketing team, which includes execs from Spotify and Condé NastNetflix has an elite 'Lstaff' team of 23 execs that helps make the company's biggest decisionsNetflix's growth trajectory:Exclusive web-tracking data from Q2 2020 suggests people are streaming less coming out of lockdowns but are keeping Netflix, for nowWe estimated how much Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and more are making from the subscribers they gained this past yearNetflix has kept churn low despite price hikes and intensifying competition, and it could be a key to success during a tough 2021Netflix's original series dominate the streaming TV landscape, but its 'demand share' shrank in 2020 as rivals emergedWorking at Netflix: Netflix salaries revealed: How much engineers, marketers, content execs, and others get paidHow much Netflix pays engineers in the US in 2021What data chiefs at companies like Netflix and Roku look for when hiring: technical prowess and an appetite for the 'unsolvable, unmeasurable, or unknowable'Netflix shares the inclusion strategy that helped it improve Black representation in its leadership and the areas it needs to do better in like recruiting Latinx staffersRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 24th, 2021

Now Or Never: The Great "Transition" Must Be Imposed

Now Or Never: The Great 'Transition' Must Be Imposed Authored by Alastair Crooke via The Strategic Culture Foundation, A new wave of restrictions, more lockdowns, and – eventually – trillions of dollars in new stimmie cheques may be in prospect... Were you following the news this last week? Vaccine mandates are everywhere: one country, after another, is doubling-down, to try to force, or legally compel, full population vaccination. The mandates are coming because of the massive uptick in Covid – most of all in the places where the experimental mRNA gene therapies were deployed en masse. And (no coincidence), this ‘marker’ has come just as U.S. Covid deaths in 2021 have surpassed those of 2020. This has happened, despite the fact that last year, no Americans were vaccinated (and this year 59% are vaccinated). Clearly no panacea, this mRNA ‘surge’. Of course, the Pharma-Establishment know that the vaccines are no panacea. There are ‘higher interests’ at play here. It is driven rather by fear that the window for implementing its series of ‘transitions’ in the U.S. and Europe is closing. Biden still struggles to move his ‘Go-Big’ social spending plan and green agenda transition through Congress by the midterm election in a year’s time. And the inflation spike may well sink Biden’s Build Back Better agenda (BBB) altogether. Time is short. The midterm elections are but 12 months away, after which the legislative window shuts. The Green ‘transition’ is stuck too (by concerns that moving too fast to renewables is putting power grids at risk and elevating heating costs unduly), and the Pharma establishment will be aware that a new B.1.1.529 variant has made a big jump in evolution with 32 mutations to its spike protein. This makes it “clearly very different” from previous variants, which may drive further waves of infection evading ‘vaccine defences’. Translation: a new wave of restrictions, more lockdowns, and – eventually – trillions of dollars in new stimmie cheques may be in prospect. And what of inflation then, we might ask. It’s a race for the U.S. and Europe, where the pandemic is back in full force across Europe, to push through their re-set agendas, before variants seize up matters with hospitals crowded with the vaccinated and non-vaccinated; with riots in the streets, and mask mandates at Christmas markets (that’s if they open at all). A big reversal was foreshadowed by this week’s news: vaccine mandates and lockdowns, even in highly vaccinated areas, are returning. And people don’t like it. The window for the Re-Set may be fast closing. One observer, noting all the frenetic Élite activity, has asked ‘have we finally reached peak Davos?’. Is the turn to authoritarianism in Europe a sign of desperation as fears grow that the various ‘transitions’ planned under the ‘re-set’ umbrella (financial, climate, vaccine and managerial expert technocracy) may never be implemented? Cut short rather, as spending plans are hobbled by accelerating inflation; as the climate transition fails to find traction amongst poorer states (and at home, too); as technocracy is increasingly discredited by adverse pandemic outcomes; and Modern Monetary Theory hits a wall, because – well, inflation again. Are you paying attention yet? The great ‘transition’ is conceived as a hugely expensive shift towards renewables, and to a new digitalised, roboticised corporatism. It requires Big (inflationary) funding to be voted through, and a huge parallel (inflationary) expenditure on social support to be approved by Congress as well. The social provision is required to mollify all those who subsequently will find themselves without jobs, because of the climate ‘transition’ and the shift to a digitalised corporate sphere. But – unexpectedly for some ‘experts’ – inflation has struck – the highest statistics in 30 years. There are powerful oligarchic interests behind the Re-Set. They do not want to see it go down, nor see the West eclipsed by its ‘competitors’. So it seems that rather than back off, they will go full throttle and try to impose compliance on their electorates: tolerate no dissidence. A 1978 essay “The Power of the Powerless” by then dissident and future Czech President Vaclav Havel begins mockingly that, “A SPECTRE is haunting Eastern Europe: the spectre of what in the West is called ‘dissent’”. “This spectre has not appeared out of thin air. It is a natural and inevitable consequence of the present historical phase of the system it is haunting.” Well, today, as Michael Every of Rabobank notes, “the West has polarisation, mass protests, riots, talk of obligatory vaccinations in Europe, and Yanis Varoufakis arguing capitalism is already dead; and that a techno-feudalism looms”. Now, prompting even greater urgency, are the looming U.S. midterms. Trump’s return (even if confined just to Congress), would cut the legs from under BBB, and ice-up Brussels too. It was however, precisely this tech revolution, to which Varoufakis calls attention, that both re-defined the Democrat constituency, and turned tech oligarchs into billionaires. Through algorithmically creating a magnetism of like-minded content, cascaded out to its customers, it has both smothered intellectual curiosity, and created the ‘un-informed party’, which is the today’s Managerial Class – the party of the credentialed meritocracy; the party, above all, smugly seeing themselves as the coming era’s ‘winners’ – unwilling to risk a look behind the curtain; to put their ‘safe space’ to the test. Perversely, this cadre of professionally-corralled academics, analysts, and central bankers, all insist that they completely believe in their memes: That their techno-approach is both effective, and of benefit to humanity – oblivious to the dissenting views, swirling around them, down in the interstices of the internet. The main function then of such memes today, whether issued by the Pharma Vaccine ‘Command’; the MMT ‘transition’ Command; the energy ‘transition’ Command; or the global managerial technocracy ‘transition’, is to draw a ‘Maginot line’ – a defensive ideological boundary, a “Great Narrative” as it were – between ‘the truth’ as defined by the ruling classes, and with that of any other ‘truth’ that contradicts their narrative. That is to say, it is about compliance. It was well understood that all these transitions would overturn long-standing human ways of life, that are ancient and deeply rooted and trigger dissidence – which is why new forms of social ‘discipline’ would be required. (Incidentally, the EU leadership already refer to their their official mandates as ‘Commands’). Such disciplines are now being trialled in Europe – with the vaccine mandates (even though scientists are telling them that vaccines cannot be the silver bullet for which they yearn). As one high ‘lodge’ member, favouring a form of global governance notes, to make people accept such reforms, you must frighten them. Yes, the collective of ‘transitions’ must have their ‘Big, overarching Narrative’ – however hollow, it rings (i.e. the struggle to defend democracy against authoritarianism). But it is the nature of today’s cultural-meme war that ultimately its content becomes little more than a rhetorical shell, lacking all sincerity at its core. It serves principally, as decoration to a ‘higher order’ project: The preservation of global ‘rules of the road’, framed to reflect U.S. and allied interests, as the base from which the clutch of ‘transitions’ can be raised up into a globally managed order which preserves the Élite’s influence and command of major assets. This politics of crafted, credentialised meme-politics is here to stay, and now is ‘everywhere’. It has long crossed the partisan divide. The wider point here – is that the mechanics of meme-mobilisation is being projected, not just in the western ‘home’ (at a micro-level), but abroad, into American ‘foreign policy’ too (i.e. at the macro-level). And, just as in the domestic arena, where the notion of politics by suasion is lost (with vaccine mandates enforced by water-cannon, and riot police), so too, the notion of foreign policy managed through argument, or diplomacy, has been lost too. Western foreign policy becomes less about geo-strategy, but rather is primordially focussed on the three ‘big iconic issues’ – China, Russia and Iran – that can be given an emotional ‘charge’ in order to profitably mobilise certain identified ‘constituencies’ in the U.S. domestic cultural war. All the various U.S. political strands play this game. The aim is to ‘nudge’ domestic American psyches (and those of their allies) into mobilisation on some issue (such as more protectionism for business against Chinese competition), or alternatively, imagined darkly, in order to de-legitimise an opposition, or to justify failures. These mobilisations are geared to gaining relative domestic partisan advantage, rather than having strategic purpose. When this credentialled meme-war took hold in the U.S., millions of people were already living a reality in which facts no longer mattered at all; where things that never happened officially, happened. And other things that obviously happened never happened: not officially, that is. Or, were “far-right extremist conspiracy theories,” “fake news,” or “disinformation,” or whatever, despite the fact that people knew that they weren’t. Russia and China therefore face a reality in which European and U.S. élites are heading in the opposite direction to epistemological purity and well-founded argument. That is to suggest, the new ‘normal’ is about generating a lot of contradictory realities, not just contradictory ideologies, but actual mutually-exclusive ‘realities’, which could not possibly simultaneously exist … and which are intended to bemuse adversaries – and nudge them off-balance. This is a highly risky game, for it forces a resistance stance on those targeted states – whether they seek it, or not. It underlines that politics is no more about considered strategy: It is about being willing for the U.S. to lose strategically (even militarily), in order to win politically. Which is to say gaining an ephemeral win of having prompted an favourable unconscious psychic response amongst American voters. Russia, China, Iran are but ‘images’ prized mainly for their potential for being loaded with ‘nudge’ emotional-charge in this western cultural war, (of which these states are no part). The result is that these states become antagonists to the American presumption to define a global ‘rules of the road’ to which all must adhere. These countries understand exactly the point of these value and rights-loaded ‘rules’. It is to force compliance on these states to acquiesce to the ‘transitions, or, to suffer isolation, boycott and sanction – in a similar way to the choices being forced on those in the West not wishing to vaccinate (i.e. no jab; no job). This approach reflects an attempt by Team Biden to have it ‘both ways’ with these three ‘Iconic States’: To welcome compliance on ‘transition issues’, but to be adversarial over any dissidence to mounting a rules framework that can raise the ‘transitions’ from the national, to the supra-national plane. But do the U.S. practitioners of meme-politics, absorb and comprehend that the stance by Russia-China – in riposte – is not some same-ilk counter-mobilisation done to ‘make a point’? That their vision does stand at variance with ‘the rules’? Do they see that their ‘red lines’ may indeed be ‘red lines’ literally? Is the West now so meme-addicted, it cannot any longer recognise real national interests? This is key: When the West speaks, it is forever looking over its shoulder, at the domestic, and wider psychic impact when it is ‘making a point’ (such as practicing attacks by nuclear-capable bombers as close to Russia’s borders as they dare). And that when Russia and China say, ‘This is our Red Line’, it is no meme – they really mean it. Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 23:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 5th, 2021

Jack Dorsey Steps Down as Twitter CEO, Replaced by CTO Parag Agrawal

Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Twitter Inc., is stepping down, ceding the position to the company’s chief technology officer Parag Agrawal. The move is effective immediately, though Dorsey will stay on the board of the social media company until his term expires in 2022, Twitter said in a statement Monday. “I’ve… Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Twitter Inc., is stepping down, ceding the position to the company’s chief technology officer Parag Agrawal. The move is effective immediately, though Dorsey will stay on the board of the social media company until his term expires in 2022, Twitter said in a statement Monday. “I’ve decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders,” Dorsey said in the statement. “My trust in Parag as Twitter’s CEO is deep. His work over the past 10 years has been transformational. I’m deeply grateful for his skill, heart, and soul. It’s his time to lead.” [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Dorsey, 45, is also the head of payments company Square Inc. and has been taking an increasing interest in cryptocurrencies recently. Dorsey stepped down as CEO of Twitter in 2008, but returned to the company in 2015. In 2020, Dorsey came under pressure from activist investor Elliott Management Corp. over how he was spending his time. A year earlier, he had also said he planned to spend up to six months of the year working in Africa to better understand the continent’s internet users, a move that was ultimately scrapped due to Covid 19. The hedge fund reached an agreement with Twitter and private equity group Silver Lake to appoint three new directors to Twitter’s board and create a committee to review its leadership and governance. Agrawal, who became chief technology officer in 2017, will become a member of the board. The deal came at a cost, though: Twitter had to grow its monetized daily users by 20% or more and boost revenue growth. Dorsey could lose his position if those goals weren’t met, Bloomberg reported. CNBC reported the news earlier Monday, without providing any other details. Twitter couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. Twitter shares jumped 3.4% at 10:50 a.m. in New York. In an unusually bubbly tech equity market, Twitter has lagged behind its peers, with its shares slumping almost 10% this year, while Meta Platforms Inc., formerly Facebook, has risen 23%. “The headline takeaway here is Twitter’s execution,” said Mandeep Singh, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “When you compare Twitter to all the other social media platforms, the level of engagement they had, they never were able to monetize it as well as some” other rivals. “Investors recognize having one man be the CEO of two companies wasn’t very effective in terms of execution.” Dorsey has also overseen the company when it faced widespread pressure from politicians and activists to take a more proactive role in moderating hate speech, misinformation and other forms of objectionable content from political leaders. Dorsey took a stronger line than his social-media peers during Donald Trump’s presidency, banning the former president from Twitter and telling Congress that he takes some responsibility for online organizing that led to the Jan. 6 riot at Capitol Hill. The company also recently introduced a program to crowd source fact-checking misinformation. Dorsey has been at the helm of Twitter as it experimented with new innovations in social media including most recently live audio products and subscription services. In June, the company unveiled Twitter Blue, a long-awaited subscription service that will allow users to rescind tweets and organize their posts. It’s also launched Twitter Spaces, a live audio chat service that were meant to compete with up-and coming upstart Clubhouse. In recent months, Twitter stepped up its pace of acquisitions after years of languid deal-making, as the company made a renewed effort to increase the addition of new features. In May the company purchased the news reader service Scroll. But the company also faced market pressures from younger rivals including TikTok and Snapchat which has large audiences among the youngest age cohorts with short-form video products. Twitter said earlier this year it wants to double its annual revenue to $7.5 billion by 2023, and expects to increase its user base by an average of almost 20% in each of the next three years, according to a regulatory filing. In the third quarter, Twitter said it had 211 million daily users, 5 million more than the previous period and a 13% increase from a year earlier. The social media service attributed the growth to “ongoing product improvements and global conversations around current events.” Dorsey has a net worth of $12.3 billion, with Square accounting for more than $10 billion of that amount. He’s publicly pledged much of his stake in Square to charitable causes, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. —With assistance from Michael Tobin......»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 29th, 2021

Black Monday, 1987: Inside The Birth Of Stock Market Moral Hazard, 34 Years Ago Today

Black Monday, 1987: Inside The Birth Of Stock Market Moral Hazard, 34 Years Ago Today Authored by Liam McPherson via Global Macro Monitor, Originally posted October 19, 2020. The following exchange took place between President Reagan and reporters after the market close on Black Monday, October 19, 1987.  Leaving to visit the First Lady in the hospital, President Reagan spoke just after the market lost over 20 percent of its value on the day. Q: What about the market? Tomorrow will it go down again? President Reagan:  I don’t know. You tell me. Q: Is the market your fault? President Reagan: Is it my fault? For what, taking cookies to my wife? Q: Reaganomics? President Reagan:  I just told you. Good Lord, we reduced the deficit over last year by $70 billion. And all the other things I’ve told you about the economy are as solid as I told you. So, no, I have no more knowledge of why it took place than you have. Thirty-four years ago today, now infamously known as Black Monday, my grandfather, M. Peter McPherson, was Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and acting Secretary that day, while Treasury Secretary James Baker was in the air traveling to Europe. McPherson was the most senior Treasury official left in Washington to handle the crisis. The stock market had already peaked in August after an almost 100 percent rally in the prior two years.  By late August, the DJIA had gained 44 percent in a matter of seven months, raising concerns of an asset bubble, and had become very volatile as interest rates had been rising rapidly since bottoming in September of the prior year. Similar to 1929, where the stock market peaked in early September, the markets had already begun to unravel, foreshadowing the record losses that would develop that Monday in October. As the markets around the world began to crash, my grandfather convened with the U.S. Treasury’s Undersecretary of Domestic Finance and the Department Chief of Staff to discuss the government’s appropriate response.  The Dow Jones eventually closed 508 points down, or a 22.61 percent, almost double the historic Crash of 1929, where the Dow fell 12.8 percent in one day. Government Kicks Into Action According to my grandfather, the situation demanded that his team put together a plan to calm the markets. The economy was doing fine, and there were no signs of recession.  Real GDP growth came in at 3.5 percent in 1987. Jitters about the U.S. trade deficit, rising interest rates, and the path of the U.S. dollar during the Plaza Accord are oft-cited as the fundamental reasons that triggered the crash, but nobody knows for sure.  Trees don’t grow to the sky, and neither do markets.  Stocks markets do what stocks markets do, keep their own schedule, and march to their own drummer. The team’s conclusion at Treasury that day was the market was under severe strain for technical reasons and complicated by the new computerized program trading related to portfolio insurance.  Nevertheless, the steep losses were causing significant dislocations in the financial markets. Many large firms were under heavy liquidity pressure and were dangerously close to not making their margin calls and on the brink of failure. My grandfather and his team placed a call to the then-new Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan, only a month into the job, to encourage the issuance of a Fed statement that it would do whatever it takes to provide the liquidity to keep markets functioning. It wasn’t the time to think about the policy’s broader economic implications, such as the potential moral hazard, as the plane was on fire and going down and desperately needed a rescue plan. It was also clear Greenspan had been thinking along similar lines. Fed officials drafted much longer statements for release, but Greenspan reasoned that a short, clear message would do the most to stabilize markets. It is also important to point out that when Secretary Baker arrived in Europe late that day, he immediately began communicating with key finance ministers, such as those from Germany, Japan, France, and the UK to coordinate a global response to the financial crisis. October 20 Greenspan issued his statement the next morning, October 20, “The Federal Reserve, consistent with its responsibilities as the Nation’s central bank, affirmed today its readiness to serve as a source of liquidity to support the economic and financial system.” – FRB In typical Greenspan fashion, the statement was vague in methodology yet resolute in purpose. The market opened down and continued falling, there were no buyers and it appeared, at one point, the global financial system was headed for a complete meltdown. “Tuesday was the most dangerous day we had in 50 years,” says Felix Rohatyn, a general partner in Lazard Freres & Co. “I think we came within an hour” of a disintegration of the stock market, he says. “The fact we didn’t have a meltdown doesn’t mean we didn’t have a breakdown.  – WSJ Then at about 12:38 pm, with many stocks not trading and pressure growing to close the markets a miracle seemed to happen. With the closing of the Big Board seemingly imminent and the market in disarray, with virtually all options and futures trading halted, something happened that some later described as a miracle: In the space of about five or six minutes, the Major Market Index futures contract, the only viable surrogate for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the only major index still trading, staged the most powerful rally in its history. The MMI rose on the Chicago Board of Trade from a discount of nearly 60 points to a premium of about 12 points. Because each point represents about five in the industrial average, the rally was the equivalent of a lightning-like 360-point rise in the Dow. Some believe that this extraordinary move set the stage for the salvation of the world’s markets. – WSJ  The rest, as they say, is history. My grandfather felt that the Treasury’s phone call contributed to Greenspan’s thinking and as he made the decision to issue a statement to calm the market.  The statement was the most critical event in stabilizing the markets and preventing substantial economic damage to the U.S. and the global economy. My grandfather spoke about how the simplicity of the message prevented speculation while instilling confidence.  Not unlike ECB President Mario Draghi’s, “whatever it takes” July 2012 speech, which saved the Euro currency, the European banking system, and ultimately the European Union during their debt crisis in 2011-12. The Birth Of Stock Market Moral Hazard    Some argue, including one of the regular authors on this website, the Fed’s response to Black Monday ushered in a new era of faux investor confidence and the moral hazard that the central bank will always backstop falling markets.  Thus, forever distorting market risk and real price discovery and contributing to the current boom-bust asset market cycle the global economy now experiences and will be extremely difficult to reverse. Global Macro Monitor (GMM) often argues, which is not necessarily my own opinion, what was supposed to be a one-off market intervention in 1987 has now become the norm, which monetary policymakers will find it impossible to extract itself from, ultimately resulting in a major market and economic dislocation.  We shall see. President Reagan’s Confidence And Sense of Calm During the crisis, President Reagan, whose administration my grandfather served several key roles in, was an excellent communicator and never once conveyed a sense of panic in October 1987. Though not having a financial background, President Reagan did have a degree in economics and understood the nature of markets and how they coveted a sense of calm and leadership from the government during such a crisis. The following video is President Reagan speaking to the press at the White House on Black Monday as he is preparing to board Marine One to visit the First Lady in the hospital. Skip to the dialogue, which starts 5:40 minutes in. Note President Reagan’s incredibly calm demeanor and sense of confidence after the most massive stock market crash in U.S. history. [ZH: Of course, it's different this time... Source: Bloomberg Excerpted from Art Cashin's reminisces of that day in 1987 (rings a lot of bells for 2021)... The first two-thirds of 1987 on Wall Street was nothing short of spectacular... Fear seemed to disappear, and junior traders laughed at their cautious elders. The brash youngsters told each other to “buy strength” rather than sell it, as each buying wave was soon followed by another. [ZH: Robinhooders?] One thing that helped banish fear was a new process called “portfolio insurance.” It involved use of the newly expanded S&P futures. Somewhat counterintuitively, it involved selling when prices turned down. [ZH: Nasdaq Whale buying calls, driving dealer gamma to extremes] The rally topped out about Aug. 25, with the hitting 2,722 (less than a tenth of its current numerical value). Interest rates had begun creeping up amid concerns of early signs of inflation. [ZH: Rally topped a week after that in 2021] ... On Wednesday, Oct. 14, there were widely discussed rumors of a new punitive tax on takeover profits. [ZH: Worries over Biden's tax plan or the IRS crackdown?] ... Now that would be an 'October Surprise'... Tyler Durden Tue, 10/19/2021 - 13:25.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 19th, 2021

The Double Helix Of Entwined Pandemic And Economic Strategy

The Double Helix Of Entwined Pandemic And Economic Strategy Authored by Alastair Crooke via The Strategic Culture Foundation, Three years ago, I said to an American Professor from the US Army War College in Washington, in respect to the campaign to return American lost Blue Collar jobs to Asia, that these jobs would never return.  They were gone for good. He retorted that that was precisely so, but I was missing the point, he said. America did not expect, or want, the majority of those humdrum manufacturing jobs back. They should stay in Asia. The Élites, he said, wanted only the commanding heights of Tech. They wanted the intellectual property, the protocols, the metrics, the regulatory framework that would allow America to define and expand across the next two decades of global technological evolution. The real dilemma however, he said was: “What is to be done with the 20% of the American workforce that would be no longer needed: that was no longer necessary to the functioning of a tech-led US economy?” In fact, what the Professor said was but one facet of a fundamental economic dilemma. From the seventies and eighties onwards, US corporations were busy offshoring their labour costs to Asia. Partly, this was to cut costs and increase profitability (which it did) — but it also represented something deeper.  From the outset, the US has been an expansionary empire ever digesting new lands, new peoples, and their human and material resources. Forward motion, the continuous military, commercial, and cultural expansion became the lifeblood of Wall Street and of its foreign polity. For, absent this relentless expansion, the civic bonds of American unity fall into question.  An America not in motion is not America.  This forms the very essence of US leitkultur. Yet it only added further to the dilemma highlighted by my friend above. The expansion was accompanied by a flood of Wall Street credit expansion across the globe.  The debt burden exploded, and has become top heavy, balancing unsteadily on a pinhead of genuine underlying collateral. It is only now – for the first time since WW2 – that this relentless US strategic expansionary impulse has been challenged by the Russia-China axis.  They have declared ‘enough’. Yet, there was always another side to this dynamic of western structural transition. Its foundations, as the Professor suggested, no longer lay with the socially necessary labour contained in manufacturing drab products such as cars, telephones, or toothpaste. But rather, the core of it largely has come to reside in highly flammable debt-leveraged speculations on financial assets like stocks, bonds, futures, and especially derivatives, whose value is securitised indefinitely.  In this context, the 20% (or more likely 40%) of the workforce, simply becomes redundant to this highly complex, hyper-financialised, networked economy. So, here we have the second dilemma: Whilst the structural shrinking of the work-based economy inflates the financial sector, the latter’s complex volatility can only be contained through a logic of perpetual monetary doping (perpetual liquidity injections), justified by global emergencies, requiring ever greater stimulus. How to face this dilemma?  Well, there’s no going back.  That’s not an option. In this context, the Pandemic regimen becomes symptom of a world so far removed from any real economic self-sufficiency – adequate to sustain its existing workforce – that the dilemma may only be resolved (in the view of the élites) through facilitating the continuing attenuation of the old economy, whilst financial assets must be replenished with regular additions of liquidity. How to manage it? With the gradual abolishing of the traditional labour content to commodities (either from automation, or off-shoring), corporations have used the woke ideology to reinvent themselves. No longer do they produce just ‘things’ – they manufacture social output. They are stakeholders in society, ‘manufacturing’ socially desirable outcomes: diversity, social inclusivity, gender balance and climate responsible governance. Already, this transition has produced a cornucopia of new ESG liquidity flowing through calcified economic arteries. And the Pandemic, of course, justifies the monetary stimulus, whilst the follow-on climate ‘health’ emergency is prepared in order to legitimise further debt expansion, for the future. Financial analyst Mauro Bottarelli summarised the logic of this as follows: “A state of semi-permanent health emergency is preferable to a vertical market crash that would turn the memory of 2008 into a walk in the park.”  Professor of Critical Theory and Italian at Cardiff University, Fabio Vighi, has noted too the “Incurability” of what he calls “the Central Banker’s Long-Covid” condition” — that the injection of such a huge monetary stimulus as we have seen, was only possible by turning the engine of Main Street ‘off’, as such a cascade of liquidity ($6 Trillion) could not be allowed to flow willy-nilly into the Main Street economy (in the view of the Central Bankers), as this would cause an inflationary tsunami à la Weimar Republic. Rather, its’ main thrust has served to further inflate the virtual world of ever more complex financial instruments. Inevitably however, coupled with supply-chain bottlenecks, the gush of liquidity has caused Main Street inflation to rise, and hence imposed further hurt on the ground.  The aim of managing the manufacturing attenuation on the one hand (small business ‘lockdown’), whilst liquidity flowed freely to the financialised sphere (to postpone a market crash) has failed.  Inflation is accelerating, interest rates will rise, and this will bring adverse social and political consequences in its wake: i.e. anger, rather than compliance. At the heart of the predicament for those who run the system is that, should they to lose control of liquidity creation – either as a result of interest rate rises, or from increasing political dissent – the ensuing recession would take-down the entire socio-economic fabric below. And any severe recession would likely wreak havoc on the western political leadership, too. They have opted therefore instead, to sacrifice the democratic framework, in order to roll out a monetary regime rooted in a cult of corporate-owned science & technology, media propaganda, and disaster narratives – as the means to progress towards a technocratic ‘aristocratic’ takeover over the heads of the people. (Yes, in certain ‘circles’, it is thought of as a newly rising aristocracy of money). Professor Vighi again: “The consequences of emergency capitalism are emphatically biopolitical. They concern the administration of a human surplus that is growing superfluous for a largely automated, highly financialised, and implosive reproductive model. This is why Virus, Vaccine and Covid Pass are the Holy Trinity of social engineering. ‘Virus passports’ are meant to train the multitudes in the use of electronic wallets controlling access to public services and personal livelihood. The dispossessed and redundant masses, together with the non-compliant, are the first in line to be disciplined by digitalised poverty management systems directly overseen by monopoly capital. The plan is to tokenise human behaviour and place it on blockchain ledgers run by algorithms. And the spreading of global fear is the perfect ideological stick to herd us toward this outcome”. Professor Vighi’s point is clear. The vaccine campaign and the Green Pass system are no stand-alone health disciplines.  They are not about ‘the Science’, nor are they intended to make sense.  They are primordially connected to the élites’ economic dilemma, and serve as a political tool too, by which a new monetary dispensation can displace democracy.  President Macron spoke the unstated out loud, when he said: “As for the non-vaccinated, I really want to piss them off. And we will continue to do this, to the end. This is the strategy”. Italian PM Draghi similarly has escalated attacks on the unvaxxed, making vaccines mandatory for all the over 50s, and imposing significant restrictions on anyone over 12. Again, though ‘following the science’ is the mantra, these measures make no sense: the Omicron variant predominantly infects the double vaxxed, not the unvaxxed.  Two days ago, a leading Nobel Prize winning Virologist, Dr Montagnier and a colleague, confirmed this “obsolete” aspect of vaccine mandates. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, they write:  ” … mandating a vaccine to stop the spread of a disease requires evidence that the vaccines will prevent infection or transmission (rather than efficacy against severe outcomes like hospitalization or death). As the World Health Organization puts it, “if mandatory vaccination is considered necessary to interrupt transmission chains and prevent harm to others, there should be sufficient evidence that the vaccine is efficacious in preventing serious infection and/or transmission.” For Omicron, there is as yet no such evidence.  The little data we have suggest the opposite. One preprint study found that after 30 days the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines no longer had any statistically significant positive effect against Omicron infection, and after 90 days, their effect went negative—i.e., vaccinated people were more susceptible to Omicron infection. Confirming this negative efficacy finding, data from Denmark and the Canadian province of Ontario indicate that vaccinated people have higher rates of Omicron infection than unvaccinated people”. This is rarely, if ever, admitted. Both Macron and Draghi are desperate: They need to ‘liquify’ their economies – and soon. Indeed, Dr Malone, the father of the mRNA vaccines, wrote of those who point out such inconsistencies and illogicalities – just two months before his Twitter account was suspended – in a rather prophetic Twitter post: “I am going to speak bluntly,” he wrote. “Physicians who speak out are being actively hunted via medical boards and the press. They are trying to delegitimize us and pick us off, one by one.” He finished by warning that this is “not a conspiracy theory” but “a fact.” He urged us all to “wake up.” As the Telegraph has noted, British Scientists on a committee that encouraged the use of fear to control people’s behaviour during the Covid pandemic have admitted its work was “unethical” and “totalitarian”. The scientists warned in March 2021 that ministers in the UK needed to increase “the perceived level of personal threat” from Covid-19, because “a substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened”. Gavin Morgan, a psychologist on the team, said: “Clearly, using fear as a means of control is not ethical. Using fear smacks of totalitarianism”. Another SPI-B member said: “You could call [it] psychology ‘mind control’. That’s what we do … clearly we try and go about it in a positive way, but it has been used nefariously in the past”. Another colleague cautioned that “people use the pandemic to grab power, and drive through things that wouldn’t happen otherwise … We have to be very careful about the authoritarianism that is creeping in”. The problem goes deeper than a little ‘nudge psychology’ however. In 2019, the BBC established the Trusted News Initiative (TNI), a partnership that now includes many main-stream media. TNI was ostensibly designed to counter foreign narrative influence during election times, but it has expanded to synchronise all elements of messaging, and to eliminate deviation across the broad realm of media and tech platforms. These synchronised ‘talking-points’ are more powerful (and insidious) than any ideology, as it functions not as a belief system or ethos, but rather, as objective ‘science’. You cannot argue with, or oppose, Science (with a capital ‘S’). Science has no political opponents. Those who challenge it are labelled “conspiracy theorists,” “anti-vaxxers,” “Covid deniers,” “extremists,” etc. And, thus the pathologized New Normal narrative also pathologizes its political opponents: stripping them of all political legitimacy. The aim obviously, is their forced compliance. Macron made that plain. Separating the population on the basis of vaccination status is an epoch-making event. If resistance is quashed, a compulsory digital ID can be introduced to record the ‘correctness’ of our behaviour and regulate access to society. Covid was the ideal Trojan horse for this breakthrough. A global system of digital identification based on blockchain technology has long been planned by the ID2020 Alliance, backed by such giants as Accenture, Microsoft, the Rockefeller Foundation, MasterCard, IBM, Facebook, and Bill Gates’ ubiquitous GAVI. From here, the transition to monetary control is likely to be relatively smooth. CBDCs would allow central bankers not only to track every transaction, but especially to turn off access to liquidity, for any reason deemed legitimate. The Achilles’ heel to all this however, is the evidence of genuine popular resistance to the suppression by the tech platforms of all dissenting opinion (however well-qualified its source); by the refusal to allow people informed choice about their medical treatment; and by arbitrary restrictions that may involve loss of livelihood being imposed by decree, and underpinned by emergency laws, restricting popular protest. But more significantly and paradoxically, the Omricon variant may cut the legs from under those political leaders intent on doubling-down.  It is quite possible that this mild (barely lethal), yet highly contagious variant, may prove to be Nature’s ‘vaccine’, giving us a wide measure of immunity – ostensibly better than that offered by the ‘vaccines’ from Science!  Already, we observe European states are confused and at odds with each other – taking diametrically opposed policy lines: some ending restrictions, and some decreeing more and more. Other countries, like Israel, are reducing restrictions and shifting to a herd immunity policy. Of course, the corollary to the collapse of the technocratic initiative to liquify the over-leveraged economy might well be recession.  That unfortunately, is the logic of the situation. Tyler Durden Fri, 01/14/2022 - 19:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 14th, 2022

4 Republican lawmakers ask how much student debt costs taxpayers and slam Biden"s "complete incompetence" in disclosing that

Top GOP lawmakers Virginia Foxx and Richard Burr cited Biden's "lack of transparency and cooperation" on what federal student-loans cost taxpayers. Rep. Virginia Foxx.Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Image Four Republican lawmakers called out the Education Department's lack of transparency on federal student-loans. They requested the department provide documents showing the cost to taxpayers. The department said it's working to "clarify methodology used" to determine the portfolio's size and value. Four Republican lawmakers want the Education Department to tell them how much the federal student-loan portfolio is truly costing taxpayers.On Wednesday, Rep. Virginia Foxx and Sen. Richard Burr — top Republicans on the House and Senate education committees — wrote a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona requesting he be "forthcoming and timely" in producing records pertaining to the cost of the federal student-loan portfolio.The way these loans would cost American taxpayers is in the case that a borrower defaults, not only would the government miss out on those payments — the borrowers would face wage garnishment and be stripped of federal benefits for falling behind.This request comes as the $1.5 trillion federal student-debt load is continuing to grow, and although federal loan payments have been on pause for nearly two years, many borrowers are still in default on their debt and will not be able to afford loan payments when the pause expires on May 1. The lawmakers want to know how the Education Department is assessing those issues — and how it will protect Americans from fronting big bills in the process.'Confounding' and a 'failure' in government oversightAlong with GOP Rep. James Comer and Sen. Mike Braun, the lawmakers told Cardona his department demonstrated a "failure" to comply with oversight requests given it has yet to release reports on the economic value of the direct loan portfolio and the credit risks associated with it. They added that the department claimed to not have seen some of the reports, which they called "confounding.""It is inexcusable to treat the taxpayer investment in this program with such little respect," the lawmakers wrote, adding that the department's actions are "either blatant obfuscation of the facts or complete incompetence on the part of your leadership team."—House Ed & Labor Republicans (@EdLaborGOP) January 12, 2022 An Education Department spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal, it has been working over the last several months "to address members' questions about the federal student loan portfolio and to clarify the methodology used to assess its size and value."One of the documents the lawmakers requested was a report under former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that cast a dire outlook on the student-loan portfolio. As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, a JPMorgan executive found that for over three decades, the government had been making the student-loan system look profitable when in reality more and more borrowers were going into default.Given the high default rate, the JPMorgan study concluded taxpayers would be on the hook for $435 billion — significantly lower than the $68 billion in long-term losses the department estimated in June. The Journal reported the Biden administration did not take into account JPMorgan's data, citing different methodology used to calculate the losses.Pausing student loan payments costs the government in lost revenueAlong with the cost to taxpayers, the nearly two year pause on student-loan payments has also cost the government more than $100 billion since the start of the pandemic, according to department data.This isn't the first time Republican lawmakers have expressed concern with the Education Department's lack of transparency. In September, Foxx and Burr wrote in a letter to Cardona that they were "deeply concerned" about resuming student-loan payments because there were not sufficient details on what the transition back into repayment would look like."The lack of clarity and guidance about the process surrounding returning borrowers to repayment is as troubling as the process is uncertain," they wrote.The lawmakers are giving the Education Department one week to provide a schedule for disclosure of the requested documents.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 13th, 2022

Jeff Bezos turns 58 today. Here"s how he built Amazon into a $1.7 trillion company and became one of the world"s richest people.

Jeff Bezos got his start as a New York hedge-funder before driving across the country to start building Amazon. Jeff Bezos inside Amazon's Spheres in 2018.The Washington Post/Getty Images Jeff Bezos began his career as a hedge-funder in New York before leaving to start Amazon. Amazon struggled to turn a profit at first, but these days, it's worth $1.7 trillion. Its share price has hit new highs during the pandemic. Along the way, Bezos has faced antitrust scrutiny, weathered scandals, traveled to space, and become one of the world's richest people. Jeff Bezos' mom, Jackie, was a teenager when she had him on January 12, 1964. She had recently married Cuban immigrant Miguel Bezos, who adopted Jeff. Jeff didn't learn that Miguel wasn't his real father until he was 10, but says he was more fazed about learning he needed to get glasses than he was about the news.Jeff Bezos with his father, Miguel Bezos.Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Statue Of Liberty-Ellis Island FoundationSource: WiredWhen Bezos was 4, his mother told his biological father, who previously had worked as a circus performer, to stay out of their lives. When Brad Stone interviewed Bezos' biological father for Stone's book "The Everything Store," Bezos' dad had no idea who his son had become.Not Jeff Bezos' father.Reuters/Eric GaillardSource: The Everything StoreBezos showed signs of brilliance from an early age. When he was a toddler, he took apart his crib with a screwdriver because he wanted to sleep in a real bed.Fabian Strauch/picture alliance via Getty ImagesSource: The Everything StoreFrom ages 4 to 16, Bezos spent summers on his grandparents' ranch in Texas, doing things like repairing windmills and castrating bulls.AP Photo/Richard DrewSource: The Everything StoreHis grandfather, Preston Gise, was a huge inspiration for Bezos and helped kindle his passion for intellectual pursuits. At a commencement address in 2010, Bezos said Gise taught him "it's harder to be kind than clever."Jeff Bezos.AP ImagesSource: Business InsiderBezos fell in love with reruns of the original "Star Trek" and became a fan of later versions too. Early on, he considered naming Amazon, a reference to a line from Captain Jean-Luc Picard.Paramount PicturesSource: The Everything StoreIn school, Bezos told teachers "the future of mankind is not on this planet." As a kid, he wanted to be a space entrepreneur — now, he owns a space-exploration company called Blue Origin.Getty Images / Blue OriginSource: WiredAfter spending a miserable summer working at McDonald's as a teen, Bezos, together with his girlfriend, started the Dream Institute, a 10-day summer camp for kids. They charged $600 a kid and managed to sign up six students. The "Lord of the Rings" series made the required reading list.Kim Kulish/Getty imagesSource: WiredBezos eventually went to college at Princeton University and majored in computer science. Upon graduation, he turned down job offers from Intel and Bell Labs to join a startup called Fitel.Princeton University.John Greim / Getty ImagesSource: The Everything StoreAfter he quit Fitel, Bezos considered partnering with Halsey Minor — who would later found CNET — to launch a startup that would deliver news by fax.Karl Baron/FlickrSource: WiredInstead, he got a job at the hedge fund D.E. Shaw. He became a senior vice president after only four years.The rising graph of the Bombay Stock Index is reflected in the glasses of Senior broker and Assistant Vice President of Motilal Oswal Securities Limited, Jitendra Prasad, as he looks into a computer in his firm in Bombay November 15, 2001. India's key share index finished up more than two percent on Thursday to its highest level since September 11, as investors bet on a recovery in global equity sentiment. The 30-share Bombay Sensitive Index closed up a provisional 2.65 percent at 3,195.52 points. YEAREND PICTURES 2001 Reuters/Arko DattaSource: The Everything StoreMeanwhile, Bezos was taking ballroom dancing classes as part of a scheme to increase his "women flow." Just as Wall Streeters have a process for increasing their "deal flow," Bezos thought analytically about meeting women.Lisi Niesner/ReutersSource: The Everything StoreHe married MacKenzie Tuttle, a D.E. Shaw research associate, in 1993. The couple had four kids together.APSource: The Everything StoreIn 1994, Bezos read that the web had grown 2,300% in one year. This number astounded him, and he decided he needed to find some way to take advantage of its rapid growth. He made a list of 20 possible products to sell online and decided books were the best option.Paul FalardeauSource: The Everything StoreBezos decided to leave D.E. Shaw even though he had a great job. His boss at the firm, David E. Shaw, tried to persuade Bezos to stay. But Bezos was already determined to start his own company — he felt he'd rather try and fail at a startup than never try at all.Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is silhouetted during a presentation of his company's new Fire smartphone at a news conference in Seattle, Washington June 18, 2014.REUTERS/Jason RedmondSource: WiredAnd so Amazon was born. MacKenzie and Jeff flew to Texas to borrow a car from his father, and then they drove to Seattle. Bezos was making revenue projections in the passenger seat the whole way, though the couple did stop to watch the sunrise at the Grand Canyon.Sara Jaye/Getty Images Source: The Everything StoreBezos started in a garage with a potbelly stove. He held most of his meetings at the neighborhood Barnes & Noble.Mike Segar/ReutersSource: WiredIn the early days, a bell would ring in the office every time someone made a purchase, and everyone would gather around to see whether anyone knew the customer. It took only a few weeks before it was ringing so often they had to make it stop.AP Photo/Andy RogersSource: InsiderIn the first month of its launch, Amazon sold books to people in all 50 states and in 45 different countries. And it continued to grow: Amazon went public on May 15, 1997.Frank Micelotta/Getty ImagesSource: InsiderWhen the dot-com crash came, analysts called the company "Amazon.bomb." But it weathered the storm and ended up being one of the few startups that wasn't wiped out by the dot-com bust.Mario Tama/Getty ImagesSource: Barron'sAmazon has now gone beyond selling books to offering almost everything you can imagine, including appliances, clothing, and even cloud computing services.An Amazon warehouse.ShutterstockIn the early days, Bezos was a demanding boss and could explode at employees. Rumor has it he hired a leadership coach to help him tone it down.Amazon's Jeff BezosReutersSource: InsiderBezos is known for banning PowerPoint presentations at Amazon. Instead, he requires his staff to turn in papers of a specific length on their proposals to encourage critical thinking over simplistic bullet points.Pens and paper with an Amazon logo are seen at the logistics center in BrieselangThomson ReutersSource: The Everything StoreBezos is also known for creating a frugal company culture that doesn't offer perks like free food or massages.An Amazon office.Business InsiderIn 1998, Bezos became an early investor in Google. He invested $250,000, which was worth about 3.3 million shares when the company went public in 2004. Those would be worth billions today (Bezos hasn't said whether he kept any of his stock after the initial public offering).APSource: All Things DWhat does Bezos do with all his money? In 2012, he donated $2.5 million to defend gay marriage in Washington. More recently, he's pledged $10 billion to fight climate change, donated $200 million to the Smithsonian, and gave $100 million each to the Obama Foundation, chef Jose Andres, and activist Van Jones.Jeff Bezos.REUTERS/Abhishek N. ChinnappaSource: The Washington Post, Insider, InsiderBezos has also donated $42 million and part of his land in Texas to the construction of The Clock Of The Long Now, an underground timepiece designed to work for 10,000 years.The Long Now Foundation / Facebook Source: InsiderIn August 2013, Bezos bought The Washington Post for $250 million.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesSource: The Washington PostAnd he also spend money on his space company, Blue Origin. Blue Origin made history in 2015 when it became one of the first commercial companies to successfully launch a reusable rocket.Blue OriginSource: InsiderBezos' interest in flying has gotten him into trouble in the past. In 2003, Bezos almost died in a helicopter crash in Texas while scouting a site for a test-launch facility for Blue Origin.This isn't Bezos' helicopter.NTSBSource: CNNBut in early 2016, he flew his personal jet to Germany to pick up and bring home Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post reporter who had been detained by Iran.Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesSource: InsiderBezos is said to own a 5.35-acre estate on Seattle's Lake Washington that includes 200 yards of shoreline.An Amazon-branded Boeing 767 freighter, nicknamed Amazon One, flies over Lake Washington.Stephen Brashear/GettySource: Curbed SeattleHe bought a seven-bedroom, $24.5 million mansion in Beverly Hills in 2007. There's a greenhouse, tennis court, pool, and guest house on the property, and it neighbors Tom Cruise's estate.Bezos' house in Beverly Hills.Dream Homes MagazineSource: ForbesIn January 2017, Bezos purchased the Textile Museum, a pair of mansions in Washington, DC's Kalorama neighborhood. The property sold for $23 million and is the largest in Washington. Bezos' renovation plans for the house cost $12 million.AgnosticPreachersKid/Wikimedia CommonsSource: The Washington Post, InsiderBezos also owns five apartments at 212 Fifth Avenue in New York City. His most recent purchase in the building was last August, when he paid a reported $23 million for a four-bedroom unit, bringing his total real estate holdings in the building to $119 million.Madison Square Park in New York City.ShutterstockSource: InsiderIn February 2020, Bezos became the new owner of the Warner estate, a sprawling compound in Beverly Hills, California, that he reportedly purchased for $165 million. A few months later, Bezos added to the compound with an adjacent house worth $10 million.Los Angeles County/PictometrySource: InsiderIn October 2021, Bezos reportedly added to his real estate portfolio once again with a new home in Hawaii. The home is located in an isolated area on Maui's south shore and is near lava fields, Pacific Business News reported.A home in Maui, Hawaii, although not the one Bezos purchased.ejs9/Getty ImagesSource: Insider, Pacific Business NewsNow, more than 20 years after going public, Amazon has a market cap of nearly $1.7 trillion.Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesSource: Markets InsiderIn August 2017, Amazon officially acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. The Amazon influence became immediately clear: Customers who are Amazon Prime subscribers can get 10% of sale prices, and you'll see some Amazon branded items offered in stores, including tech products like the popular Amazon Echo line.Kate Taylor/Business InsiderSource: InsiderIn July 2017, Bezos became the world's richest person for the first time, surpassing Microsoft founder Bill Gates. At the time, his net worth was more than $90 billion.Getty ImagesSource: Markets Insider, ForbesDespite his high net worth, Bezos never actually took home a high salary, comparatively speaking: His annual salary while he was CEO came out to $81,840, according to Bloomberg.Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer of Amazon, and John Elkann, chairman of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, walk together during the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 12, 2018 in Sun Valley, Idaho.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesSource: BloombergIn January 2019, Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, announced they were divorcing. "As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends," the couple wrote in the statement. "If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again."Dia Dipasupil / StaffSource: InsiderShortly after the Bezoses announced their divorce, news broke that Bezos was dating TV host and helicopter pilot Lauren Sanchez. At the time, the National Enquirer said it had obtained texts and explicit photos the couple had sent to each other.Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty ImagesSource: InsiderBezos immediately launched an investigation into who had leaked his personal messages. Soon after, he dropped a bombshell of his own: an explosive blog post accusing National Enquirer publisher AMI of trying to blackmail him. "Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I've decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten," Bezos wrote.Jeff Bezos.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesSource: MediumThe Bezoses announced on Twitter they had finalized the term of their divorce in April 2019. MacKenzie retained more than $35 billion in Amazon stock, making her one of the world's richest women.Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos.ReutersSource: InsiderSince then, Bezos and Sanchez have had a whirlwind few years, attending Wimbledon together, yachting with other moguls and celebrities, and vacationing in Saint-Tropez and St. Barths.Reuters/Andrew CouldridgeSource: InsiderDuring the coronavirus outbreak, Amazon saw a surge in demand as more people were forced to shop online. At the same time, the company faced criticism over its treatment of workers and its attention to health and safety at its fulfillment centers nationwide.Former Amazon employee, Christian Smalls, stands with fellow demonstrators during a protest outside of an Amazon warehouses in the Staten Island borough of New York on May 1, 2020.REUTERS/Lucas JacksonSource: InsiderAmazon delivery drivers, who are contractors employed by third-party companies, have also spoken out about the demands of their jobs. Drivers say Amazon's emphasis on metrics has forced them to use their delivery vans as a bathroom or sacrifice safety to deliver packages on time.An Amazon driver carrying packages.Patrick T. FALLON / AFPSource: Insider, InsiderThe company is also facing antitrust concerns, particularly over the company's treatment of third-party sellers on its platform. Bezos and other major tech CEOs were called to testify before Congress in July 2020.Jeff Bezos threw his weight behind the US military.AP/Pablo Martinez MonsivaisSource: InsiderAfter the killing of George Floyd and the protests that followed in 2020, Bezos was outspoken about his support for the Black Lives Matter movement, publicly shaming customers who sent racist emails about his and Amazon's support. In an Instagram post, he posted a screenshot of a customer email and described the man as "the kind of customer I'm happy to lose."A person holds a "Black Lives Matter" sign at a protest in Seattle, Washington on June 1, 2020.Lindsey Wasson/ReutersSource: InsiderOn February 2, 2021, Bezos announced he would step down as Amazon's CEO and transition to executive chairman after 27 years at the helm. Bezos said that he planned to spend more time on philanthropy — including the Bezos Earth Fund and his Day 1 Fund — as well as his two other major endeavors: The Washington Post and his rocket company, Blue Origin.Jeff Bezos attends the premiere of "Star Trek Beyond" in 2016.Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesSource: InsiderBezos stepped down in July and embarked on his next adventure: On July 20, he took an 11-minute voyage to the edge of space aboard a Blue Origin spacecraft. He was accompanied by his brother, Mark; a Dutch teenager named Oliver Daemen; and Wally Funk, an 82-year-old aviator who trained to go to space in the '60s but was ultimately denied the opportunity because she was a woman.Isaiah J. Downing/ReutersSource: Insider Allana Akhtar contributed to an earlier version of this story.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 13th, 2022

5 surprising things I learned about leadership in Anna Wintour"s MasterClass, from owning controversial decisions to building a dependable team

In her MasterClass, Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour shares her best leadership and creativity tips. Here are my favorite ones. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.In her MasterClass, Anna Wintour shares her best leadership and creativity tips, from owning difficult choices to building a dependable team.MasterClass As the manager of a team, I rely on leadership books and classes to keep improving. I found Anna Wintour's MasterClass on creativity and leadership especially insightful. It taught me how to lead with a strong point of view and select the best team members. MasterClass, an online subscription service featuring video lessons from celebrities and experts, is one of the best investments I've made in my personal development. I love it so much that I've gifted it to others twice this year. Masterclass All-Access Pass$180.00 FROM MASTERCLASSMy career has taken a bit of a whirlwind over the last year: I started a new job in 2020 and quickly found myself in a leadership position, helping guide a team of 30 journalists and editors. As a result, I've become a voracious consumer of books on leadership and management, and one of the main reasons I took the plunge on a $180 annual MasterClass subscription was the chance to learn from leadership luminaries about their secrets to success.MasterClass: Anna Wintour Teaches Creativity and LeadershipLegendary Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour shares her tips for leading with vision and boldness.$180.00 FROM MASTERCLASSFew of those leaders have been as intriguing to me as Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue. As a fellow woman working in media, I've always been fascinated by Anna's career path. There's so much lore about her leadership style – several popular books and movies are rumored to be based on it. But I've always felt she was a bit misunderstood, that people don't and wouldn't say the same things about men in the field as they do about her. Edward Berthelot/Contributor/Getty ImagesRegardless of what you feel about her leadership style, you have to argue that she gets results: She's been the reigning editor at Vogue for over 30 years, is responsible for the success of the Met Gala (one of the most well-known annual charity events in the world), and has helped launch the careers of hundreds of designers, photographers, models, and writers. In her MasterClass, Anna gives specifics about her leadership philosophy, and while a lot of the content is geared toward fashion and media hopefuls, so many components can be applied to any leader of any business. I loved the class so much that I watched it twice — and took notes along the way. Here are five things I learned about leadership from Anna Wintour's MasterClass:1. Lead with a strong point of view.MasterClassThis was the overarching piece of advice I took from Anna Wintour's MasterClass: Leaders should lead, not follow. It seems almost comically simple, but hearing it made me realize how often I rely on consensus or direction rather than my unique point of view. While Wintour recognizes diplomacy as a tool, she emphasizes it's critical as a leader to communicate your point of view with clarity and decisiveness, rather than bowing to pressure to follow other people's way of thinking. To her, the mark of a true leader is to push boundaries and provide a more exciting vision than others can initially see. Now, when faced with a tough leadership decision, I try to remind myself that my team is looking for me to make the best decision, not the most popular or safe choice. 2. Always stay open and interested in the world around you.MasterClassOne surprising tidbit I picked up from Anna's MasterClass was how much time she spends engaging with the world around her to inform her point of view. "Spend as much time as you can on creative exposure," Wintour emphasizes. For her, that means using her free time for taking walks, reading books, seeing plays, and "watching the world." I was especially tickled by Anna's anecdote about how so many prospective employees worry about what to wear when interviewing with her and neglect to think about what she really cares about: Their passions, genuine interests, and the last great book they read. (In fact, she says she doesn't pay very much attention to what they're wearing at all.)For me, this advice is an excellent reminder that the way we spend our free time has a significant impact on our decisions, our teams' well-being, and even the world at large. It can be a potent tool for pulling myself out of mindless social media scrolling and redirecting my energy to activities I know will fill me up, like reading, exercise, and writing.3. Build a diverse team of highly dependable people.MasterClassWhen speaking to her hiring philosophy, Wintour stresses finding self-reliant and diverse people in their way of thinking and observing the world. Once she finds those people, she likes to give them assignments they're passionate about and entrust them with a large amount of autonomy. While Wintour recognizes that her communication style isn't for everyone, she feels it's important to make feedback quick, fast, and direct so that there is no ambiguity in the direction. She stresses getting back to people quickly to keep the work moving.Though Anna's communication philosophy isn't my preferred way of engaging with my direct reports, her advice about hiring people to fill your blind spots is always on my mind as I look for new people to join our team. Recognizing how powerful diversity can be in creating a robust and effective team is critical: People with different backgrounds and experiences can only make our work better and more far-reaching. 4. Don't be afraid to make the "wrong" choice from time to time.MasterClassAs someone who uses data to make the majority of my decisions, I was surprised to learn that Wintour believes data is a bit, well, overrated. "Data can't tell you everything," she says. "You can't develop an audience through data; it comes through the creative talent." Her opinion: If you speak with passion and authority, people will listen — and an audience will find you. In an algorithm-obsessed world, it's hard to imagine making any choice that isn't backed by an endless amount of data at our fingertips, but I think Wintour has a point. There's something to be said for being "ahead" of the data, anticipating people's needs before they know them, or writing about a topic before it's trending. It goes back to her first tip about leading and not following.Wintour emphasizes making the "wrong choice" every so often when it means a chance to move the conversation forward. However, that doesn't mean being reckless: "Controversial decisions have to have meaning, and you can't make them all the time," she warns. She also stresses that bold initiatives take time, and it's important to be patient when determining the success or failure of any outside-the-box decision. 5. Know your brand, but don't be afraid of evolving it.MasterClassWintour stresses the importance of understanding your brand and keeping it front and center in all your decisions. However, she also recognizes that it has to evolve to stay relevant constantly. "Our brand has to be at the core of everything we do: What is it, what does it stand for, and how do you move it forward?" she says. People want change, so we always have to look for new ways of connecting with our audience. "It is naive to think you only have one customer, who wants to be spoken to in one way or through one medium," she says. Wintour and her team are frequently looking for ways to talk to their audience in a way that feels more personal. As for figuring out your brand, she cautions that it's more important to define what your brand is than what it is not. "It's very easy to say, 'This is not us, this is not who we are.' It is much harder to say, 'This is what we believe, this is what we stand for,'" she says. I think about this often when giving feedback: Am I providing a clear vision of our brand, or am I defining our brand by what it is not? The bottom lineMasterClassAs a middle manager in media with plenty of room to grow, I found Anna Wintour's MasterClass invaluable. Her advice drew a clear line between who is a leader and who is simply a manager, and I use wisdom gleaned from her MasterClass when I show up for work every day and try to be the best leader possible for my team. I highly recommend Anna's MasterClass for any leader or potential leader, but this course is particularly relevant for women and those working in media or fashion. While an annual MasterClass subscription ($180) gets you access to hundreds of celebrity-led video courses, the insights I've gleaned from Anna Wintour's MasterClass alone have more than made up for what I've paid for my subscription in value.MasterClass: Anna Wintour Teaches Creativity and Leadership$180.00 FROM MASTERCLASSMasterclass All-Access Pass$180.00 FROM MASTERCLASSRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 6th, 2022

Eynat Guez, Ceo Of Papaya Global On Her Vision For Global Workforce Management

Eynat Guez founded Papaya Global in 2016, when the concept of remote working was relatively in its infancy, seeing the need of companies to automate their global payroll. The COVID-19 pandemic brought growth on a whole new scale, with companies rushing to shift to a remote work footing but with little idea as to how […] Eynat Guez founded Papaya Global in 2016, when the concept of remote working was relatively in its infancy, seeing the need of companies to automate their global payroll. The COVID-19 pandemic brought growth on a whole new scale, with companies rushing to shift to a remote work footing but with little idea as to how to efficiently manage such a payroll. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more We spoke to Guez to learn about how she and all the Papaya Global team stepped up to the plate and took advantage of the opportunity in the pandemic crisis. How did COVID-19 affect your company? What were the biggest struggles you experienced during the pandemic? My company, Papaya Global, had entered a state of rapid growth just as the pandemic arrived. We had to hire, onboard, and train many new employees in different countries and different time zones, all remotely. The challenge there isn’t so much on a process level. We worked out all the details quickly. What’s hard is building a company culture when people have virtually no interaction with most of their new colleagues. After three years when everyone knew just about everyone at the company, we suddenly found ourselves in a situation where a third to half of the workforce never met at all. What made it possible to bring people together was the fact that we had put a set of values into practice at an early stage. People knew what we stood for when they joined, and we were adamant about applying our values equally for everyone, regardless of location, seniority, or gender. That transparency gave people something to grasp onto as a link to the company and the rest of the workforce. One of the most important things we did in this period was to take the whole company and their families to the Maldives for a 5 day off-site. People had been stuck inside for various lockdowns at that point and really needed to get away. So, the off site lets people decompress in a beautiful, low stress environment while spending some casual time together. We saw a massive improvement in collaboration when we got back. For me, the lesson is clear: there are lots of good things about remote work, but the magic happens face-to-face. The pandemic saw a huge shift to remote work. How did Papaya Global play a part in that shift? The trend towards remote work and distributed workplaces was already gaining momentum before the pandemic arrived. We started Papaya Global in 2016 to help companies hire and pay people in different countries in full compliance. Companies with different degrees of remote work were among our first clients. Of course, the practice jumped tremendously with the pandemic because companies that never considered remote work as an option suddenly found themselves with no other option if they wanted to continue operations. Those companies – the ones pushed into remote work rather than having chosen it – weren’t really prepared for all the complexity. The Papaya Platform was just what these companies needed to make sure their entire workforce was paid compliantly no matter where they were. One of the biggest lessons of the pandemic was the importance of technology, especially automation. We saw it first-hand at Papaya Global. Companies were calling us in a panic because they didn’t know how they would meet their payroll, especially in the beginning when the disruption was most intense. An automated payroll will function under any disruption, but manual processes are dependent on people being available to do their jobs. We keep hearing about the “great resignation.” As a people management platform, how is Papaya Global experiencing that trend, and how do you help companies deal with it? I’ve heard all about ‘The Great Resignation’ but I haven’t seen it at all at Papaya. Our retention rate is 94%, and for a startup in the volatile hi-tech industry, that’s a very high number. We’re still hiring at a high rate, and the people who are coming in are extremely motivated. We haven’t seen it with our clients either, and since we charge by the payroll, a large resignation would impact us directly. I think there are many causes for this dissatisfaction. People might love their work but feel disconnected from their companies. Remote work can potentially cause this kind of disconnection, if they have no inner sense of the company. Companies need to be aware of their culture now more than ever. It’s what I call the company DNA. Companies need to honor and cultivate their DNA, which is generally set by the founders and top leadership as an extension of who they are as people and as managers. There are no “best practices” for developing an organization’s DNA but it’s crucial for long-term health. When you have people who work at the company but aren’t part of the company, that’s one of the worst things that can happen, especially for a startup. As a workforce management platform, we place tremendous importance on the employee experience. It can be as simple as making a global org chart accessible to people to build a sense of unity. A lot of it comes from the benefits package a company offers. We advocate a set of global benefits – benefits packages that are the same for people no matter where they work. It gives a sense of fairness and equality. We also advise clients not to give allowances for benefits, but to give the benefit itself. Don’t give an employee $100 for health care and make them go out and sign up themselves. Sign them up to the company plan. It’s a small thing but it tells people you are looking after them. Companies also need to think about things like global equity – giving equity to people abroad just as they would people hired locally. It’s a massive headache with all the legal issues involved, but it has all the advantages that local equity has on the people who get it. What do you think the workforce of the future will look like? Will companies continue to outsource to consultants and gig workers, or do you envisage a backlash beginning at some point? There is a trend in government to protect worker rights, and I think it’s pointing the world of work in the right direction. There will always be a role for independents and consultants, but it will be limited. Companies that want to grow can’t rely on temporary contractors. They need a permanent workforce they can rely on. A company that has zero or nearly zero employees and lots of contractors needs to be very careful about misclassification. It’s also a company culture that might not attract the top talent. There are so many options for companies to hire people with or without a legal entity today, that there is no reason not to give their employees full rights and benefits. Any company can hire through an Employer of Record. It’s not a long-term solution in most cases, but it allows companies to hire with an eye towards the future. What about the employees’ side of things? Do you think the workers of the late 2020s will prefer to be freelancers and small agencies, with more freedom but fewer benefits, or will people want to go back to classic salaried employment models? There is really no reason why employees can’t have the freedom they want and still get all the benefits and labor protection they deserve. We are seeing it today with remote work. People are demanding freedom and flexibility within the context of their jobs and the technology tools are all in place to give it to them. More tools haven’t been invented yet. Employers have to be willing to show flexibility as well, but the rewards can be enormous. You get a loyal workforce that knows you are willing to meet them halfway on what they want. The more of a sense of partnership that can be built between the company and employees, the more both sides have to gain from it. The office-free business: in your opinion, is that an efficient way to keep down costs, or a recipe for chaos? There are companies that have done it and have been very successful, but they put a great deal of thought into how to make it work and planned tremendously. They have hundreds of employees across the world, and each one is paid in compliance with all tax codes and labor laws. I think it’s possible to do it well, but it takes a lot of work. In our experience with Papaya, whenever we have a cluster of employees in one area, they ask us to open an office. The combination of having an office for part of the week and working remotely for part of the week – the hybrid model – seems to be the best of all worlds. People get both flexibility and structure. And they spend some time together. I personally feel that it's important that people have personal interactions. We used to be able to take that for granted, that we would meet with people directly. It’s really about connecting people and creating a cohesive group. It’s not the same over screens. Just on a practical level, it’s challenging because people are in many different time zones. As a woman and a mother working in tech, do you see the compensation and benefits models becoming more supportive towards parents with careers? What changes are taking place right now which give you hope — or perhaps, make you feel despair? In 2021, I became the first woman to lead a unicorn in Israel – one of the biggest ecosystems for hi-tech innovation in the world. On one hand, that shows progress in that I broke through what was previously a glass ceiling. On the other, I saw first-hand how far the industry has to go. I negotiated the funding round that gave Papaya Global the billion-dollar valuation while I was pregnant with my third child, and we closed the deal two weeks after I gave birth. The negotiations took place over Zoom because of the pandemic. I don’t think our partners even knew I was pregnant. About a year earlier, I was pregnant with my second child and we were talking to investors about a B round of funding. Those negotiations took place in person, and I could just feel the air leave the room when I walked in, visibly pregnant. So, speaking from my own experience, I can tell you that women can do anything, and no one can tell me or any other woman that we shouldn’t be leaders or CEOs or anything else. It’s our choice, and it’s time that we took what belongs to us. But there are numerous biases and obstacles women face every day that still hold many women back. I know it, I felt it, and I’m proud to say that I was able to succeed anyway. One of the most pervasive myths that many women face is the ideal of Wonder Woman, the woman who has it all – a career, a family, a life where every minute is accounted for AND an abundance of leisure time to devote to interests, hobbies, and causes. I found that it’s not so important to be a wonder woman. I am who I am, and that’s been enough for everyone. Updated on Jan 3, 2022, 12:08 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJan 3rd, 2022

Tesla Will Recouple With Reality When The Bulls Least Expect It

Stanphyl Capital’s commentary for the month ended December 31, 2021, discussing their short position in Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Tesla’s Absurd Diluted Market Cap We remain short the biggest bubble in modern stock market history, Tesla Inc. (TSLA), which has a completely absurd diluted market cap of almost […] Stanphyl Capital’s commentary for the month ended December 31, 2021, discussing their short position in Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get Our Activist Investing Case Study! Get the entire 10-part series on our in-depth study on activist investing in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or print it out to read anywhere! Sign up below! (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Tesla's Absurd Diluted Market Cap We remain short the biggest bubble in modern stock market history, Tesla Inc. (TSLA), which has a completely absurd diluted market cap of almost $1.2 trillion despite a steadily sliding share of the world’s EV market and a share of the overall auto market that’s only around 1.1% (yes, one POINT one percent). At some point when momentum-riding Tesla bulls (or, for that matter, bears) least expect it, TSLA will recouple with “reality,” and that’s why I continue to maintain a short position. So here’s “reality”… Tesla has no “moat” of any kind; i.e., nothing meaningfully proprietary in terms of electric car technology, while existing automakers—unlike Tesla­—have a decades-long “experience moat” of knowing how to mass-produce, distribute and service high-quality cars consistently and profitably. Excluding sunsetting emission credit sales Tesla is barely profitable. Growth in sequential unit demand for Tesla’s cars is at a crawl relative to expectations. Elon Musk is a pathological liar who under the terms of his SEC settlement cannot deny having committed securities fraud. Many Tesla bulls sincerely believe that ten years from now the company will be twice the size of Volkswagen or Toyota, thereby selling around 21 million cars a year (up from the current one million). To illustrate how utterly clueless this is, going from a million cars a year today to 21 million in ten years means Tesla would have to add a brand new 500,000 car/year factory with sold out production EVERY single quarter for ten years! To do this even in twenty years would require adding a new factory with sold out production every six months, at which point Tesla would then be approximately twice the size of Toyota (current market cap: $257 billion) or Volkswagen (current market cap: $130 billion), making a Tesla twenty times its current size worth perhaps $500 billion in twenty years. If you discount that $500 billion back by 15% a year (which is likely a much smaller return than any Tesla bull expects) for twenty years, you get a net present value for Tesla stock of approximately $30 a share, down over 97% from 2021’s closing price. That’s why when idiot Tesla bulls look at the company’s current large trailing percentage growth from its recent tiny base and extrapolate that into the future they’re being, well… idiot Tesla bulls! Q3 Deliveries In October Tesla reported Q3 deliveries of 241,000 cars, a 40,000-unit gain over Q2 that’s a rounding error for an auto company trading at even one-tenth of Tesla’s valuation. (For Q4 the gain is expected to be another 45-50,000.) If in any quarter GM or VW or Toyota sold 2.04 million vehicles instead of 2 million or 1.96 million, no one would pay the slightest bit of attention to the difference. Seeing as Tesla is now being valued at over fourteen GMs, it’s time (as noted above) to start looking at its relatively tiny numerical sequential sales growth, rather than Wall Street’s sell-side hype of “percentage off a small base.” In other words, if you want to be valued at a giant multiple of “the big boys,” you should be treated as a big boy. Perhaps the biggest reason Tesla has recently been able to post marginally increasing sequential quarterly deliveries is because competitors’ production (and thus inventories) are at the lowest level in decades due to the massive chip shortage, thereby eliminating a number of “Tesla alternatives.” Meanwhile, Tesla is enjoying record production because Musk (a notorious “corner-cutter”) is apparently willing to substitute untested, non-auto-grade chips for the more durable chips he can’t get; please see my Twitter post about this. A favorite hype story from Tesla bulls has been “the China market” and its “record” number of 73,659 Q3 deliveries there. Let’s put this in perspective: this was only around 4000 more cars than in Q1 and only around 11,000 more than in Q2—again, these are “growth” rounding errors. (Thanks to drastically slashed production from chip-starved competitors, look for around 30,000 more in Q4.) And that “record” Q3 China quarter gave it just 1.5% of the overall passenger vehicle market and just 11% of the BEV market, and it had so much excess capacity that it exported tens of thousands of cars to Europe. Remember when Musk claimed that Tesla’s Chinese domestic demand alone would need multiple factories to satisfy? Ah, the good old days! Meanwhile, Tesla remains a lousy business. In its Q3 earnings report the company claimed it made around $1.3 billion in free cash flow (defined as operating cash flow less capex). However, this number appears to be entirely due to working capital adjustments and not from the business itself. Let me explain: Tesla claimed operating cash flow of around $3.2 billion for the quarter, but this came with the benefit of accounts payable increasing by $702 million, receivables declining by $167 million and accrued liabilities up by $665 million while (detrimentally) prepaid expenses increased by $144 million. Adjusting for that massive net working capital benefit, operating cash flow was only a bit over $1.8 billion and with capex at $1.8 billion it means Tesla’s Q3 free cash flow was essentially zero, and if you deduct stock comp (a non-cash item paid through share dilution) it was around negative $500 million. Also in its Q3 report Tesla claimed it made around $1.45 billion in net income after excluding $279 million of pure-profit emission credit sales (excluded because they’ll almost entirely disappear some time next year when other automakers will have enough EVs of their own), and after adding back a $50 million Bitcoin write-down. However, that earnings number also includes what I estimate to be Tesla’s usual $300 million or so in unsustainably low warranty provisioning, and after adjusting for that and assuming no other fraudulent accounting, Tesla only earned around $1.06/share, which annualizes to $4.24. An auto industry PE multiple of 10x would thus make TSLA worth around $42/share (admittedly, more than the “$0” I once expected), while a “growth multiple” of 20x would value it at $84, which is a 92% discount to December’s closing price of around $1057. And before you tell me that a 100% premium to the industry’s PE ratio isn’t enough, keep in mind that—as noted earlier—Tesla’s sequential unit growth is an auto industry rounding error. In fact, one could argue that Tesla’s multiple should carry a discount, considering the massive legal and financial liabilities continually generated by its pathologically lying CEO. Full Self Driving Meanwhile Tesla continues to sell (and book cash flow, if not accounting revenue from) its fraudulent & dangerous so-called “Full Self Driving.” In a sane regulatory environment Tesla having done this for five years now… …would be considered “consumer fraud,” and indeed the regulatory tide may finally be turning, as in August two U.S. Senators demanded an FTC investigation and in October the NHTSA appointed a harsh critic of this deadly product to advise on its regulation. (For all known Tesla deaths see here.) Are major write-downs and refunds on the way, killing the company’s slight “claimed profitability”? Stay tuned! Meanwhile, Guidehouse Insights continues to rate Tesla dead last among autonomous competitors: Another favorite Tesla hype story has been built around so-called “proprietary battery technology.” In fact though, Tesla has nothing proprietary there—it doesn’t make them, it buys them from Panasonic, CATL and LG, and it’s the biggest liar in the industry regarding the real-world range of its cars. And if new-format 4680 cells enter the market some time in 2022 (as is now expected), even if Tesla makes some of its own, other manufacturers will gladly sell them to anyone. Tesla Build Quality Remains Awful Meanwhile, Tesla build quality remains awful (it ranks second-to-last in the latest Consumer Reports reliability survey and in the bottom 10% of the latest J.D. Power survey) and its worst-rated Model Y faces current (or imminent) competition from the much better built electric Audi Q4 e-tron, BMW iX3, Mercedes EQB, Volvo XC40 Recharge, Volkswagen ID.4, Ford Mustang Mach E, Nissan Ariya, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6. And Tesla’s Model 3 now has terrific direct “sedan competition” from Volvo’s beautiful Polestar 2, the great new BMW i4 and the premium version of Volkswagen’s ID.3 (in Europe), plus multiple local competitors in China. And in the high-end electric car segment worldwide the Audi e-tron (substantially improved for 2022!) and Porsche Taycan outsell the Models S & X (and the newly updated Tesla models with their dated exteriors and idiotic shifters & steering wheels won’t change this), while the spectacular new Mercedes EQS, Audi e-Tron GT and Lucid Air make the Tesla Model S look like a fast Yugo, while the extremely well reviewed new BMW iX does the same to the Model X. And oh, the joke of a “pickup truck” Tesla previewed in 2019 (and still hasn’t shown in production-ready form) won’t be much of “growth engine” either, as it will enter a dogfight of a market; in fact, Ford’s terrific 2022 all-electric F-150 Lightning now has nearly 200,000 retail reservations (plus many more fleet reservations), Rivian’s pick-up has gotten fantastic early reviews, and in January GM will introduce its electric Silverado. Regarding safety, as noted earlier in this letter, Tesla continues to deceptively sell its hugely dangerous so-called “Autopilot” system, which Consumer Reports has completely eviscerated; God only knows how many more people this monstrosity unleashed on public roads will kill despite the NTSB condemning it. Elsewhere in safety, in 2020 the Chinese government forced the recall of tens of thousands of Teslas for a dangerous suspension defect the company spent years trying to cover up, and now Tesla has been hit by a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. for the same defect. Tesla also knowingly sold cars that it knew were a fire hazard and did the same with solar systems, and after initially refusing to do so voluntarily, it was forced to recall a dangerously defective touchscreen. In other words, when it comes to the safety of customers and innocent bystanders, Tesla is truly one of the most vile companies on Earth. Meanwhile the massive number of lawsuits of all types against the company continues to escalate. So Here Is Tesla's Competition In Cars (Note: These Links Are Regularly Updated)... Porsche Taycan Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Porsche Macan Electric SUV Officially Coming in 2023 Volkswagen ID.3 Headlines VW's Electrified Future Volkswagen ID.4 Electric SUV Volkswagen ID.Buzz electric van teased ahead of 2022 launch Volkswagen ID 6 to arrive with 435-mile range in 2023 Volkswagen Aero B: new electric Passat equivalent spied VW’s Cupra brand counts on performance for Born EV Cupra, VW brand to get entry-level battery-powered cars Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Sportback Audi E-tron GT Audi Q4 e-tron Audi Q6 e-tron confirmed for 2022 launch Audi previews long-range A6 e-tron EV Audi TT set to morph into all-electric crossover Hyundai Ioniq 5 Hyundai Ioniq 6 spotted ahead of 2022 launch Hyundai Kona Electric Genesis reveals their first EV on the E-GMP platform, the electric GV60 crossover Genesis Electrified GV70 Revealed With 483 Horsepower And AWD Kia Niro Electric: 239-mile range & $39,000 before subsidies Kia EV6: Charging towards the future Kia EV4 on course to grow electric SUV range Jaguar’s All-Electric i-Pace Jaguar to become all-electric brand; Land Rover to Get 6 electric models Daimler will invest more than $47B in EVs and be all-electric ready by 2030 Mercedes EQS: the first electric vehicle in the luxury class Mercedes EQS SUV takes shape Mercedes-Benz unveils EQE electric sedan with impressive 400-mile range Mercedes EQE SUV to rival BMW iX and Tesla Model X Mercedes EQC electric SUV available now in Europe & China Mercedes-Benz Launches the EQV, its First Fully-Electric Passenger Van Mercedes-Benz EQB Makes Its European Debut, US Sales Confirmed Mercedes-Benz unveils EQA electric SUV with 265 miles of range and ~$46,000 price Ford Mustang Mach-E Available Now Ford F-150 Lightning electric pick-up available 2022 Ford set to launch ‘mini Mustang Mach-E’ electric SUV in 2023 Ford to offer EV versions of Explorer, Aviator, ‘rugged SUVs' Volvo Polestar 2 Polestar 3 SUV Production Design Revealed. The US-built electric SUV will debut in 2022. Volvo XC40 Recharge Volvo C40 electric sedan to challenge Tesla Model 3, VW ID3 Polestar 3 will be an electric SUV that shares its all-new platform with next Volvo XC90 Chevy updates, expands Bolt EV family as price drops Cadillac All-Electric Lyriq Available Spring 2022 GMC ALL-ELECTRIC SUPERTRUCK HUMMER EV GM to build electric Silverado in Detroit with estimated range of more than 400 miles GMC to launch electric Hummer SUV in 2023 GM will offer 30 all-electric models globally by 2025 GM Launches BrightDrop to Electrify the Delivery of Goods and Services Nissan vows to hop back on EV podium with Ariya Nissan LEAF e+ with 226-mile range is available now Nissan Unveils $18 Billion Electric-Vehicle Strategy BMW leads off EV offensive with iX3 BMW expands EV offerings with iX tech flagship and i4 sedan BMW i7 Confirmed for 2022 Launch 2022 BMW iX1 electric SUV spied Rivian R1T Is the Most Remarkable Pickup We’ve Ever Driven Renault upgrades Zoe electric car as competition intensifies Renault Dacia Spring Electric SUV Renault to boost low-volume Alpine brand with 3 EVs Renault's electric Megane will debut new digital cockpit Stellantis promises 'heart-of-the-market SUV' from new, 8-vehicle EV platform Alfa Romeo is latest Stellantis brand to get all-electric future Peugeot e-208 PEUGEOT E-2008: THE ELECTRIC AND VERSATILE SUV Peugeot 308 will get full-electric version Subaru shows off its first electric vehicle, the Solterra SUV Citroen compact EV challenges VW ID3 on price Maserati to launch electric sports car Mini Cooper SE Electric Toyota’s Electric bZ4X Goes On Sale in Spring 2022 Toyota will have lineup of 30 full EVs by 2030; Lexus will be all-electric brand Opel sees electric Corsa as key EV entry 2021 Vauxhall Mokka revealed as EV with sharp looks, massive changes Skoda Enyaq iV electric SUV offers range of power, battery sizes Electric Skoda Enyaq coupe to muscle-in on Tesla Model 3 Skoda plans small EV, cheaper variants to take on French, Korean rivals Nio to launch in five more European countries after Norway BYD will launch electric SUV in Europe The Lucid Air Achieves an Estimated EPA Range of 517 Miles on a Single Charge Bentley converting to electric-only brand All-electric Rolls-Royce Spectre to launch in 2023 – firm to be EV-only by 2030 Aston Martin will build electric vehicles in UK from 2025 Meet the Canoo, a Subscription-Only EV Pod Coming in 2021 Two new electric cars from Mahindra in India; Global Tesla rival e-car soon Former Saab factory gets new life building solar-powered Sono Sion electric cars Foxconn aims for 10% of electric car platform market by 2025 And In China... How VW Group plans to dominate China's EV market VW Goes Head-to-Head With Tesla in China With New ID.4 Crozz Electric SUV Volkswagen’s ID.3 EV to be produced by JVs with SAIC, FAW in 2021 2022 VW ID.6 Revealed With Room For Seven And Two Electric Motors China-built Audi e-tron rolls off production line in Changchun Audi Q2L e-tron debuts at Auto Shanghai Audi will build Q4 e-tron in China Audi Q5 e-tron Confirmed For China Audi in cooperation company for local electric car production with FAW FAW Hongqi starts selling electric SUV with 400km range for $32,000 FAW (Hongqi) to roll out 15 electric models by 2025 BYD goes after market left open by Tesla with four cheaper models for budget-conscious buyers BYD said to launch premium NEV brand ‘Dolphin’ in 2022 Top of Form Bottom of Form Daimler & BYD launch DENZA electric vehicle for the Chinese market Geely announces premium EV brand Zeekr Geely, Mercedes-Benz launch $780 million JV to make electric smart-branded cars Mercedes styled Denza X 7-seat electric SUV to hit market Mercedes ‘makes mark’ with China-built EQC BMW, Great Wall to build new China plant for electric cars BAIC Goes Electric, & Establishes Itself as a Force in China’s New Energy Vehicle Future BAIC BJEV, Magna ready to pour RMB2 bln in all-electric PV manufacturing JV Toyota partners with BYD to build affordable $30,000 electric car Ford MUSTANG MACH-E ROLLS OFF ASSEMBLY LINE IN CHINA FOR LOCAL CUSTOMERS Lexus to launch EV in China taking on VW and Tesla GAC Aion about to start volume production of 1,000-km range AION LX GAC Toyota to ramp up annual capacity by 400,000 NEVs GAC kicks off delivery of HYCAN 007 all-electric SUV Nio – Ready For Tomorrow Nio steps up plans for mass-market brand to compete with VW, Toyota Xpeng Motors sells multiple EV models SAIC-GM to build Ultium EV platform in Wuhan Chevrolet Menlo Electric Vehicle Launched in China Buick Introduces New VELITE 6 EV with Extended Range Buick Velite 7 EV And Velite 6 PHEV Launch In China Dongfeng launches the all-electric Voyah  PSA to accelerate rollout of electrified vehicles in China SAIC, Alibaba-backed EV brand IM begins presale of first model L7 Hyundai Motor Transforming Chongqing Factory into Electric Vehicle Plant Polestar said to plan China showroom expansion to compete with Tesla Jaguar Land Rover's Chinese arm invests £800m in EV production Renault reveals series urban e-SUV K-ZE for China Renault & Brilliance detail electric van lineup for China Renault forms China electric vehicle venture with JMCG Honda to start sales of new EV-branded vehicles in China in 2022 Geely launches new electric car brand 'Geometry' – will launch 10 EVs by 2025 Geely, Foxconn form partnership to build cars for other automakers Fiat Chrysler, Foxconn Team Up for Electric Vehicles Baidu to create an intelligent EV company with automaker Geely Leapmotor starts presale of C11 electric SUV on Jan. 1 2021 Changan forms subsidiary Avatar Technology to develop smart EVs with Huawei, CATL WM Motors/Weltmeister Chery Seres Enovate China's cute Ora R1 electric hatch offers a huge range for less than US$9,000 Singulato JAC Motors releases new product planning, including many NEVs Seat to make purely electric cars with JAC VW in China Iconiq Motors Hozon Aiways Skyworth Auto Youxia CHJ Automotive begins to accept orders of Leading Ideal ONE Infiniti to launch Chinese-built EV in 2022 Human Horizons Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi to launch electric car business with $10 billion investment Lifan Technology to roll out three EV models with swappable batteries in 2021 Here’s Tesla’s Competition In Autonomous Driving... Waymo ranked top & Tesla last in Guidehouse leaderboard on automated driving systems Tesla has a self-driving strategy other companies abandoned years ago Fiat Chrysler, Waymo expand self-driving partnership for passenger, delivery vehicles Waymo and Lyft partner to scale self-driving robotaxi service in Phoenix Volvo, Waymo partner to build self-driving vehicles Jaguar and Waymo announce an electric, fully autonomous car Renault, Nissan partner with Waymo for self-driving vehicles Geely’s Zeekr, Waymo partner on autonomous ride-hailing vehicle for the U.S. market Cruise and GM Team Up with Microsoft to Commercialize Self-Driving Vehicles Cadillac Super Cruise Sets the Standard for Hands-Free Highway Driving Honda Joins with Cruise and General Motors to Build New Autonomous Vehicle Honda launching Level 3 autonomous cars Volkswagen moves ahead with Autonomous Driving R&D for Mobility as a Service Volkswagen teams up with Microsoft to accelerate the development of automated driving VW taps Baidu's Apollo platform to develop self-driving cars in China Ford “Blue Cruise” ARGO AI AND FORD TO LAUNCH SELF-DRIVING VEHICLES ON LYFT NETWORK Hyundai and Kia Invest in Aurora Toyota, Denso form robotaxi partnership with Aurora Aptiv and Hyundai Motor Group complete formation of autonomous driving joint venture Amazon’s Zoox unveils electric robotaxi that can travel up to 75 mph Nvidia and Mercedes Team Up to Make Next-Gen Vehicles Daimler's heavy trucks start self-driving some of the way SoftBank, Toyota's self-driving car venture adds Mazda, Suzuki, Subaru Corp, Isuzu Daihatsu  Continental & NVIDIA Partner to Enable Production of Artificial Intelligence Self-Driving Cars Mobileye and Geely to Offer Most Robust Driver Assistance Features Mobileye Starts Testing Self-Driving Vehicles in Germany Mobileye and NIO Partner to Bring Level 4 Autonomous Vehicles to Consumers Lucid Chooses Mobileye as Partner for Autonomous Vehicle Technology Alibaba-backed AutoX unveils first driverless RoboTaxi production line in China Nissan gives Japan version of Infiniti Q50 hands-free highway driving Hyundai to start autonomous ride-sharing service in Calif. Receives Approval for Paid Autonomous Robotaxi Services in Beijing Baidu kicks off its robotaxi business, after getting the OK to charge fees in Beijing Toyota to join Baidu's open-source self-driving platform Baidu, WM Motor announce strategic partnership for L3, L4 autonomous driving solutions Volvo will provide cars for Didi's self-driving test fleet BMW and Tencent to develop self-driving car technology together BMW, NavInfo bolster partnership in HD map service for autonomous cars in China GM Invests $300 M in Momenta to deliver self-driving technologies in China FAW Hongqi readies electric SUV offering Level 4 autonomous driving Tencent, Changan Auto Announce Autonomous-Vehicle Joint Venture Huawei teams up with BAIC BJEV, Changan, GAC to co-launch self-driving car brands GAC Aion, DiDi Autonomous Driving to co-develop driverless NEV model BYD partners with Huawei for autonomous driving Lyft, Magna in Deal to Develop Hardware, Software for Self-Driving Cars Xpeng releases autonomous features for highway driving Nuro Becomes First Driverless Car Delivery Service in California Deutsche Post to Deploy Test Fleet Of Fully Autonomous Delivery Trucks ZF autonomous EV venture names first customer Magna’s new MAX4 self-driving platform offers autonomy up to Level 4 Groupe PSA’s safe and intuitive autonomous car tested by the general public Mitsubishi Electric to Exhibit Autonomous-driving Technologies in New xAUTO Test Vehicle Apple acquires self-driving startup Motional to begin robotaxi testing with Hyundai Ioniq 5 in Los Angeles Delivers on Self-Driving Electric Trucks NAVYA Unveils First Fully Autonomous Taxi Fujitsu and HERE to partner on advanced mobility services and autonomous driving Great Wall’s autonomous driving arm receives investment from Meituan, Iveco to start L4 autonomous heavy-duty truck test in Europe, China T3 Mobility, IDRIVERPLUS to pilot Robotaxi operation in Suzhou with autonomous+manual model Here’s Where Tesla’s Competition Will Get Its Battery Cells... Panasonic (making deals with multiple automakers) LG Samsung SK Innovation Toshiba CATL BYD Volkswagen to Build Six Electric-Vehicle Battery Factories in Europe How GM's Ultium Battery Will Help It Commit to an Electric Future GM to develop lithium-metal batteries with SolidEnergy Systems Ford, SK Innovation announce EV battery joint venture BMW & Ford Invest in Solid Power to Secure All Solid-State Batteries for Future Electric Vehicles Stellantis, LG Energy Solution to form battery JV for N. American market Stellantis and Factorial Energy to Jointly Develop Solid-State Batteries for Electric Vehicles Toyota to build plant in N.C. capable of making up to 1.2M batteries a year Toyota Outlines Solid-State Battery Tech, $13.6 Billion Investment Nissan Announces Proprietary Solid-State Batteries Daimler joins Stellantis as partner in European battery cell venture ACC Renault signs EV battery deals with Envision, Verkor for French plants Nissan to build $1.4bn EV battery plant in UK with Chinese partner UK companies AMTE Power and Britishvolt plan $4.9 billion investment in battery plants Freyr Verkor Farasis Microvast Akasol Cenat Wanxiang Eve Energy Svolt Romeo Power ProLogium Hyundai Motor developing solid-state EV batteries Daimler Morrow Here’s Tesla’s Competition In Charging Networks... Infrastructure Bill: $7.5 billion Towards Nationwide Network of 500,000 EV Chargers Electrify America is spending $2 billion building a high-speed U.S. charging network 51 U.S. electric companies commit to build nationwide EV fast charging network by end of 2023 GM to distribute up to 10 chargers to each of its dealerships starting early 2022 General Motors and EVgo Boost Build Plan for High Power Fast Chargers Across the US Circle K Owner Plans Electric-Car Charging Push in U.S., Canada 191 U.S. Porsche dealers are installing 350kw chargers ChargePoint to equip Daimler dealers with electric car chargers GM and Bechtel plan to build thousands of electric car charging stations across the US Ford introduces 12,000 station charging network, teams with Amazon on home installation Shell Plans To Deploy Around 500,000 Charging Points Globally By 2025 Petro-Canada Introduces Coast-to-Coast Canadian Charging Network Volta is rolling out a free charging network Ionity Europe E.ON and Virta launch one of the largest intelligent EV charging networks in Europe Volkswagen plans 36,000 charging points for electric cars throughout Europe Smatric has over 400 charging points in Austria Allego has hundreds of chargers in Europe PodPoint UK charging stations BP Chargemaster/Polar is building stations across the UK Instavolt is rolling out a UK charging network Fastned building 150kw-350kw chargers in Europe Aral To Install Over 100 Ultra-Fast Chargers In Germany Deutsche Telekom launches installation of charging network for e-cars Total to build 1,000 high-powered charging points at 300 European service-stations NIO teams up with China’s State Grid to build battery charging, swapping stations Volkswagen-based CAMS launches supercharging stations in China Volkswagen, FAW Group, JAC Motors, Star Charge formally announce new EV charging JV BMW to Build 360,000 Charging Points in China to Juice Electric Car Sales BP, Didi Jump on Electric-Vehicle Charging Bandwagon Evie rolls out ultrafast charging network in Australia Evie Networks To Install 42 Ultra-Fast Charging Sites In Australia And Here’s Tesla’s Competition In Storage Batteries... Panasonic Samsung LG BYD AES + Siemens (Fluence) GE Bosch Hitachi ABB Toshiba Saft Johnson Contols EnerSys SOLARWATT Schneider Electric Sonnen Kyocera Generac Kokam NantEnergy Eaton Nissan Tesvolt Kreisel Leclanche Lockheed Martin EOS Energy Storage ESS UET electrIQ Power Belectric Stem ENGIE Redflow Renault Primus Power Simpliphi Power redT Energy Storage Murata Bluestorage Adara Blue Planet Tabuchi Electric Aggreko Orison Moixa Powin Energy Nidec Powervault Kore Power Shanghai Electric Schmid 24M Ecoult Innolith LithiumWerks Natron Energy Energy Vault Ambri Voltstorage Cadenza Innovation Morrow Gridtential Villara Elestor Thanks and Happy New Year, Mark Spiegel Updated on Jan 3, 2022, 11:25 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJan 3rd, 2022

Cover Story: Building a Powerful Business Engine

Josh Harley, founder and CEO of Fathom Holdings, is on a mission to modernize the real estate transaction for agents and clients alike. “My vision for Fathom is to provide agents with the greatest value of any other brokerage in the country by utilizing the power of our in-house technology platform to streamline our operations, […] The post Cover Story: Building a Powerful Business Engine appeared first on RISMedia. Josh Harley, founder and CEO of Fathom Holdings, is on a mission to modernize the real estate transaction for agents and clients alike. “My vision for Fathom is to provide agents with the greatest value of any other brokerage in the country by utilizing the power of our in-house technology platform to streamline our operations, reduce our costs and pass those savings on to our agents. From there, it’s all about providing our agents with the tools, training and support they need to be their best,” says Harley, who is leading the charge to build a vertically integrated, end-to-end real estate operation. Placing Agents at the Center of It All For Harley, who saw the need to shift from a brokerage-centric model to an agent-centric model when he first began his real estate journey, it’s always been about giving more money and more power back to the agent. In fact, he truly believes that it’s the role of the brokerage to lift its agents up and place them at the center of every real estate transaction. “We can do so much for our agents while only charging a small flat transaction fee per sale,” says Harley, “but we want to do even more.” To that end, according to Harley, it’s no longer enough to simply give agents what every other brokerage can give them, but at a lower cost. “I want to give them more than anyone else can give them, and still do it for less,” he explains, as the company closes in on the 10,000 agent mark. And in true Fathom fashion, the team is doing everything they can to make their agents’ experience better. Constantly looking for new ways to use the in-house platform they’ve built from the ground up to further streamline their business while providing agents more tools that help them stand out over their competition, the team at Fathom is bringing greater value to its people and the communities they serve by integrating a slew of other services that help support the brokerage, including mortgage, insurance and title, into the mix. Disrupting the typical real estate model, recent acquisitions that brought Encompass Lending, Verus Title and Dagley Insurance under the Fathom umbrella are being touted as a move that will add new, incremental revenue streams and enhance revenue per transaction. However, simply making more money is not the main reason Fathom decided to integrate these ancillary services. “Generating more revenue allows us to invest more in helping our agents be their best. It allows us to enhance on our tech offering, create new training and coaching programs, and more,” explains Harley. Integrating these companies into the Fathom family and its proprietary technology platform, intelliAgent, the company expects to enjoy a higher attach rate for mortgage, insurance and title. Better control over the quality of their clients’ experience is another benefit that will come with the integration. “Clients need these services, so why not get those services from us?” asks Harley. “This can benefit the client, but it will also greatly benefit our agents,” he adds. “Our goal is to provide a frictionless transaction from end to end, with the agent at the hub of the extended service team,” notes Harley. “By incorporating our various companies into our technology platform, with time, we’ll be able to provide a better experience for our agents and our clients.” While the bar may be set high, Harley has paved the way to achieving his vision by surrounding himself with talented individuals who have the power to execute. The firm’s agents play an integral role as well, as Harley and his leadership team actively seek their feedback in regard to how they can make the company better. Embracing the Servant Leadership Mentality A brokerage company with heart and focus, Fathom has experienced significant growth and continued success over the years. As Chief Brokerage Operations Officer, Samantha Giuggio—who has been with the company for 11 years—says, “Agents come for the business model…but stay for the culture.” It’s this resounding refrain, along with the servant leadership philosophy that guides each and every decision, that has helped shape the company along the way. “There are many specific moments in our history that are not only important, but also key indicators in our continuing growth,” says Giuggio, who points to Fathom becoming a publicly traded company in July 2020 as the single most important milestone in the company’s storied history. “The true servant heart we lead with in all aspects of the business, as well as the genuine care for the agents and our industry, is the driving force behind each and every accomplishment,” adds Giuggio—all of which have led Fathom to where it stands today: a one-stop shop for real estate. On a mission to provide agents with the greatest value, Fathom is redefining what it means to be a full-service brokerage. “We are providing a total package of tools and solutions for agents to use under the Fathom umbrella that will help them within all aspects of the business,” she says. As Fathom continues to attract even more agents and transactions, Giuggio points to the company’s unique business model as a key piece of the puzzle. “We are redefining what it means to be a full-service brokerage, and we now have the extended core services as part of our company. We can keep that servant heartedness intact within the various aspects of the company and truly elevate the experience for agents and their clients,” explains Giuggio. Determined to make a difference, Fathom’s leadership team is always asking how they can best serve their agents and their clients. “Everything we do at Fathom is done with the understanding that the agent is the customer, which is extremely powerful for the agent,” says Giuggio. “We have a good understanding of what agents go through in this industry, and we continue to grow by attracting agents who are looking for a complete solution with a brokerage company that not only cares about people, but also does everything they can to make their experience better,” she adds. Future Focused: Value Always Wins The future is looking brighter than ever at Fathom, as the team remains committed to ensuring that everything that’s done at the company is not only focused on the agent, but also serving the agent at the highest possible level. “Moving forward, we have to be more than just a brokerage company,” says Giuggio. “We have to offer agents other tools in the toolbelt that will keep them successful and on the cutting-edge of technology.” Drilling down further, continued growth and integration will be key differentiators as the future unfolds. “Being able to successfully implement and integrate mortgage, insurance, title and technology into the model so that it’s easy and seamless for the agent is critical,” adds Giuggio. “The more integration we can provide that makes it easier, the more they’ll buy into it and utilize it.” Harley goes on to explain that value will always win as the competition heats up. “Brokerages need to assist their agents when it comes to providing even greater value while helping them master their craft,” he says. “The value, or lack thereof, that agents bring to their clients will make or break the real estate industry as we know it. When agents become lazy and no longer provide excellent service or value, that’s when the consumer will seek cheaper alternatives—and that’s when big tech or discount commission brokerages win,” says Harley. “We need to stop the infighting and strive to help one another become better. When we do that, we all win. And that’s what Fathom is striving to do.” For more information, please visit Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to   The post Cover Story: Building a Powerful Business Engine appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaJan 3rd, 2022

Retain and Develop Your Agents With Value-Added Training and Coaching

I coach and consult a lot of management teams across the country and the No. 1 missing piece of success for these highly productive brokerages is the value that their managers bring to the agent experience. Agents at all production levels need, want and, frankly, expect help, direction, guidance, accountability, training and coaching from their […] The post Retain and Develop Your Agents With Value-Added Training and Coaching appeared first on RISMedia. I coach and consult a lot of management teams across the country and the No. 1 missing piece of success for these highly productive brokerages is the value that their managers bring to the agent experience. Agents at all production levels need, want and, frankly, expect help, direction, guidance, accountability, training and coaching from their brokerage.  We offer initial new-agent training, but what do you offer your agents in terms of ongoing business development and support? Do you offer coaching, or do they have to go to an outside company to get that? Many need an outside voice to help them. I urge you to provide invaluable coaching and training in-house from your management and leadership teams because the greatest value your managers bring to the agent is their ability to help them grow and succeed. It is not just to answer contract questions, but rather to have a significant impact on their agent’s income. And that is unique to your company and your managers, and even more importantly, the agents can’t take that to another company. It’s not transferable because they only get that special coaching and business development from their partnership with your brand and your company. Coach your management team to add value to develop your agents and make a significant impact on your agent’s production and income and you will increase retention and be able to recruit successfully, as well as have a thriving and winning team of top performing sales associates. Here are three proven and value-added strategies that will help your managers create more opportunities to help your agents list and sell more in 2022. This will result in more listings, sales and income for you all: Hold in-office training sessions to teach your agents how to generate listings. Most of your agents don’t really know how to generate listing leads. Teach them.  Remind them to call their sphere, teach them how to hold open houses to generate more leads, help them with better scripts to call expired listings and show them how to connect with their sphere and client databases. Bringing them into the office or scheduling call days or events creates momentum, and everyone will actually do what they put on their schedules. You will have more people making calls, securing appointments, and getting more listings and sales. You will love the results and so will your agents. Help agents create a winning marketing presentation. Your agents need to know how to present your company’s exclusive and unique value proposition and differentiate their value to win every listing appointment. Help by teaching them and showing them the best way to present, speak and how to ask the right questions in the right order on their next listing appointment, so they win every time. Increase their sales skills to convert more appointments. Hold weekly coaching sessions where you can ask them what objections they are facing in getting listings. What are the issues they are facing when they talk to people about selling? Right here is the point where you, their awesome sales manager or broker, can close the learning skills gap and give them an effective and proven script. Teach them what to say and how to say it to help them get the appointment or secure the listing!  Giving them talking points and a better strategy will help them compete at a higher level, which will radically differentiate them from other agents in your market and they will win! Add value by helping build your agents’ business so they attribute your guidance, mentoring and coaching as part of the value they get from being with your company.  Holding group coaching sessions and meeting with agents individually will help them increase their sales conversion and closing rates, and will also create the team building and group accountability that all your agents need. They will share in the energy and success of the group, and success is contagious! If you need help with how to coach your agents or would like to learn more about my strategies for dramatically increasing your sales team’s results, or about The Sherri Johnson Academy, schedule a free strategy call. For a free copy of Sherri’s  Exclusive “GoldMine Pipeline Strategy” eBook to help coach your agents to double or triple their production and income, Click here. Sherri Johnson is CEO and founder of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting. With 25 years of experience in real estate as an agent, broker, and executive, Sherri now offers her proven methods through coaching, consulting and keynote speaking services nationwide. She is a national speaker for the Secrets of Top Selling Agents tour and is the Official Real Estate Coach for McKissock Learning and Real Estate Express. Sherri has also been named a RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker in 2020 and 2021 as an Industry Influencer and Thought Leader. Schedule a free 30-minute coaching strategy session, or visit for more information. The post Retain and Develop Your Agents With Value-Added Training and Coaching appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaJan 1st, 2022

4 Stocks to Consider Amid the Strengthening Pet Economy

The trend of humanization and e-commerce growth are driving the pet industry. Tractor Supply (TSCO), Archer Daniels (ADM), General Mills (GIS) and Spectrum Brands (SPB) are poised to cash in on the ongoing pet boom. The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on the social life of people, confining them to their homes. While this led to several hardships, including bringing a feeling of loneliness, some people managed to stay optimistic, owing to pet adoptions. Be it four-legged and feathered friends or exotic companions; pets have brought a sense of comfort to many amid lockdowns and long stay-at-home mandates due to the pandemic. This has led to growing pet humanization, which is one of the emerging growth drivers in the pet industry.  According to the ASPCA, one in five households adopted a cat or dog since the onset of the pandemic. This brought the current U.S. dog and cat population to 160 million, almost double what was reported a half-century ago. Apart from dogs, cats and fish, the adoption of small mammals, reptiles and amphibians are gaining traction. Per a report by Morgan Stanley, pet ownership is expected to grow 14% by 2030.Among these, millennials, including university students, house-sharers, and single-person households, now form the largest section of pet parents. To impress the millennials, brands have been quick to respond to the post-coronavirus pet adoption trend by offering attractive solutions, such as new pet food deliveries and raw meat subscriptions, new apps and labs, trainers and behaviorists, groomers, and nutritionists.It is no surprise that most of the purchases are now taking place online, as young pet owners are more accustomed to online shopping. As a result, online shopping for pet-related products grew 20% from the pre-pandemic times.Pet spending has reached an all-time high, as pet owners want the best for their pets and are willing to spend lavishly. The pet food industry has seen surging demand and a shift to natural products with quality ingredients and better packaging. With increased focus on pet wellness and nutrition, start-ups are now bringing in new types of food, one of which is freeze-dried dog food, which has a longer shelf life. Other growing pet food niches are raw dog food and keto pet food. The pet food industry is currently valued at $110 billion in global sales on an annual basis. It is expected to reach $140 billion by 2026.There has been a remarkable demand for veterinary care, leading to a national vet shortage. It has become next to impossible to get an appointment at a vet clinic. Even after extending hours, hiring more staff, and refusing new patients, vets complain of burnout and fatigue. Also, pet digital medical services are picking pace, although not many pet parents have started using these services, including veterinary telemedicine.Despite a gradual return to the pre-pandemic life, people are not considering re-homing pets as they continue to cherish the role of pets in their lives. Notably, the majority of pet owners are incorporating pets into their lifestyles.Given all these factors, we believe that the pandemic pet boom is likely to stay long after life returns to normal.Key GainersHere we explore four companies, which have been bumping up investments to grab a share of the lucrative pet industry. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research Tractor Supply Company TSCO has been making efforts to become a one-stop-shop for pet owners. In doing so, it is now offering online pet prescriptions along with veterinary advice for dogs and cats on its app. The company expanded its self-serve pet wash service from 150 to 200 stores as well as opened 50 to 75 more pet wellness centers. It currently boasts one vet service in 1,600 stores as well as a mobile app that offers on-demand veterinary advice via call, chat or email.The company also expanded its pet product line with the addition of the VICTOR Super Premium Pet Food (“VICTOR”) brand to its quality dog food range. This follows the introduction of VICTOR’s top-performing product, Hi-Pro Plus, last year. VICTOR Super Premium Pet Food is one of the best dry foods for dogs, providing a complete and balanced diet.The Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 22.8%, on average. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Tractor Supply’s 2021 sales and earnings suggests growth of 19% and 23.9%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s reported figures. The consensus mark for 2021 earnings has advanced 1.6% in the past 60 days. The TSCO stock has surged 61% in the past year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Archer Daniels Midland Company ADM has entered the pet space by recently acquiring a majority stake in pet treat and supplement manufacturers — PetDine, Pedigree Ovens, The Pound Bakery and NutraDine (“P4”). The move is part of Archer Daniels’ strategy to transform via investments in high-growth categories such as pet nutrition. With the addition of the P4 companies, Archer Daniels will be able to offer customers a complete range of highly personalized pet treat and supplement products, including baked treats, semi-moist treats, long goods, blends, unique proteins, soft chews, liquids and powders across 15 countries.Archer Daniels also announced the acquisition of the remaining 40% stake in China-based pet nutrition company Invivo Sanpo, which started as a joint venture between ADM and Tianjin Jinkangbao. The buyout will help introduce more premium pet nutrition brands in China. Other notable efforts to meet the growing demand are constructing production facilities, acquiring pet treat and food provider Crosswind and Neovia’s global pet nutrition business, and opening its animal nutrition technology center in Decatur.Archer Daniels has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 23.4%, on average. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ADM’s 2021 sales and earnings suggests growth of 28.6% and 36.5%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s reported figures. The consensus mark for 2021 earnings has increased 1.2% in the past 60 days. This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has rallied 34.9% in the past year.General Mills GIS is progressing well with its plans to dominate the pet food arena. It recently acquired Tyson Foods’ TSN pet treat business, which includes popular treats like Nudges, Top Chews and True Chews, to expand its footing in the space. Its Blue Buffalo brand has also emerged as one of the fastest-growing pet food brands. Being a manufacturer and marketer of wholesome natural pet food items, the Blue Buffalo brand continues to drive solid retail sales growth and market share gains.The Zacks Rank #3 stock has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 3.3%, on average. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for General Mills’ fiscal 2021 sales suggests growth of 3.6% from the year-ago period’s reported figures. The consensus mark for fiscal 2021 earnings has increased by a penny in the past 60 days. GIS has gained 15% in the past year.Spectrum Brands SPB has been gaining from growth in aquatic and companion animal categories, driven by its newly acquired Omega Sea, which is now part of its Global Pet Care portfolio of aquatic brands. The company has strengthened its leadership in the dog chews category via the acquisition of Armitage Pet Care. This will expand the chews business, as Armitage is a well-known grocery brand in the U.K. and offers products such as dog chews, cat chews, treats and toys. Cumulatively, the company’s pet segment remains poised for growth in 2021, backed by its pipeline of robust innovation and growth strategy.Spectrum Brands has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 83.1%, on average. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for SPB’s fiscal 2021 sales and earnings suggests growth of 15.3% and 54.2%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s reported figures. The consensus mark for fiscal 2021 earnings has increased 54.3% in the past 60 days. The Zacks Rank #3 stock has gained 29.8% in the past year. Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through November, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks gained an impressive +962.5% versus the S&P 500’s +329.4%. Now our Director of Research is combing through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank to handpick the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these stocks when they’re released on January 3.Be First to New Top 10 Stocks >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report General Mills, Inc. (GIS): Free Stock Analysis Report Tractor Supply Company (TSCO): Free Stock Analysis Report Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM): Free Stock Analysis Report Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN): Free Stock Analysis Report Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. (SPB): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 27th, 2021

Exact Sciences (EXAS) Rides on Cologuard Sales Amid COVID Fear

Exact Sciences (EXAS) is planning several key milestones to bring six innovative cancer diagnostics from its pipeline to patients in need. Exact Sciences Corporation EXAS continues to make significant progress with its Cologuard test. However, the pandemic-led continued business disruption is a concern. Exact Sciences currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).Exact Sciences’ third-quarter 2021 revenues topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Robust total revenue growth during the reported quarter despite the pandemic-led headwinds is impressive. The company’s legacy Screening business saw significant improvement in revenues during the quarter on Cologuard volume growth. The company registered strong growth in Precision Oncology driven by Oncotype DX Breast in the United States and international market.The company is currently focusing on three areas to enhance Cologuard growth. Building the best and most effective commercial organization in healthcare by investing in the leadership team, training, and sales force effectiveness is the first strategy. Second, it intends to improve the customer experience by making it simpler to order Cologuard electronically and continue rescreening patients every three years. Third, it targets screening more people starting at age 45 to catch cancer earlier. The company noted that these Cologuard growth initiatives are progressing well and will provide benefits in the future. The company’s electronic ordering rate continues to grow, rising from 40% to 48% in 2021.Further, Exact Sciences is planning several key milestones to bring six innovative cancer diagnostics from its pipeline to patients in need. This is a culmination of the Exact Sciences team and its partners’ joint work, including the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins and now, City of Hope. Starting with multi-cancer in 2022, the company expects to share case-control data, demonstrating the power of combining methylation, mutation and protein marker classes.During the third-quarter earnings update, the company noted that clinical data published to reliably detect early-stage liver cancer demonstrated that at 87% sensitivity, ONCOGUARD liver demonstrated 82% early-stage sensitivity, nearly 20 points higher than the current guideline-recommended testing option.Exact Sciences Corporation Price Exact Sciences Corporation price | Exact Sciences Corporation QuoteOn the flip side, over the past year, Exact Sciences has underperformed its industry. The stock has declined 42% compared with the industry's 25.5% fall.Exact Sciences exited the third quarter of 2021 on a mixed note. The widening of quarterly operating loss compared with the year-ago period is concerning. The company’s net loss was wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Revenues from the COVID-19 tests conducted during the quarter declined year over year. Moreover, the company lowered its Screening revenue expectations for 2021 due to the rapid rise in Delta variant cases. Contraction of gross margin due to lower COVID-19 testing volumes is discouraging too.The pandemic has once again led to a dismal bottom-line performance in the third quarter of 2021. According to Exact Sciences, there are two main pandemic-led dynamics impacting the screening business. These are reduced physician office access for the company’s field teams and fewer in-person wellness visits. The company has not seen much improvement in these two factors as previously expected.Exact Sciences particularly noted that the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases from the highly contagious Delta variant is partly responsible for this drag. The company, on the third-quarter earnings call, stated that only 50% of primary care physicians are allowing sales representatives into their office according to its recent survey. In offices with physician access, the company is seeing faster growth in Cologuard orders. Again, in-person wellness visits are limited whereas cancer screening conversations and Cologuard orders typically occur during the routine wellness visit. This is typically impacting Exact Sciences’ overall performance. Margins were down mainly due to lower COVID-19 testing volumes.Meanwhile, escalating expenses are straining the company’s operating margin. Sole reliance on Cologuard and competitive headwinds are a major downside.Key PicksA few better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are Apollo Endosurgery, Inc. APEN, McKesson Corporation MCK and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. TMO, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Apollo Endosurgery has a long-term earnings growth rate of 7%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in the trailing four quarters, delivering a surprise of 25.6%, on average.Apollo Endosurgery has outperformed its industry over the past year. APEN has gained 131.4% compared with the 4.8% industry growth.McKesson has a long-term earnings growth rate of 9%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in the trailing four quarters, delivering a surprise of 19.9%, on average.McKesson has outperformed its industry over the past year. MCK has gained 38.8% compared with the 12.4% industry rise.Thermo Fisher has a long-term earnings growth rate of 14%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in the trailing four quarters, delivering an average surprise of 9%.Thermo Fisher has outperformed its industry over the past year. TMO has rallied 38.7% compared with the industry’s 4.8% rise. Zacks’ Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence This world-changing technology is projected to generate $100s of billions by 2025. From self-driving cars to consumer data analysis, people are relying on machines more than we ever have before. Now is the time to capitalize on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Zacks’ urgent special report reveals 6 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 6 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO): Free Stock Analysis Report McKesson Corporation (MCK): Free Stock Analysis Report Exact Sciences Corporation (EXAS): Free Stock Analysis Report Apollo Endosurgery, Inc. (APEN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 23rd, 2021

Nasdaq (NDAQ) Rallies 60% YTD: More Room for Upside Left?

Accelerating organic growth, focus on ramping up on-trading revenue base, strategic buyouts to capitalize on growing markets opportunities, effective capital deployment and upbeat guidance continue to drive Nasdaq (NDAQ). Shares of Nasdaq Inc. NDAQ have rallied 59.6% year to date, outperforming the industry’s increase of 27.1% and the Finance sector’s increase of 21.3%. The S&P 500 composite index has risen 26.6% in the said time frame. With a market capitalization of $34.1 billion, the average volume of shares traded in the last three months was 0.8 million. Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchAccelerating organic growth, focus on ramping up on-trading revenue base, strategic buyouts to capitalize on growing markets opportunities, effective capital deployment and upbeat guidance continue to drive Nasdaq.This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) leading provider of trading, clearing, marketplace technology, regulatory, securities listing, information and public and private company services has a stellar track record of beating estimates in the last 11 quarters.Return on equity of 18.8% is higher than the industry average of 13.5%, reflecting efficient utilization of shareholders’ fund. Nasdaq targets double-digit total shareholders return.Can NDAQ Stock Retain the Momentum?The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings indicates a year-over-year improvement of 3.9% on 4.7% higher revenues. The expected long-term earnings growth rate is pegged at 12.9%, better than the industry average of 9.5%. The consensus estimate has moved 0.3% north in the past seven days, reflecting analysts’ optimism.In a constant endeavor to accelerate organic growth, Nasdaq remains on track regarding its goals of maximizing opportunities as an innovative analytics and technology partner in the capital markets, developing and deploying marketplace economy technology strategy and consolidating its competitive edge in its core businesses. NDAQ estimates growth from its index and analytics businesses followed by moderate growth in its exchange data products across U.S. and Nordic equities. Nasdaq also partnered with a group of leading banks in the private market space to boost Nasdaq Private Market.Nasdaq noted that the anti fin crime space has a total addressable market of 12.5 billion.  It is expected to witness a CAGR of 17% through 2024. The acquisition of Verafin in February 2021 is thus a strategic fit as the combination will complement Nasdaq's established reg tech leadership to create a global SaaS leader.Nasdaq remains focused on accelerating growth with business repositioning. The divestiture of non-core assets fetched $700 million. Capital spending has been shifted toward higher-growth products at Market Technology and Information Services businesses, which offer the biggest growth opportunities. Technology expansion with SMARTS surveillance in non-financial markets reflects the company’s focus on emerging opportunities in the cryptocurrency markets.Nasdaq boasts a healthy balance sheet and cash position along with modest operating cash flow from its diverse business model. Free cash flow yield of 3.7% is better than the S&P 500 average of 4.3%.Banking on stable cash flow, Nasdaq has increased dividends in the last eight years at a CAGR of 19.5% with a payout ratio of 35%. The dividend yield is 1.1%, better than the industry average of 1%, making the stock an attractive pick for yield-seeking investors. NDAQ had $984 million remaining under its share repurchase authorization as of Sep 30, 2021.Upbeat GuidanceNasdaq estimates in 2025 at Market Technology organic revenues to witness a three-to-five-year CAGR of 13-19%, 5-8% at Investment intelligence, 3-5% at Corporate Platform and 6-9% at Solutions segment.The non-trading revenue base is estimated to grow 5-7% over the long term.Nasdaq targets return on invested capital of more than 10% over the medium to long termStocks to ConsiderSome better-ranked stocks include OTC Markets Group OTCM, Intercontinental Exchange ICE and Cincinnati Financial Corporation CINF.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for OTC Markets Group’s 2022 earnings has moved up 6.9% in the past 30 days. The expected long-term earnings growth rate is pegged at 9%.  It sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Intercontinental’s 2022 earnings has moved up 0.7% in the past seven days and implies a 9.9% year-over-year increase. The expected long-term earnings growth rate is pegged at 10.3%, better than the industry average of 9.5%. It carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings of Cincinnati Financial has moved 5% north in the past 60 days. Cincinnati Financial delivered a four-quarter average earnings surprise of 40.05% and has an impressive VGM Score of A.Shares of OTC Markets, Intercontinental and Cincinnati Financial have gained 65.7%, 20.6% and 31.2%, respectively, year to date.  Zacks’ Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence This world-changing technology is projected to generate $100s of billions by 2025. From self-driving cars to consumer data analysis, people are relying on machines more than we ever have before. Now is the time to capitalize on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Zacks’ urgent special report reveals 6 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 6 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE): Free Stock Analysis Report Nasdaq, Inc. (NDAQ): Free Stock Analysis Report Cincinnati Financial Corporation (CINF): Free Stock Analysis Report OTC Markets Group Inc. (OTCM): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 23rd, 2021

What a Record-Breaking Year For IPOs Tells Us About the Economy

2021 was a crowded year for companies entering public markets with 980 businesses going public—more than double the number that did so in 2020. It was a crowded year for companies entering public markets, with 980 businesses going public in 2021—more than double the number that did so in 2020. The most successful of these debuts shine a light on the strengths of the global economy. Asian businesses remain on the rise, all while combating a rocky regulatory environment. Companies that focus on delivering products to consumers at ever growing speeds continue to attract the dollars of global investors. Businesses that develop technologies to combat the climate crisis—like electric vehicles and renewable energy—and to capture the attention of consumers—like social media—have captivated global markets. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] While the companies that enjoyed successful stock market debuts were characterized by innovation, many lacked diversity in their leaders. Of the top 10 IPOs by size in 2021, all the chief executives were men. Dating app Bumble, which ranked in the top 15, was the most successful IPO by a woman-led company. To better understand the shifting market priorities in 2021, these were the top 10 IPOs of the year—using data provided by financial analysis firm Dealogic—ranked in order of size. Rivian The Wall Street debut of electric car manufacturer Rivian was well timed. While countries raced to sign emission-cutting pledges during the UN climate conference in November, the environmentally-conscious company raised over $13.7 billion, making it one of the biggest U.S. IPOs in history. Rivian, founded in 2009 by RJ Scaringe, began selling vehicles in 2021. The company’s original target was the sports car market, but it pivoted to electric pickup trucks and SUVs when Scaringe realized the widespread appetite for sustainable models. Rivian launched its first product in September, the all-electric R1T pickup truck retailing at $67,500. In an attempt to counter the rise of rival electric vehicle manufacturer, Tesla, Rivian won the backing of car giant Ford, which owns a 12% stake. In 2019, former CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, announced the e-commerce company had ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian, to help Amazon achieve its 2040 net-zero carbon pledge. Amazon is Rivian’s largest shareholder with a 20% stake. With a global demand for sustainable transport, Scaringe foresees the company will increase production to 1 million vehicles per year by 2030. Read more: Amid Scaling Challenges, Rivian Announced Plans to Build New $5B Factory in Georgia Kuaishou Technology Kuaishou, the biggest rival to video sharing platform ByteDance, raised $6.23 billion in its Hong Kong debut in February, the largest IPO in the tech industry since Uber raised more than $8 billion in 2019. Cheng Yixiao, the company’s chief of product, founded Kuaishou in 2011 as a tool to create GIFs on smartphones. The company later pivoted toward short videos, with the tagline: “Capture the World, Share Your Story”. In June, then-CEO Su Hua revealed Kuaishou had amassed more than one billion monthly active users per month. Like other content creator sites such as OnlyFans, the video sharing platform lets users leave tips for content creators, of which Kuaishou takes a cut. According to the FT, tips contributed 62% of Kuaishou’s revenue in the first nine months of 2020. The app also doubles as a livestreaming e-commerce platform, where creators market products directly to consumers. After reaching a $160 billion valuation following its IPO, investors were spooked by tightened state regulation aimed at deterring inappropriate explicit content, and shares plummeted in value. In August, Kuaishou announced it was halting planned expansion to the U.S., and in October, Hua stepped back from the day-to-day running of the company. The company’s share prices are currently 26% lower than their IPO valuation. Coupang Inc. Dubbed “the Amazon of South Korea,” e-commerce platform Coupang raised $4.6 billion in its Wall Street IPO in March. The company ended its first trading day with a market value of more than $84 billion, making it the largest U.S. debut for an international company since Alibaba’s listing in 2014. According to the FT, Coupang allocated shares to less than 100 investor accounts—which include SoftBank, BlackRock, and Fidelity—a small number for an IPO of its size. The Seoul-based company was founded in 2010 by Bom Kim, a Harvard Business School dropout. In just ten years Coupang has grown to South Korea’s largest online retailer. SeongJoon Cho—Bloomberg/Getty ImagesEco-bags carrying fresh food move along a conveyor belt at a Coupang Corp. fulfillment center in Bucheon, South Korea, on Feb. 19, 2021. Like Amazon, short shipping times and efficient supply chains have made Coupang synonymous with convenience. According to the company, 70% of Koreans live within 10 minutes of a Coupang logistics center. More than 99% of orders placed on its site are delivered within one day, it claims. Since the blockbuster IPO, it hasn’t all been clear sailing for the company. In June, Coupang faced consumer boycotts following its handling of a fire that killed one person and destroyed its biggest logistics center. The incident, along with other worker deaths earlier in the year, caused concern that fast delivery times were being prioritized over workplace safety and fair labor practices. The company has also faced regulator probes into alleged algorithmic bias favoring its own products. DiDi Global Inc. It’s been a bumpy ride for China’s cab hailing app, DiDi. Just weeks before its Wall Street debut in June, China’s market regulator launched an antitrust probe into the company, as part of a crackdown on large companies, including Alibaba and Tencent, squeezing out smaller rivals. Despite the threat, DiDi went on to raise $4.4 billion on the New York stock exchange, giving it a $73 billion valuation. Read more: DiDi Chuxing Is One of the 2021 TIME100 Most Influential Companies Just days later, however, regulators launched another investigation, this time into DiDi’s use of customers’ personal data. During the probe, the app was banned from registering new users or listing on Chinese app stores. Its stocks plummeted, and the company was forced to tell investors it was unaware of regulators’ plans ahead of its IPO. Then, DiDi was hit by another blow, this time in the U.S. On Dec. 2, the SEC finalized rules making US-listed foreign companies liable to delisting if their auditors do not comply with requests for information from regulators. The law was introduced in 2020 after Chinese regulators repeatedly denied requests from U.S. authorities to inspect the accounts of Chinese firms listed on Wall Street. Just six days later, DiDi announced it will remove shares from the NYSE, and move its listing to Hong Kong. Since its Wall Street debut, the company’s shares have lost more than 40% of their value. InPost S.A. Polish package locker provider was Europe’s biggest IPO since 2018, with the company raising $3.9 billion in January on Amsterdam’s stock exchange. The listing was so popular that InPost was forced to shorten the offer period due to what it called “significant investor demand”. Launched in 2006 and acquired by the private equity firm, Advent, in 2017, InPost offers an alternative to mainstream courier services. Deliveries are sent to one of the company’s vast network of automated lockers—which InPost dubs “automatic parcel machines”—allowing customers to collect at their leisure, 24 hours a day. In Poland, 49% of the population already lives within a 7-minute walk of one of InPost’s lockers and its app has over 7 million users. InPost also operates key markets in the U.K. and Italy. Amid COVID-19 stay at home orders at the start of the year, the market was primed for InPost’s expansion. Since the IPO, the company acquired French counterpart Mondial Relay in efforts to grow in Europe. Krafton Inc. South Korean online game developer, Krafton, made its public debut in July, marking Korea’s highest IPO of 2021. The company, which derives almost all its sales from hit game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), raised $3.8 billion with the offering. Jung Yeon-je—AFP/Getty ImagesSouth Korean e-sports players compete in a ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ match during the Esports Championships East Asia Seoul 2021 in Seoul on Sept. 10 2021. Entrepreneur Chang Byung-gyu founded Krafton—then Bluehold—in 2007. In 2018, a $500 million investment from Tencent Holdings, owner of Chinese messaging app WeChat, made Krafton a unicorn overnight. Despite its size, Krafton underperformed in its IPO. First, the company was ordered to cut its offering by more than $870 million by the Korean financial watchdog, amid concerns over a potential bubble in the stock market. Then, after its debut, Krafton’s shares dropped. Mostly to blame were concerns about the company’s reliance on PUBG for its revenue, and a proposed crackdown on online gaming in China, one of the company’s biggest markets. Despite setbacks, Krafton has plans to expand its entertainment offerings to include animated movies and interactive content around its PUBG fantasy universe. Earlier this month, the company backed Jordan-based mobile game publisher Tamatem in a $11 million funding round, as part of Krafton’s expansion into the Middle East and North Africa. JD Logistics Inc. The supply chain and delivery spinoff of Chinese e-commerce group,, enjoyed a healthy debut in Hong Kong, raising $3.6 billion. Founded in 2007 as an integrated supply chain provider, JD Logistics helped to solidify its parent company’s leading position in the online retail market. JD Logistics delivers 90% of packages on the same or next day, and now has its sights set on expanding its third-party capacity. While the logistics provider benefitted from the COVID-19 online shopping boom, its stock market debut—which came amid increased scrutiny of the tech sector in China—fell short of expectations. Analysts attributed the shortfall to the company’s increased investment in infrastructure. The company is attempting to slim down its labor costs with the use of AI and robots to automate packing processes. China Three Gorges Renewables Group Amid strong investor appetite for green energy assets, the renewables arm of China’s state-run power company raised $3.5 billion in its Shanghai debut in May. Its parent, China Three Gorges Corp (CTG), is the world’s largest hydropower company, famous for the hydropower dam on the Yangtze river. CTG said proceeds from the offering would be used to help fund offshore wind power projects, as Beijing seeks alternatives to expensive coal power. The renewables unit launched its first floating offshore wind power platform in June, off the coast of Zhejiang province in south-eastern China. CTG Renewables’ plans to grow non-hydro renewables are set to be crucial in the race to reach net zero (China reported record coal production and only committing to “phasing down” coal at the UN climate conference, COP26). GlobalFoundries Inc. Semiconductor manufacturer GlobalFoundries made its Wall Street debut under unusual circumstances: a global shortage of its own product. Just days after the company raised $2.9 billion in its October IPO, chief executive Tom Caulfield told CNBC that GlobalFoundries’ chip capacity was sold out through the end of 2023. Manufacturers of cars, phones, and home appliances have all been hit by the microchip shortage. Apple has had to cut its projected iPhone 13 production targets by as many as 10 million units for 2021. Read more: From Cars to Toasters, America’s Semiconductor Shortage Is Wreaking Havoc on Our Lives. Can We Fix It? GlobalFoundries, which was spun off from Advanced Micro Devices in 2009, reported a 13% increase in revenue in the first half of the year as demand for chips soared. Despite global supply chain issues exacerbated by the pandemic, and what the CEO called an “underinvestment” in semiconductor technology, GlobalFoundries has secured record deals with the likes of BMW. Volvo Chinese-owned, Swedish-headquartered car manufacturer Volvo listed on the Stockholm stock exchange in October after a previous cancelled attempt in 2018. Despite raising $2.7 billion, the IPO was scaled back on initial projections—owner Zhejiang Geely was forced to convert its vote-heavy shares into normal stock after protests from potential Swedish investors. The increased desire among investors for electric vehicles, which only make up 3% of Volvo’s sales, possibly played a role in the modest valuation. Chief executive Hakan Samuelsson told the FT that to boost funding Volvo needed “to be credible in telling investors we’re on our way to being 100% electric”. The company is set to use IPO proceeds to double annual sales to 1.2 million vehicles by 2025. It plans to sell only fully electric vehicles by the end of the decade......»»

Category: topSource: timeDec 23rd, 2021

How creator economy companies are helping influencers grow their businesses

Insider has been tracking the rise of the creator economy. Here's a breakdown of our recent coverage on startups helping influencers get rich. TikTok influencer Yusuf Panseri.Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images. The creator economy has surged in 2021, and a new crop of startups has emerged to cash in. These upstarts are launching tools to help creators connect with fans, film content, and earn money. Here's a breakdown of Insider's recent coverage on up-and-coming creator companies. See more stories on Insider's business page. From gamers to beauty influencers, interest in building a career as a content creator has spiked in the past year, with over 50 million people now considering themselves creators, according to investment firm SignalFire.And a new crop of startups has emerged to service the various needs of these digital stars.These companies are reimagining the ways influencers connect to fans, produce content, and run their businesses. And they've caught the attention of venture-capital investors who have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into content creator startups in the past year, according to data from Crunchbase. "The creator economy will comprise a vast percentage of the workforce of the future, and those creators will need financial services to meet their needs — both as businesses and individuals," Alexa von Tobel, founding partner at Inspired Capital, told Insider. Check out Insider's list of 20 creator economy startups to watch, according to top VCsStartups building new monetization tools for creatorsMany of the new startups in the influencer industry are developing products to help creators make money. One such company, Pearpop, runs a marketplace for TikTok and Instagram creators to pay — or get paid — to collaborate on content with other users, brands, and marketers. The company got its start by building a platform to make TikTok "duets" and sounds monetizable, and it has since expanded to Instagram."The goal here is to be the epicenter for opportunities to scale and monetize as creators," said Spencer Markel, Pearpop's president.Read more about how Pearpop's marketplace helps creators make money through collaborationsOther startups are building creator marketplaces designed to service a particular niche within the creator economy.Agnes Kozera and Dave Kierzkowski cofounded Podcorn to help connect podcast creators with brands, selling the tool to audio giant Entercom (now Audacy) earlier this year for $22.5 million.Another upstart called Kollyde launched a tool to help Asian multinational brands run influencer campaigns in other markets."China has its own internet ecosystem," Amy Vida, Kollyde's cofounder and managing director, told Insider. "They have their own local video platforms, social media, ecommerce, and live video ecommerce ... But when it comes to cross-border marketing, it's an entirely different set of platforms and also a different set of creators."Learn more about how Kollyde is helping Chinese companies hire influencers in the US and other regionsAmy Vida, cofounder and managing director at KollydeMaxwell Poth/Kollyde.Other startups in the creator economy are building tools to help influencers launch their own direct-to-consumer brands.One company called Pietra built a platform to connect creators with product designers, manufacturers, and warehouse companies in order to launch their own consumer goods. Users of the tool can choose to create products in a variety of categories, including coffee, clothing, and fragrances. Pietra charges a handling fee for any samples ordered, a production fee, and fees for product assembly, quality assurance, warehouse work, and additional services such as shipping and fulfillment."Anyone with the drive and motivation to bring their idea to life can get access to the same infrastructure that the top creators historically have gotten," Pietra cofounder Ronak Trivedi told Insider. "You no longer need to fly around the world, find a factory, beg them to work with you, plead for low minimums. We're trying to build a world where a creator, a single creator, can create the next best-selling brand."Read more about how Pietra is helping influencers design and manufacture their own productsRonak Trivedi.Another company in the space, Virtual Dining Concepts, has worked with creators like YouTube star MrBeast (Jimmy Donaldson) to launch influencer-branded restaurants. Virtual Dining Concepts recently helped the MrBeast team design a menu and create a network of hundreds of "ghost kitchens" (some that it owned), which paid an all-inclusive platform fee to cook and sell MrBeast Burger menu items in the US and Canada. The company is also working with TikTok to create menu concepts for foods that go viral on its app. Read more about the startup behind the ghost kitchen chain MrBeast BurgerHelping creators optimize their finances and the backend of their businessesAnother focus among creator economy startups is helping influencers manage their finances.While these companies are "underhyped," says UTA Ventures' Caroline Jacobs, they are key to providing the "picks-and-shovels backend of the creator economy."One startup, Stir, created a payments network that lets creators track their finances, and compensate employees and collaborators directly. Another upstart, Karat, launched a custom charge card designed to meet the spending needs of YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok stars. It looks at a creator's social metrics, like follower count and engagement rates, rather than their FICO score to assess whether they qualify for its card."For typical consumers, using social ranking or grading generally is not a good idea and doesn't work," Karat cofounder Will Kim said. "However, what we're focused on is a segment of businesses that are driven by creative metrics. These are all leading indicators for exactly how your business works."Read more about how fintech startup Karat designed a charge card for influencers Other companies are building tools to support creators financially. Influencer-tech company ChannelMeter launched a cash payment app called "Creator Cash," that gives YouTube stars a cash advance on their advertising earnings."A lot of these creators are credit thin," ChannelMeter CEO Eugene Lee told Insider. "They're underbanked. As these creators grow, they're going to need the support of financial institutions."Learn more about how finance startups are launching new products designed for influencersCompanies developing new ways for creators to distribute contentAnother category of creator startups are finding new ways for influencers to connect with fans and distribute content. Jellysmack, for example, helps YouTube stars like PewDiePie redistribute their videos onto other apps like Facebook and Snapchat where they can earn additional ad revenue."A lot of creators realize that their time is better spent when they focus on creating content instead of trying to optimize for every platform," Jellysmack cofounder Michael Philippe told Insider. "Number one — it's really difficult. And even when they do it themselves, it's obviously very time consuming."Read more about Jellysmack's content redistribution strategy hereCreator+, meanwhile, looks for new ways to distribute long-form content that features internet stars. The upstart, which functions as a production company, raised $12 million to produce movies starring digital talent that it will release to fans on a pay-per-view basis. "Our intention is that the movies that we're going to be working on and bringing to the market, we want to be perceived and stand up to any other movie that is being released today," Creator+ cofounder Benjamin Grubbs told Insider.Learn more about Creator+ and its plans to produce pay-per-view movies with digital starsCreator+ leadership team.Wendy Yalom/Creator+And some startups are building tools for creators that focus on a particular content category.   The company Trading.TV launched a new Twitch-style platform focused specifically on finance influencers. Creators who join the platform can stream about stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and other assets like NFTs and playing cards. They can also upload on-demand content to a Trading.TV video library. The company plans to introduce a feature that will let users trade stocks in real-time as they watch livestreams."You could be like a trading card guru or you could be like a sneakerhead that's just been crazy about collecting sneakers forever," Trading.TV CEO Tobias Heaslip told Insider. "It's not just about being a stock analyst or a bitcoin expert or something like that."Read more about Trading.TV's invite-only platform for finance livestreamsHere's a list of the creator economy companies we've covered recently:New startups helping creators make money:Pearpop helps TikTok and Instagram creators get paid to collaborate with other users and brands. Here's how it works.Pietra is a startup that connects influencers with designers and manufacturers to create their own products.Virtual Dining Concepts works with influencers like MrBeast to launch "ghost kitchen" restaurant brands.Podcorn created a marketplace to connect podcasters and marketers.Kollyde helps Asian multinational brands connect with influencers in other markets.ProGuides is a platform that allows gamers to purchase coaching from high-level players.Powerspike connects Twitch influencers with brands for sponsored campaigns.Fourthwall is trying to be a one-stop shop for creator monetization and engagement.New companies helping creators optimize their finances and the backend of their businesses:Karat created a custom charge card designed to meet the spending needs of YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok stars.ChannelMeter created a payment app to give cash advances to YouTube stars.Stir is a payments network that helps creators track their finances and compensate employees and collaborators directly.MediaKits builds media decks for influencers that feature real-time data like audience demographics and views on YouTube and Instagram. Able is building tools to help creators manage their taxes and income. New upstarts helping creators make and distribute their content:Jellysmack works with creators to repurpose content from YouTube onto other ad-supported apps like Facebook and Snapchat.Creator+ produces long-form movies featuring internet stars. Community and Subtext are betting that text messaging will surge as a way for influencers to reach fans.Spore, Linktree, and Beacons are link-in-bio startups offering webpage tools and money-making features for creators.Trading.TV built a new Twitch-style platform focused specifically on finance influencers.Stagetime wants to be a "LinkedIn for performing artists" as the pandemic lifts.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 23rd, 2021

Bob Iger: Pixar Deal Completed To Show Disney Employees It Was A New Day

Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) Chairman and former CEO Bob Iger on CNBC today, Tuesday, December 21st. Following is a link to video on Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Pixar Deal Completed To Show Disney Employees It Was A […] Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) Chairman and former CEO Bob Iger on CNBC today, Tuesday, December 21st. Following is a link to video on if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Pixar Deal Completed To Show Disney Employees It Was A New Day, Says Former CEO Bob Iger Part I on CNBC's "Squawk Box" DAVID FABER: Yeah, of course, he did step down as you well know Becky, at the end of let's call it February of 2020 right before the pandemic hit very hard and of course, he had three times that we thought he was going to step down as CEO only to stay on but this time is for real. He's got about 10 days left as you said on a career that’s spanned some 47-plus years at this company starting as he did in sports at ABC at 23 years of age and we did have a chance to sit down for a long period of time last week, late last week in Disneyland and talk about his career, talk about the challenges facing Disney at this point, a lot of other things that you don't typically do in a CNBC interview. But I did ask Iger whether at this moment as he looks towards the future and of course towards his past at Disney whether he's got any anxiety at all. BOB IGER: There's no anxiety about that at all. Sadness because I'm leaving people that I love working with and a company I've loved working for. But no remorse. No second guessing. No anxiety. FABER: You don't regret having left when you did and stepped down as CEO when you did? IGER: No, I think the, look, I didn't, no one knew that the pandemic was going to explode the way it did. I think the timing was unfortunate. But throwing a new CEO into, you know, that, you know, that circumstance, it was difficult. But no, I have no, no regrets about having made that decision. It was time. I didn't want people to say be going around saying, "When the heck is he gonna leave," you know? "Isn't it time?" I'd rather have them say, "Gee, did he have to leave when he's leaving? We would've liked him to stay longer." I'm getting some of that. Part II on CNBC's "Squawk Box" FABER: You know, listen, there are no shortage of challenges for Chapek and there's also been a decent amount sort of reported and written about challenges between Chapek and Iger, you know, as you’d probably expect, Iger did not want to engage too fully on it. I don't know if we have time but I did ask him if there should be any concern amongst Disney shareholders in terms of the relationship between the Bobs but at this point, of course, as you know, it is Mr. Chapek’s show and that's something that Iger agrees with. IGER: It shouldn't be a concern to Disney shareholders at all that, you know, that, that any dynamic between us is, would have an impact on the company long term. I'm leaving. He's in. It's his company. He's going to manage it as he see fit, he sees fit with the board under circumstances that are very different than existed when I was CEO and, and chairman because they're changing, as we've talked, they're changing so rapidly. And, you know, he'll make his own decisions, and, and I, you know, I hope that he's learned good lessons. I believe that he has, in terms of, you know, some of the things that I did along the way, and what worked and what didn't work. And I think the relationship I have with him is not really relevant to, you know, how he, how effective he is running the company. Part III on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" FABER: But yeah, we did sit down for a long interview that I was very happy to have an opportunity to conduct and a bit different than we typically do here at CNBC talking of course about his long career at Disney not just his time as CEO, obviously we hit on a lot of the key business questions as you might anticipate and we went over a lot of other things as well, you know, including sort of some of the things that he saw in terms of his strengths and weaknesses. And I guess I'll start there because he did sight sort of something he noticed about his own responsiveness that he said was one thing that alerted him maybe it was time to consider stepping down. Take a listen. IGER: I will say that over time, I think I started listening less than maybe with a little less tolerance of other people's opinions maybe because of getting a little bit more overconfident in my own, which is sometimes what happens when you get built up, you know, in some form or another, as you know, something special or great or whatever. I was mindful of that. FABER: Well you were introspective enough to recognize it though. A lot of leaders might not even recognize it. IGER: I think I wrote about that too. I was I became a little bit more dismissive of dissent and other people's opinions than I should have been. And that was that that was an early sign that it was time. It wasn't the reason I left but it was a contributing factor. FABER: That you just weren't, right, you just didn't have the patience any longer or you thought I've heard this all before and— IGER: Yes, a lot of all those things. You've heard all the, every argument before. I don't want to hear it again, even though it may be more valid today than it was then, times change. All the, you know, all the, that's the time, the challenges of a CEO of a large global company today in terms of managing time so you can't, so dissent has to be finite in a sense and depends on where you draw that line and when you, when do you shut dissent down. Maybe I was doing it a little bit too quickly. I felt that. Part IV on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" FABER: Back to Bob Iger and that interview we conducted late last week. Of course, Mr. Iger spending his last few days as the Chairman of Disney after what's been a 47-year career plus career at that company, 15-plus as its CEO as well in a period, as Jim noted earlier, in which the stock did extraordinarily well. We did have that chance though sort of an unusual opportunity really to talk not just about Disney and its business, but also sort of about some of the broader leadership lessons that Mr. Iger learned and perhaps could impart to others. He did some of that in a book that Jim and I of course have lauded for some time as well, but he and I did spend some time talking about that and culture and things that he would tell other potential CEOs as well. Take a listen. I'm curious as to how you think you went about changing the culture of Disney and what you would say or, you know, how quickly you can do it as a leader and where that culture is today versus then. IGER: Yeah, I think for any CEO of any particularly large company in today's world, the world throws you more and more curveballs, more and more challenges. And they now they come at you constantly and from directions that you could never anticipate, never expect. It gets really tough and I think I think one of the reasons why I think it's right for there to be change at the top sometimes is that can turn a CEO into more of a skeptical or pessimist or just because they get weary of all of those challenges. And I think we had gone through it. I know we had gone through a period of time at Disney prior to my ascending to become CEO where those challenges were numerous. They were omnipresent. There was the Comcast hostile takeover attempt. There was the share, the board member or shareholder revolt. There was the impact of technology on all of our traditional businesses. There was 9/11, there was, we can think about all of these things and I think Disney at the time had become weary of those challenges and with that came a little bit less of a belief in its future. There was a scale issue as well, were we large enough and it was intimidating, you know, faced some of those technology companies. Steve Jobs announcing “Rip. Mix. Burn.” and what was going to be the future of IP. People challenging copyrights, it was left and right and all over the place. And so, what I wanted to do when I came in was to see whether we could not ignore those challenge but put them aside and become optimists again and look to a future that we actually believed was brighter. And one thing that was important to me was embracing technology even though it was causing disruption and potential threats, I wanted to embrace it as a means of creating opportunity for us. FABER: Well you did I mean Jobs showed you the first video iPod, didn’t he? IGER: Right, so we put our television programs on it first which was a tiny, tiny deal but all of a sudden it signaled, wait a minute, maybe we could use technology to gain as opposed to, to lose. And that mentality was something I wanted to infuse in the company which is future's bright, let's view technology as opportunity versus threat and that, and that announcement actually turned out to be a big one and it has led to more serious conversations with Steve about buying Pixar too. FABER: Right, right. IGER: And I think one of the things that I was surprised at is if you if you consider pessimism about the future to be part of the company's culture, I thought it was going to take a long time to change that. It was very fast. FABER: Why do you think it was so fast? And why was that a surprise to you? IGER: Well, I think what it says something about that change in the top matters, you know, I'm not suggesting good or bad. I'm not suggesting oh in comes Bob and out goes Michael but it's, it has its it can freshen things up so to speak. And it’s happening at Disney now as well, you know, there's a change at the top and that could create a whole different outlook for the company going forward. FABER: Do you think it freshens things up, your departure as CEO? IGER: Look, the world is changing dramatically and it's important for a CEO of a company to address all of those changes rapidly. Bob is going to address them probably differently perhaps than I may have. That's neither good nor bad. I think change, I think generally speaking, change is good. Change isn't necessarily bad. FABER: Yeah. What do you see yourself doing, you know, a few days from now when you are no longer a part of this company? IGER: Step away from all of this, this dream when this dream finally ends. You know, I've worked full time, really full time since I was 23 years old and going to be 71. Working in the job that I've the jobs that I've had CEO and Chairman have, you know, were taxing from a time perspective, never in terms of my energy or my enthusiasm. It's time for me to have a blank canvas so to speak to be forced in a way to be a little bit more imaginative with my time. Not fortunate enough to have that luxury. Well, what will I do today? FABER: Do you have any hobbies though? IGER: Yeah, I have some hobbies. I don't golf. I like to sail, you don't sail and golf in the same lifetime. There just isn't enough time for that. But my wife has a full time job. My kids are out of the house— FABER: So you’re going to have to keep busy? IGER: I'll keep busy. I'm doing some selective investing. I'd like the ability to be an advisor to founders of startups because I think I've got some advice to give in that regard even though I haven't run a startup. And I've been sought after by some already. I'll probably do some of that. I plan to write another book, which is a homework assignment right now. I've got to get at that. And I'll do some speaking and I'll see where life takes me. I'm not in any rush. I've been advised by some who have stepped down from high office, including President Obama, do not, he said, “Do not make any decisions. Don't commit to anything for six months.” FABER: Six months? IGER: I’m telling you, don't do that. Yes. FABER: You know, you wrote about Eisner's departure in the book and you said it's hard to know exactly who you are without this attachment and title and role that has defined you for so long. IGER: Yes. When I wrote about tha,t I, I had developed a lot of empathy from Michael. I remember his last day at Disney. It was a Friday, last Friday in September of 2005 when his wife and one of the sons came to Disney and had lunch with him and he drove off the Disney lot after having been CEO for 21 years. And I was, at that point, I couldn't wait because I was ready to have that office and that title and that job and raring to go. And I don't think I thought long and hard at the time what that really meant to him and here I am. Yesterday was my last day on that Disney lot, you know, in this role and it was, it was an emotional experience for me. My son came to the lot, one of my sons, we had lunch together. There I walked around, took some pictures, I was feeling incredibly wistful, incredibly emotional. The ties that I've had to this company that have been so part of my life were ending and I in two weeks from now, I will not have a title and I've had a decent title since I was in my 30s. It’s a long time. But there's no anxiety about that at all. Sadness because I'm leaving people that I loved working with and a company I've loved working for, but no remorse. No second guessing. No anxiety. FABER: You don't regret having left when you did and stepped down as CEO when you did? IGER: No, I think the, look, I didn't, no one knew that the pandemic was going to explode the way it did. I think the timing was unfortunate. But throwing a new CEO into, you know, that, you know, that circumstance, it was difficult. But no, I have no, no regrets about having made that decision. It was time. FABER: It was, why? IGER: Some of the things that I've said which is believing that change at the top was good, although I will say a lot of it was very, very personal. It wasn't about the company. It was about me, you know, wanting to leave with the vitality to explore the world in different way. I thought back about a biography I read a pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Los Angeles Dodgers named Sandy Koufax left at the top of his game and I think the biographer, Koufax’s biographer Jane Leavy said that he left walking off the field or on his own volition are, “Great athletes rarely retire on their own instead they limp off the field.” I didn't want to limp off the field. Part V on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" FABER: Well Carl, shares of Disney actually having a strong open this morning, up some almost 2.5% but for the year, the shares of the company down roughly 17%, one of the key reasons of course continuing concern about the growth of subscribers at Disney+ its key direct-to-consumer offering, and whether in fact the company can continue to add subscribers at a rate at least that investors had come to expect given quite vigorous subscriber growth certainly during the course of 2020 and early part of 2021. As you might expect in a long sit down with Disney's Chairman, he is still Chairman for another 10 days or so, Bob Iger, I did ask him about how he sees the outlook for streaming given its importance to Disney's overall business. IGER: There's guidance out there that the company has provided that I'm neither gonna update or comment too much on but obviously the company has expressed confidence in its ability to achieve the guidance that it has out there. So, I obviously supported that guidance was put out there by Bob when he was CEO and I was Chairman. Again, I think, we can't, we can't just maintain a pat hand because the world isn't staying basically the same. We have to continue to evolve and all that that means not just changing but taking advantage of opportunities aggressively. FABER: But there’s this continued question as strong as Pixar is with its audience, as strong as Star Wars is and Marvel and the incredibly deep loyalty it has, do you need to be broader in order to actually reach those kinds of numbers? IGER: I think there probably need, there probably needs more volume, there probably needs to be more dimensionality meaning more, you know, basically, more programming and more content for more people, different demographics, but Bob's aware of that. He’s addressing those issues. FABER: You seem to have that first mover advantage and gulped up a lot of assets that I'm sure many of the competitors now wish they had actually moved on. Doesn't mean that there weren't plenty of opportunities that perhaps you passed on but is everybody else sort of subscale when you look at the world as it was 16, 17 years ago? IGER: You know, I've never really spent much time thinking about how our competitors are positioned in that regard. I spent most of the time thinking about how we're positioned. So I don't know that others are scaled right or subscaled necessarily, I just think we're well scaled. Part VI on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" FABER: All day long, we've also been sharing excerpts of interview that I did last week with Bob Iger, the longtime CEO and the current Chairman of Disney. There's a look at the performance of the stock during the period of his CEO-ship so to speak. Remember he stepped down it's it's not that far away from two years ago Bob Chapek is the CEO of the company. Chairmanship will also change as well at the end of this year. Mr. Iger ending a 47-plus year run at the company that began with his working at ABC Sports when he was a young man. When we talked about his tenure of course, as you might expect, deal making was certainly one of the keys and starting with that decision to acquire Pixar. Take a listen. IGER: I'm proud of a lot of the decisions that were made, certainly the acquisitions. I'd say of all of them probably Pixar because it was the first and it put us on a path to achieving what I wanted to achieve which is scale when it came to storytelling. That was probably the best. FABER: And you faced I mean your own board. You were uncertain whether you're going to get it passed. Eisner came back to, to say, “Don't do it.” IGER: He subsequently, we had a long conversation about that years later and he admitted that he was wrong about that. I think there was a lot of emotion at that point for him having left Disney under such strange circumstances with Steve but looking back when he reflected on it with me, he admitted that I did the right thing. FABER: Well, you know, it's funny because I remember interviewing you and Jobs that afternoon after you announced it and I was basically focused on the price. I think, man, you're paying an awfully high multiple and many people may not have understood how incredibly important it was to sort of set a new direction for the company and revitalize animation. IGER: Well, that's exactly what I wanted to do. I, what I wanted to do more than anything is I wanted to send a signal to everybody at Disney that it was a new day, that we were more open minded about expansion in particular about partnerships, that creativity was the most important strategy for the company and Pixar at that point exemplified original storytelling and quality and creativity and in its highest form. And then there was the Steve factor, which I sometimes called the cool factor, which is what Apple was, what Steve represented the fact that Steve would embrace not just Disney but me and the vote of confidence that Steve gave in me, and Steve becoming a member of the board and our largest shareholder and I was all tied up in my desire to not only grow content, but it reposition Disney to our employees, to our shareholders and to our customers. And the price you mentioned it also factored in my desire to revitalize Disney Animation, which we did. You look at “Frozen” and you look at “Moana” and you look at “Zootopia” and you look at “Wreck-It Ralph” and you look at “Tangled,” and the number of Academy Awards and the box office success and all of the IP that that created, generated and what how basically we're going to mine that IP for Disney+, you know, it all was tied really everything that we've done at Disney Animation since then, was tied to the Pixar acquisition. FABER: Do you think it was something unique about you that allowed you to convince all of these founders to part with their “babies?” IGER: In all cases, I developed a trust with them and that I convinced them would serve them well if they sold to us meaning, in Steve's case, he, he owned half of Pixar publicly traded company and converted his ownership of Pixar into all Disney. That by the way, wasn't the motivation behind him doing and it wasn't about growing his personal wealth at all. But more importantly, with Steve, I created a trust in him that the assets of Pixar and its people would be in the right hands. And so I think in terms of your question, what was it about me that convinced them. First of all, it was me meaning it was singular in terms of I didn't do the deal myself. It was singular in terms of the pursuit. One on one in some cases, being as candid as I possibly could be and I think as authentic as I could be in developing a relationship, even if we've developed over a relatively brief period of time and not disappointing him either. FABER: What does that mean? IGER: He was never disappointed. Once we did the deal, in fact, in the months before he died he came to, he and his wife, Laurene, came to our house. And Laurene and Steve and Willow and I sat down at a dinner and he toasted to the deal we had done some years earlier, convinced that it was the right thing to do for Disney and for Pixar. And I remember it was, it was very heartfelt and tears came to our eyes, four of us at the dinner table crying, in part dreading what was potentially in store for him which is the end of his life but in part reflecting on what we had done together and truly appreciating it. So. I think again, it's development of a relationship, different in some ways but similar in others. It was me going to New York spending months trying to figure out getting a meeting with him, sitting with him one on one once and then twice a couple of days later and convincing him that it was the right thing to do for the Marvel shareholders, publicly traded company and the people at Marvel and I think he was intrigued with the notion of, of investing in Disney plus Marvel and it worked out extremely well. FABER: And became a large shareholder. I assume you heard from him frequently as well after he became a Disney shareholder. IGER: I heard from Ike, yeah, I heard from Ike a lot over the years. FABER: Yes, that’s what I heard. IGER: We weren't, we weren't always— FABER: In sync? IGER: Complete agreement on things. But that's neither here nor there. I think it's turned out extremely well for him and certainly for the shareholders of Marvel. It's turned out I think they got Disney shares somewhere in the neighborhood of $28 a share. I know we were up around 200 even if you look at it today in that 150 range, that's a pretty good return on investment and George's case was also singular in many ways. I had breakfast with him at Disney World. Talked to him about the future of Lucasfilm and broached the subject. He was close with Steve Jobs and don't forget Pixar was owned at one point by George. Steve bought it from George. And there was a real connection although Steve had passed when I first sat down with George and George was impressed with how we had managed Pixar and assimilated Pixar into the company. He was very, very concerned about Lucasfilm many respects his baby, his legacy, and there was a trust there too that I think we demonstrated that we could be trusting in terms of how we had already managed the Marvel assets and the Pixar assets and I think he was looking to some extent for either long term wealth preservation or long term wealth creation. FABER: You know, you mentioned in the book, the idea that if Steve had lived, Disney and Apple might have become one. Did you guys ever really talk about Apple buying? IGER: No, Steve and I never did. What we did talk about and he was public about at one point at one of his late Apple product presentations, he stood in front of a street sign with an intersection I think one said liberal arts and one said technology. That's what made his heart sing. I think that's how we put it that intersection. So what we talked about a lot was what happens when great technology meets great creativity. He thought that means that to him was the secret sauce for almost everything. And if you, if you project that into how the world was changing and you think of a world where suddenly the opportunity to use that technology to create new experiences for people in terms of how they access content, the natural thing would have been for Apple to have the great content that Disney creates applied or used on their platform. And I know I'm pretty convinced we would have had that discussion. And you know, that was maybe someone wistful of me when I wrote that, but I just knew of his passion for everything we did and everything Apple did and then his deep, deep belief that nothing would be more powerful than that combination. I think we would have gotten there. Part VII on CNBC's "TechCheck" FABER: Yeah, of course Julia, and something you've been very focused on as well as your coverage of the company, direct-to-consumer certainly being a such an important component overall of their strategy. I know we can both remember back in what was it August of 2015 on that earnings conference call when for the first time Iger addressed potential sub erosion at the giant cash flowing property ESPN. Since then, of course, it's no secret that the linear ecosystem has been in decline, and certainly Iger acknowledges that as well. IGER: I think you're seeing a migration to more digital, direct-to-consumer forms of entertainment distribution. And being in that business at a larger scale, which because I think that will provide more growth for the company than the traditional media platforms would've and just the migration, the erosion of the traditional media platforms and the growth of the new ones. We're playing in that new space much more aggressively than we would have obviously without Disney+, without Hulu as well. I think people are consuming things in much more different ways. App-based entertainment in the home has, is replacing the linear channel consumption in the home. So, when you go back to the question you asked about the future of that business, it's not bright at all. It's, it's actually eroding right before our eyes. FABER: And it continues to erode before our eyes You know, it was a long interview and opportunity to talk to Iger about so many different things, best decisions in which he sort of talked about the decision to buy Pixar and worst decisions as well where YouTube came up. IGER: I remember when YouTube was sold. One of the things I always rued, because when YouTube emerged, it was the, we didn't see that first. I'm the one who put “America's Funniest Videos” on ABC in 1989, which was user-generated content. It's kinda funny, which YouTube really started as. It's evolved tremendously. Why didn't I think of that? FABER: Yeah. Why, yeah. IGER: I don't know, I, I missed that one— FABER: You missed that one. Worth, it's worth about $300 billion now, by the way, based on its revenue if you— IGER: Well, YouTube would've been smart. FABER: It would've been. All right, so that gets me to worst decision. Is there one that comes to mind in terms of just a really bad decision you made over those 16-plus years? IGER: I made some bad decisions. Fortunately, they weren't monumental or they woulda, brought me, me down. So I can't really think of, like, the worst decision. I made some bonehead creative decisions along way, you know, greenlit some things that I probably shouldn't have. I mean— FABER: All right, yeah, but saying yes-- IGER: But that's kinda easy. FABER: To Cop Rock is not exactly the worst decision you're gonna make. IGER: You know, I’m, I'm, there's, that's actually, it's interesting, I try to be honest and candid, both in terms of assessment and myself. I definitely made a bunch of bad decisions. Sometimes people, sometimes product, nothing gigantic. FABER: Nothing gigantic? IGER: No. FABER: And nothing comes to mind at all that you can share? IGER: A buncha little things. FABER: Just little things. IGER: Yeah. FABER: So I guess that's a pretty good tenure then, if it's a buncha little things-- IGER: Well, I lasted a long time, so I guess, I suggest I didn't make any really bad, any big, bad decisions. Updated on Dec 21, 2021, 12:33 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 21st, 2021

What to consider before taking your family business public

Going public has its pros and cons: Public companies can access more capital, but they also face stricter regulations and disclosure requirements. Moderating the risks of the family business going public can help it succeed in the long run.Morsa Images/Getty Images As your family business grows, it may worth considering the pros and cons of taking it public. Public companies can access more capital; they also have more regulations and disclosure requirements. Talk with your family, and be aware of potential changing priorities and goals in future generations. Most family firms do what they can to maintain control of their destiny.Still, some firms eventually find themselves at a difficult inflection point: considering whether to stay a private family business or to go public. These inflection points often occur around generational transitions, exit of family branches from ownership, or external events such as seismic shifts in an industry — and the difficulty of the decision is often compounded by the family's close emotional connection to the business.But even in the best of times, these decisions tend to be complicated."Going public as a family-owned business can open up Pandora's box," said Jennifer Pendergast. "You may start out by taking 10% of the shares public so the family still retains control, but you've opened the door to public ownership and all that comes with it."Even when a family retains effective control through ownership of voting shares, which allows them to elect the board and make other significant strategic decisions, they are still beholden to information-disclosure requirements and scrutiny of public-market investors.While most family firms view offering shares in the public markets as a negative, there are upsides to consider. Doing so gives firms access to growth capital, the opportunity to buy out disinterested shareholders, a liquid market for family-owned shares, and more rigorous governance standards.Pendergast, a clinical professor of family enterprise at the Kellogg School, offers three pieces of advice for families who may be weighing the decision to go public.Know why you're doing itWhile each family business has its own dynamics, the reasons those firms might consider going public fall broadly into two areas: strategic adjustments or changing family priorities.Companies seeking to grow aggressively, make large capital investments, or reposition themselves in relation to their competition may make the strategic decision to go public.Pendergast recently consulted to a family-owned media company. In recent years, it has become clear that the days of small regional players in media are over and that economies of scale are crucial to media firms' survival. The company had two choices: they could decide to get out of the industry, or find the capital to consolidate and grow."The New York Times, for example, is publicly traded but family-controlled," Pendergast said, "which is common in media and other industries where the business models have changed and it's no longer feasible to rely solely on private capital."Family businesses also have to contend with the potential for changing priorities and visions from generation to generation. This could mean a new generation desires to leave a business segment that doesn't align with its values or it could mean a branch of the family no longer wishes to be involved in the business.Part of the family may no longer be interested in being owners," Pendergast said. "If you can't afford to buy them out through a debt instrument — or you choose not to do it that way because it will constrain the company's ability to grow — you can use a public offering as a way to fund buying them out."She advises making sure all family stakeholders fully understand the reasons why a public offering is on the table. With alignment on the motivation, discussions can focus on the best decisions to achieve the strategic or family goals going forward.Moderate the risksKeeping private ownership of family enterprises has a lot of advantages: it allows the family to control the vision, values, strategy, and culture of the company. As a result, family-held businesses often deliver superior returns."This is largely due to these firms' ability to focus on long-term investment in people, products, and community, which leads over time to superior profitability," Pendergast said. "Family enterprises also have more stable leadership and engender greater trust from employees and customers."While a public offering may be necessary or valuable to the vitality of the organization, going public comes with risks. For one, going public may push family members who may not otherwise be interested in selling their shares to consider cashing out to investors outside the family. And, it can open the door to activist investors, as Campbell Soup had to navigate recently.But the greatest risk is loss of strategic control."Most family businesses try at all costs not to go public," Pendergast said. "Family leadership may be willing to relinquish the economic benefits of a public offering for the sake of stability and growth. But even if they choose to go public, they still want the business to maintain the hallmarks of family-owned enterprises — broad stakeholder focus, alignment with family values, and long-term vision."Family firms that choose the public route can minimize the risk of losing strategic control by preparing family members to take on leadership roles in the business, ensuring that the family controls the board, and maintaining voting control through the issuance of dual-class shares. In fact, in a data set managed by Brown-Forman collecting more than 130 NASDAQ- and NYSE-traded family-controlled firms, 55% have a family CEO and 84% a family chair.The billboard company Lamar Advertising saw the opportunities inherent in economies of scale as the industry embraced digital technology. They went public to raise capital so they could buy up smaller regional firms."They have become a national player in the industry, and while they don't have total control, there's still a Lamar family member as CEO of that business," Pendergast said. "And there likely will be in the next generation, too."Know your optionsFamily businesses have a lot of options that can help them take advantage of public ownership while retaining strategic and operational control.In addition to keeping family control over the board by issuing dual-class shares that grant the family increased voting rights — by as much as 10 votes per share in some cases — Pendergast recommends adapting the board's structure to address any potential areas of concern.This might mean changing the board composition to include a higher percentage of independent directors. This can open communication channels, which may be complicated by potentially fraught issues such as executive succession. Adding independent directors also offers the opportunity to introduce additional skill sets to the board. And independent directors send a signal to non-family shareholders that the company is committed to good governance.If there is a family CEO, Pendergast also recommends a nonfamily board chair or Lead Independent Director, who can provide additional oversight and accountability for both the family itself and the public investors."While the family may retain control, they should balance their influence by incorporating strong independent directors," said Pendergast.Similarly, only the most insightful family members should be entrusted with seats on the new board. "Family board seats should not be an honor or perk but a place where the most capable family members can influence the company direction," she said.Moreover, families should keep an eye toward balancing continuity with turnover. Research shows that family boards tend to retain directors longer than nonfamily boards. Boards that are loaded with long-serving members risk stagnating or having subsequent family generations either lose interest or reach the board unprepared to govern. Including term limits can help keep balance.Average tenures of independent directors of family-controlled firms mirror their nonfamily-controlled peers at 10 years. But family directors average 20 years' tenure."Set term limits or a retirement age," Pendergast said. "Family members who don't see opportunities to contribute will become less engaged over time, which may make them more likely to sell their holdings, reducing family-ownership stake."By taking a thoughtful approach to going public, families can experience a "best-of-both-worlds" scenario, marrying the long-term vision of the family structure with the oversight of a publicly traded company and the access to capital to grow and ensure an aligned ownership group."The good governance that you put in place for a publicly traded company is good for a family company, too. There's great value in having an engaged board with independent directors who are going to bring outside ideas and keep the family from being too insular."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 20th, 2021

Boris Johnson"s MPs are losing faith in him after a stinging by-election loss added to a series of political disasters

Conservative MPs told Insider that the by-election defeat would add to the dissatisfaction, frustration, and angst in the party. Boris JohnsonLeon Neal/Getty Images Boris Johnson suffered a painful by-election loss on Thursday after weeks of bad news. The Liberal Democrats took the safe Tory seat of North Shropshire with a huge swing of 34.2% Tory MPs told Insider of growing discontent in their ranks that could threaten Johnson's future. A shock defeat for Boris Johnson's Conservative Party in a by-election has furthered the discontent of his MPs, prompting dark warnings about his political future.The Liberal Democrats, traditionally a distant third party in UK politics, took the rural seat of North Shropshire in a Parliamentary by-election on Thursday.It prompted an angry response from Conservatives MPs bruised from a defeat in their heartlands.Four MPs who spoke to Insider pointed the blame at Johnson and the Tory party machinery, complaining of "self-inflicted" political missteps, and a complacency that took a seat like North Shropshire for granted.Even one optimistic about Johnson's future said that he faced a huge challenge to reassert himself.One noted that party whips had tried to stop MPs making mutinous comments to the media, an operation that transparently failed.The Lib Dems roared from a third-place finish in 2019's general election to beat the Conservatives on Thursday by 15.6 percentage points, a stunningly large change in their fortunes.The seat in various forms has been Conservative since 1832, aside from two years held by a Liberal MP after a by-election in 1904.Chris Curtis, a senior researcher at the polling firm Opinium, told Insider the scale of the Tory defeat was "absolutely massive," noting that it was "the seventh-largest swing we've ever seen in a by-election."The result follows weeks of bad news for Johnson, which included:Damaging reports of parties and gatherings held in Downing Street and across government in the winter of 2020, when the country was in lockdown.Video emerging of the Prime Minister's staff joking about their Christmas party days later, and a photograph of Johnson asking questions in a Christmas quiz.Reports that Johnson's independent advisor on ministers' interests might resign over allegations he was misled in an investigation into who paid for the Downing Street flat to be refurbished.100 of the 361 Tory MPs rebelling in a vote to tighten COVID-19 restrictions.The Conservatives falling to second place across the polls behind the opposition Labour Party.A "tidal wave" of the Omicron coronavirus variant sweeping across the UK.Insider spoke to four Conservative MPs on Friday to assess the mood in the party.Roger Gale, a Conservative MP since 1983, told Insider the result was a "referendum on Downing Street.""The problem is there is a feeling of lack of control and chaos coming out of Downing Street. Nobody is really in command. And the prime minister is supposed to be running the ship."People will be talking" about replacing him as the Conservative leader, he said."Whether people decide they want to send letters to Graham Brady now or not, I don't know. I genuinely don't know," Gale said, referring to the process by which MPs can trigger a leadership contest.Another Tory MP, however, suggested a leadership challenge would be "madness", and suggested the by-election loss was less significant. The MP was granted anonymity to speak frankly."The whole issue is we've been in this terrible situation for 20 months," they said."People's patience is strained, people are cross and angry, so mistakes are magnified. There is no quick solution to this. There is no quick fix."We have defied political gravity for 11 years. We should have been losing by-elections in year 2 or 3. It's taken us 11 years to get to this point. We haven't had a bad set of local election results since 1997. This is just political gravity reasserting itself."They argued that Johnson "has to reassert himself, he's got to get back on the front foot. That will be very difficult as we are about to have another challenging three months, that is clear. But he knows what he's got to do."A third Conservative MP, also granted anonymity, told Insider of the "dissatisfaction in the party" at the "self-inflicted own goals" of recent weeks.The Downing Street parties "needed a proper investigation very quickly — this is what went on, those who were involved. It shouldn't have rumbled on in the way it has," they said.The MP was among the 100 or so to rebel in the vote on COVID-19 restrictions, and said that Johnson needs to pay more mind to his base in order to survive."You've got to consult us. You've got to do better and then we will follow you. But at the moment we're not very happy," they said.A fourth Conservative MP, again granted anonymity, said that party whips — in charged of discipline — were trying to stop MPs speaking out on Friday morning."The whips were out of their blocks very early this morning, trying to encourage us not to go on the airwaves. You don't normally see an operation like that happen after a by-election."This was indicative of "angst in the higher echelons of the party", they suggested.The MP was most critical of Conservative Campaign Headquarters, suggesting staff there had been complacent."North Shropshire had been taken for granted for years. So they had no data when they started. If there was a by-election in [the MP's constituency], we have shitloads of data. That's because we're a marginal seat and are battling Labour left right and center."Personally I think CCHQ is a bit dysfunctional right now."They pointed to forthcoming local elections in May as Johnson's make-or-break moment."At this moment in time, I do not think there is a groundswell of letters pouring in and getting to that critical number. I think there's a genuine 'I will be reviewing it over the next few months' type mentality."As for Helen Morgan, the Liberal Democrat who won North Shropshire, the Tory MP suggested she would only hold the seat until the next general election.The by-election was held after Owen Paterson resigned his seat in the House of Commons following a botched government attempt to spare him from disciplinary proceedings for breaking lobby rules.Had the government not intervened, Paterson would likely still be North Shropshire's MP, and close to serving out his 30-day suspension, which had an end-date of January 11.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 17th, 2021