Posts belonging to Category Board Directors



Major Facebook investors want Mark Zuckerberg out as chairman

Zuckerberg holds absolute control of the board with a majority of the voting power

Major Facebook investors, including public pension funds and state officials, are pushing for Mark Zuckerberg‘s ouster as chairman of the company’s board.

The proposal is largely symbolic, since Zuckerberg holds absolute control of the board. But it comes at a difficult time for Facebook, as security breaches plague the company and spur questions around corporate oversight.

“We need Facebook’s insular boardroom to make a serious commitment to addressing real risks — reputational, regulatory, and the risk to our democracy — that impact the company, its share owners, and ultimately the hard-earned pensions of thousands of New York City workers,” New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said in a statement to CNBC.

http://www.cnbc.com

Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, is dead at 65

Cancer of the lymphatic system

Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, died Monday. He was an investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist who influenced many aspects of modern life — from technology and science to sports and music.

Allen was 65, his investment firm Vulcan said in a statement announcing his death. He died in Seattle from complications related to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma two weeks after Allen said he was being treated for the disease.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, like the less-common Hodgkin’s disease, is a cancer of the lymphatic system.
http://www.cnn.com

Sears files for bankruptcy

Massive debt load

Sears has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, buckling under its massive debt load and staggering losses. Sears once dominated the American retail landscape. But the big question is whether its shrunken version can be viable or will be forced to go out of business, ending the final chapter for an iconic name that originated more than a century ago.

Sears filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y. Sears says it will “close 142 unprofitable stores near the end of the year. Liquidation sales at these stores are expected to begin shortly. This is in addition to the previously announced closure of 46 unprofitable stores that is expected to be completed by November 2018.”

Chairman and CEO Edeard Lampert is giving up his CEO role but will remain as chairman. Three executives will take over the CEO functions for now. The filing came just before Sears would have had to repay $134 million in loans later on Monday.

http://www.cbsnews.com

Co-working is just getting started

Investors think highly of buildings that include 15%-30% co-working space

In just the last year, co-working spaces have tripled their share of Manhattan’s office-leasing activity to around 10%, according to real estate brokerage firm Avison Young. Across the country, the number of square feet they occupy has jumped nearly 400% over the last eight years. As the market for flexible and customized offices continues to boom, it’s not just startups and small businesses that stand to benefit. More and more, larger companies that don’t want to be locked into decades-long leases are considering the upsides of flexible spaces.

In August, WeWork launched HQ by WeWork to serve the needs of medium-sized businesses. And other giants (think: Amazon, Verizon, and more) have already begun turning to co-working spaces to house entire divisions of their companies. In 2017, IBM struck a deal with WeWork to occupy its 88 University Place building in Manhattan.

http://www.angel.co

Chinese bitcoin mining giant Bitmain had revenues of $2.8 billion in the first half of the year

IPO plan despite slump in bitcoin

After months of speculation about the company’s plans, Bitmain released its first-ever public disclosures, confirming its intention to list on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Bitmain Technologies, founded by billionaires Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan, came on the scene five years ago and rode the cryptocurrency boom to a $12 billion valuation after its most recent funding round.
The financial statements released Wednesday, which were the result of an audit by KPMG, answer key questions about the company’s financial health as the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have plummeted. Bitmain made $742.7 million in profit during the first half of this year, marking a nine-fold increase from a year earlier, according the heavily redacted documents. Revenue was up tenfold in the same period, to $2.8 billion as of the end of June, and adjusted return on equity was 58.8 percent.
http://www.cnbc.com

Deutsche Bank mulls merger scenario with UBS

Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) has looked at a theoretical scenario of merging with UBS (UBSG.S), the German business daily Handelsblatt reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The scenario, along with a potential merger with Commerzbank (CBKG.DE), was discussed at the bank’s strategy meeting with the supervisory board earlier this month, Handelsblatt said.

On paper, a potential merger with UBS fares better than a deal with Commerzbank as Deutsche Bank and the Swiss lender would complement each other well in the areas of investment banking and wealth management, the report said. A merger with Commerzbank, in contrast, might lead to high restructuring costs due to large overlap, the paper said.

http://www.reuters.com

Lehman Brothers went bust 10 years ago

Can it happen again?

In early 2007, the then chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, dismissed the idea that the slowdown in the US housing market had profound implications. It was, according to the man running the world’s most powerful central bank, just a local affair. Everybody knows what happened next. Within 18 months the local problem in the US subprime mortgage market had ballooned into the biggest global financial crisis since the 1930s. When Lehman Brothers went bankrupt 10 years ago this week, it was the catalyst for a month of turmoil in which no financial institution was considered entirely safe.

Inevitably, the anniversary of those tumultuous weeks in late September and early October 2008 has prompted speculation about whether it could happen again. And, if so, what will be the cause? Looking around the global economy, there are plenty of potential candidates…

Jack Ma to Hand Alibaba’s Helm to CEO Daniel Zhang Next Year

His retirement caps a 19-year run for Asia’s largest company

Alibaba is heralding the end of the Jack Ma era. A former English teacher who helped found Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. two decades ago, Ma outlined plans to hand the executive chairman role to Daniel Zhang, a finance veteran who’s presided over an ambitious expansion and won over investors in three years as chief executive officer.

Ma will officially pass the baton in exactly 12 months’ time, on his 55th birthday, but remain on the board until 2020. He now intends to focus on philanthropy and education but also pursue unspecified “new dreams,” he said in a statement Monday.

U.S. lawmakers grill Facebook, Twitter executives

Technology stocks fall

The Nasdaq fell more than 1 percent on Wednesday, dented by technology stocks after Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) executives defended their companies before skeptical U.S. lawmakers. Adding to pressure on technology stocks, the Justice Department later said it would meet with state attorneys general to discuss worries that social media platforms were “intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas.” Facebook and Twitter were not specifically named.

Twitter shares dropped 6.1 percent. Facebook shares fell 2.3 percent, contributing heavily to both the Nasdaq’s and the S&P 500’s declines. The Dow, however, eked out a slight gain.

Tesla could make it through 2018 without running out of money

Tesla Q2 earnings

Tesla reported second-quarter earnings on Wednesday after the close of market. The company lost more than expected but also brought in more revenue: more than $4 billion. Importantly, although Tesla yet again spent a lot of money in the quarter, it retained $2.2 billion in cash on its balance sheet and slowed its cash burn — remarkable, given the problems it encountered with its Model 3 roll-out.

That’s about $1 billion less that it had at the end of 2017 — but just $500 million less than what it had at the end of the first quarter. The company now expects to hold total capital expenditure under $2.5 billion for the full year while adding to its overall cash position.

http://www.businessinsider.com

Murdoch bid for Sky challenged by US giant

US cable TV giant Comcast has made a £22.1bn takeover bid for Sky, challenging an existing offer from 21st Century Fox

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox had already agreed an £18.5bn deal to buy the 61% of Sky it does not already own. Comcast said the bid of £12.50 per share was a 16% higher than the 21st Century Fox offer. Comcast is the biggest US cable TV firm. It also owns the broadcast TV network NBC and Universal Pictures.

The company’s chief executive Brian Roberts, said: “We would like to own the whole of Sky and we will be looking to acquire over 50% of the Sky shares,” he said. Mr Roberts added that the UK “is and will remain a great place to do business” and that Comcast wanted to “use Sky as a platform for our growth in Europe”.

http://www.bbc.com…  Febuary 27, 2018

Berkshire got a $29 billion gift from new tax code

Aversion to debt

Warren Buffett published his annual letter on Saturday, and it came with some of the usual trimmings: sage advice and reflections on the past year’s success.

With bonds, the “coupon rate” is the interest rate that an issuer uses to calculate regular interest payments to investors. The longer the term of a bond, the higher the coupon is likely to be; you’re paid more to wait longer to get your principal back. Higher risk, too, affects the coupon, with high-yield bonds from less solid companies offering more generous interest payments than you’ll get from higher-rated corporations or from U.S. Treasury bonds. Buffett told investors that Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB)made a $65.3 billion net gain in 2017 — but “only $36 billion came from Berkshire’s operations.”
The rest was a gift from the new U.S. tax code.

http://www.cnn.com…  Febuary 26, 2018

What is Davos 2018?

Who is attending the World Economic Forum?

THE world’s most powerful leaders will meet tomorrow at Davos 2018 for an annual four-day elite conference known as the World Economic Forum. But what is Davos 2018 and who is attending the World Economic Forum? A global political get-together for around 2,500 movers and shakers from the worlds of business, politics, finance and media, the World Economic Forum is held annually each year in the town of Davos.

The mountain resort sits high up in the eastern Alps of Switzerland in Graubunden, the largest and and most eastern member state of the country. It is home to one of the Switzerland’s biggest ski resorts and is also the highest “town” in Europe at 1,560m. Davos 2018 will run from January 23 to 26 under the theme of “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World” and will be the the 48th forum to date.

http://express.co.uk…  January 23, 2018

Walt Disney interested by 21st Century Fox

John Malone: Walt Disney/21st Century Fox deal woul benefit both sides

Liberty Media Chairman John Malone thinks a Walt Disney purchase of some 21st Century Fox assets makes sense and would benefit both sides. “To me, it’s a logical thing for them to be studying,” Malone said at the Liberty Media annual investor meeting.

“Of all the guys in the studio business, Disney is the most unique in the sense that it owns its IP on its most important entertainment product,” Malone said. “So if you think that whole structure is going to be under stress, why wouldn’t the Murdochs want to put their stuff in and ride along in something that they’d help make bigger scale and that has this protective element of intellectual property ownership?”

http://www.cnbc.com…  Fri., 17  November 2017

"Brexit is stupidest thing any country has done"

Michael Bloomberg says it is ‘hard to understand why a country doing so well wanted to ruin it’

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire media mogul and former mayor of New York, has said Brexit is the “single stupidest thing any country has ever done” apart from the election of Donald Trump as US president.

Bloomberg argued that “it is really hard to understand why a country that was doing so well wanted to ruin it” with the Brexit vote, in a series of outspoken remarks made at a technology conference in Boston a fortnight ago.

At that event, Bloomberg, 75, also warned that some workers at the financial media company that bears his name were asking to leave the UK and US because they think the two countries no longer like immigrants and are no longer welcoming.

http://www.theguardian.com…  Wed  25  October 2017

Same day delivery competition

Walmart is zeroing in on Amazon’s biggest weakness

Amazon.com has done a lot of things exceptionally well over its 22-year history. The company’s whopping market value and constant growth are testaments to its strategy of customer obsession, breakneck innovation, and its “Day 1” philosophy.

But of all the strategic decisions the company has made in its history, none has had a bigger impact than Prime. Launched in 2005, the all-inclusive loyalty program offers members free video streaming, access to the Kindle Lending Library, music streaming, and several other ancillary benefits from $99/year. But the biggest one is clearly free, two-day shipping on millions of items.

With Prime, Amazon solved the two biggest obstacles to online shopping: it eliminated pesky shipping fees and long delivery times, which were often a week or longer in the early days of e-commerce. Over the years, Amazon has stuffed Prime with more and more benefits, making it a nexus of competitive advantages that no other company, retailer or otherwise, can match.

http://www.businessinsider.com…  Wed.,  11  October 2017