NEW MOZILLA CEO Brendan Eich has responded to the recent backlash over his earlier support for California Proposition 8, posting a detailed outline of his support for the LGBT community. In a blog post headed “Inclusiveness at Mozilla” that could just as well have been titled ‘Some of my best friends are gay’, Eich laid out all the ways in which he’s a fan of the LGBT community and how he’s going to see that they’re well looked after at Mozilla under his leadership. “I know there are concerns about my commitment to fostering equality and welcome for LGBT individuals at Mozilla. I hope to lay those concerns to rest, first by making a set of commitments to you. More important, I want to lay them to rest by actions and results,” he revealed. Eich went on to promise active commitment to equality in everything the firm does, from employment to events, working with LGBT communities and allies to learn what does and doesn’t make Mozilla supportive, and a personal commitment to work on initiatives to reach out to those who feel excluded. However, he didn’t directly address the Proposition 8 issue or his donation to the campaign. “I know some will be sceptical about this, and that words alone will not change anything,” he remarked. “I can only ask for your support to have the time to ‘show, not tell’; and in the meantime express my sorrow at having caused pain.” One day on from announcing Eich as its next CEO at the start of this week, Mozilla was forced to post a statement on diversity to dampen accusations of homophobia in light of […]
CEO Satya Nadella has been on the job for nearly two months. Today, the public gets its first glimpse of Nadella’s Microsoft. The new CEO is hosting a session with journalists at 10 a.m. local time in San Francisco, his first public discussion of Microsoft’s business since he took over for Steve Ballmer in early February. Microsoft’s invitation to media only said Nadella will talk about “the intersection of cloud and mobile computing,” and people familiar with the matter said the CEO’s strategy chat will include Microsoft’s plans for a version of Office for AppleAAPL -0.70%’s iPad tablet computer. Nadella hasn’t said much publicly about how his tactics will differ from those of Ballmer, or Bill Gates, the co-founder whom Nadella asked to return to work part-time at Microsoft. Until now, the only published interview with Nadella was a discussion of his management style. In his early interactions with the Microsoft troops, Nadella has won high marks from some employees impressed with his candor and willingness to stress online software and other areas outside of Microsoft’s flagship Windows operating system. The decision to release an iPad version of Office, after years of debate inside of Microsoft, gives Nadella a chance to position himself on the side of spreading Microsoft’s software on other computing devices, rather than sticking with a strategy to bolster its Windows empire at any cost.
Rajeev Suri, the head of Nokia’s telecoms network equipment division, is likely to become the Finnish group’s next chief executive following the sale of its handset business to Microsoft, a newspaper report said on Friday. Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, citing sources familiar with board discussions, said Suri was the strongest candidate to succeed Stephen Elop who is due to move to Microsoft once the 5.4 billion euro ($7.5 billion) handset deal is closed. The companies have been expecting to finalize the deal by the end of March and the board of Nokia would nominate a new chief executive shortly after that, according to the report. Indian-born Suri has been widely considered the leading candidate for the post as in recent years he has helped the network equipment division, Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN), turn profitable with a drastic restructuring plan and by ditching unprofitable businesses. However, NSN recently reported its fourth-quarter sales fell 22% from a year earlier, raising concerns about its growth prospects. NSN, which was originally a joint venture of Nokia and Siemens, accounts for about 90% of Nokia’s sales after the handset deal. Nokia declined to comment on the CEO selection process. Since last autumn, the company has been temporarily led by chief financial officer Timo Ihamuotila. “We will talk more about the Nokia strategy, structure and organization around the closing of the pending transaction,” said spokeswoman Maija Taimi.
Brian Roberts is putting an end to John Malone’s cable cowboy era. The Comcast Corp. CEO, who secured a deal to buy Time Warner Cable Inc. for $45.2 billion in stock, has long operated in the shadow of Malone, the Liberty Media Corp. chairman and billionaire investor who helped to establish the U.S. cable industry and has long dominated it with a forceful personality. No longer. Roberts has spent at least $91 billion acquiring companies in the past dozen years, including the $52 billion purchase of AT&T Inc.’s cable business in 2002. If his purchase of Time Warner Cable is approved, that would bring his acquisition tally to at least $136 billion. Video: Comcast-TWC Won’t Affect Content Providers: Bank By thwarting Malone’s attempts to get his hands on Time Warner Cable and with NBCUniversal already in his pocket, Roberts also has emerged with the power to reshape the cable-media landscape. On a conference call yesterday, the Comcast chief characterized the Time Warner Cable deal as a crucial step toward modernizing cable, which has struggled to match the viewing experience from such upstarts as Netflix Inc. (NFLX:US) and Hulu. “Look at where the world is, and the competition and you see is coming from national companies and many cases international companies,” Roberts said. “There’s an opportunity to invent new products and services.” Roberts has already made a strong start with Comcast’s X1 TV interface. It mimics and in some cases surpasses what Apple Inc. (AAPL:US) and Roku offer, including digital streaming of TV shows and films as well as cloud storage. Comcast, which is based in Philadelphia, also recently started selling downloadable movies and TV shows much the way Apple […]
China’s annual growth eased to 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter as investment and demand flagged late in the year, and analysts say it could cool further in 2014 as Beijing focuses on rebalancing the economy and other major reforms. That leaves growth in the Chinese economy at 7.7 percent for all of 2013, unchanged from revised levels in 2012. The fourth-quarter growth rate compared with 7.6 percent forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll but eased from 7.8 percent in the previous three months. On a quarterly basis, gross domestic product (GDP) rose 1.8 percent from July-September, slower than expectations for 2.0 percent and a reading of 2.2 percent in April-June. “The economy may be a little more robust than people thought coming into 2014. I had thought the monetary tightening in 2013 would pose a downside risk in 2013. The numbers reduce that downside risk,” said Tim Condon at ING in Singapore. “I don’t see any evidence of an (economic) rebalancing last year. It doesn’t look like there’s any reduction in the current account surplus and the savings and investment gap probably didn’t change.” Still, analysts say activity could cool further this year if China’s efforts to increase domestic consumption at the expense of exports and investment gather pace. Other key risks include policymakers’ success in executing reforms and Beijing’s prolonged battles to clamp down on risky lending, soaring home prices and a mountain of local government debt. The Australian dollar AUD=D4 firmed slightly after the data while most Asian stock markets pared early losses. MOMENTUM EASING After 30 years of sizzling double-digit economic growth that lifted many millions of Chinese out of poverty but […]
David Zaslav will remain at the head of Discovery Communications through the end of 2019, under a new contract unveiled Friday by the Silver Spring, Md., owner of the Discovery, TLC, and Investigation Discovery cable networks. The move suggests the board of directors of the media company is pleased with Zaslav’s performance. His previous deal was set to expire in 2015, according to a Discovery spokeswoman. “ He built a strong management team that has expanded the company’s reach and relevance, increased its market share domestically and around the world, and created a bigger, stronger portfolio of brands,” said John Malone, Chairman of Liberty Media Corporation and Liberty Global, Inc., and a member of Discovery’s board, in a statement. “ We look forward to working with David to do more of the same over the next six years.” According to a filing Discovery made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Friday, Zaslav will receive an annual salary of $3 million, with a bonus of $6.6 million in 2014, if certain targets are met. The bonus amount is scheduled to increase $600,000 each year until 2018, according to the filing. In 2018 and 2019, the target bonus would total as much as $9 million each year. The company cautioned that no bonus amount is guaranteed; rather the amount paid would hinge on the company’s financial performance, among other factors. Zaslav joined Discovery from NBCUniversal in 2007. He had supervised content distribution and struck a range of carriage deals for that company’s content, and played a role in the launch of both CNBC and MSNBC. Since his arrival at Discovery, the company has made several […]
By the time most us finished lunch on Thursday, Canada’s top CEOs had already feasted on the fruits of their labours — earning in half a day what the rest of us would have to work full-time for all of 2014 to collect. Over the course of this year, based on 2012 levels, those in Canada’s corner offices will pocket pay packages totaling 171 times the average national income, according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). That’s up from 105 times the average wage in 1998. Put another way, CEOs will earn an average of $7.96-million this year, compared to $46,634 for most other workers, the Ottawa-based think-tank said Thursday in its annual income review of 100 executives. Canada’s Top Ranked 100 CEOs: By the numbers The review, titled All In A Day’s Work? CEO Pay In Canada, notes that five years after a global recession “knocked the wind out of Canada’s labour market, throwing tens of thousands of workers onto the unemployment line and sidelining a generation of young workers, the compensation of Canada’s CEO elite continues to sail along.” The CCPA says the average wage of Canadians rose 6% from 1998 to 2012. Over the same period, meanwhile, the average compensation for the country’s highest corporate earners jumped 73%. The CCPA rankings of the highest paid CEOs are based on the 240 publicly listed Canadian companies on the S&P/TSX index. The $7.96-million average CEO compensation “would be enough to wipe out the budgetary deficits of any one of the following provinces: Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia or PEI,” the CCPA said. Topping the 100 club in 2012 was E. Hunter Harrison, […]
Google’s $12.4 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility was widely seen as a way for Google to acquire patents to defend its Android Relevant Products/Services operating system from intellectual property lawsuits. Yet Motorola hasn’t given up on making phones. In August, it started selling the Moto X, the first smartphone assembled in the United States. By manufacturing the phone closer to its customers, Motorola can offer unprecedented customization. Last month, the Moto G came out, targeted at budget-conscious Americans and people in emerging markets. The phone, which has a high-resolution screen and other features found in leading smartphones, starts at $179 in the U.S., compared with the $600-plus price tag on the typical high-end smartphone. Even with its new phone lineup, Motorola remains in transition. The company enjoyed strong sales after introducing the Razr flip phone in 2004. But it struggled to develop another hit. Under Google, it has lost nearly $2 billion and trimmed its workforce from 20,000 to about 3,800. Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside, a Google veteran who took the helm in May 2012 with the Internet company’s takeover, sat down with The Associated Press to talk about Motorola, its products and its vision for making the Internet affordable and accessible to everyone. Questions and answers have been edited for length. Q: A lot of people know Motorola for early cellphones and the Razr line. Today, how would you describe Motorola? A: Our product is not necessarily the hardware, but the mobile Relevant Products/Services Web. Our mission is to provide access to hundreds of millions of people, if not billions over time, to mobile services. With Moto G, you’re starting to see the strategy. You have a […]
Ripe for rebellion? No surprise, but 2014 will see social unrest continue across a swath of Eastern and Southern Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. While “the common backdrop is the 2008-09 financial crises and its aftermath,” writes EIU director Laza Kekic, the kindling for instability comes from uncontrollable factors such as poor government or income inequality. Of the 150 countries the EIU tracks, 43% will be at a “high or very high risk of social unrest in 2014.” Very high risk countries include Syria and Egypt, but also oil-rich Venezuela stumbling along in the post-Chavez era, as well as an Argentina in the throes of high inflation, strikes and general unhappiness with the government. China, “the world’s largest and most successful emerging market,” is also considered likely to experience continued social unrest. Five big economic policy questions for the new year. With mobile computing driving many economic sectors, the debate over whether Sprint Corp. will be allowed to buy Deutsche Telekom AG’s T-Mobile will play an outsize role in policy discussion in 2014, writes Slate’s Matthew Yglesias. We should also pay attention to whether financial regulation, as hammered out in Dodd-Frank, will stick as the economy continues to recover. “Actual bank desire to get on crazy risks has been pretty subdued over the past couple of years thanks to the bad economy,” he writes. As financial firms get aggressive in their money moves, Mr. Yglesias wonders if agencies will have the resources in 2014 to “crack the whip.” Janet Yellen, who replaces Ben Bernanke next week as head of the Federal Reserve, will also be tested […]
William Aichele didn’t set out to be a banker. At 21, he thought he’d work for the family’s transportation services firm. But when his father sold the business, Aichele decided to join what was then Union National Bank and Trust Co. Forty-two years later, Aichele has retired as president and CEO of what’s now known as Univest Corp., the Souderton-based financial services company. “It’s very satisfying to me to look back and see how the organization has grown, and to be able to retire and move on and know that there is a very experienced, very capable management team that will continue the 137-year legacy of Univest,” said 63-year-old Aichele, a nearly lifelong resident of Hilltown. Aichele, who will stay on as chairman of the boards of the Univest Corp. and Univest Bank, will be succeeded by Jeffrey Schweitzer, who joined the corporation in 2007. “Bill has been a terrific mentor and friend over the past six years,” Schweitzer said in an email. “His servant leadership, as shown daily in his commitment to Univest and our local communities, exemplify what a chief executive should be.” Said Univest Bank president and CEO K. Leon Moyer, “Bill has been a great leader at Univest and to many community and nonprofit organizations. It has been a real honor for me to work with Bill for 42 years. I consider him a mentor and will always cherish our friendship.” Aichele joined Union National Bank and Trust Co. in 1971. His family was a bank customer, and he had come to know then-CEO Charles Hoeflich through the family business. “When (the family) decided to close the business, (Hoeflich) asked me […]