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CEO activism in America is risky business

From handshake to clenched fistCEO activism in America is risky businessFirms used to keep politics at arm’s length. What went wrong?BusinessIF YOU ARE an emblem of American harmony like Coca-Cola, you play your politics carefully, especially on issues as divisive as race and voting. The soft-drinks company did so brilliantly in 1964 when the elite...

New means of getting from A to B are disrupting carmaking

Personal transportNew means of getting from A to B are disrupting carmakingThe business of “mobility” in its many forms is huge, and legacy metal-bashers are racing to adaptBusinessIN THE decades after the second world war carmakers were the undisputed champions of the personal-transport economy. Competition and economies of scale made cars affordable...

Clubhouse may fade. Group voice chat is here to stay

Hype clubClubhouse may fade. Group voice chat is here to stayWhat Silicon Valley’s latest hype cycle says about the future of social mediaBusinessApr 10th 2021 editionONE OF SILICON VALLEY’S most successful inventions is hype. It usually disappoints. In 2015 live-streaming from smartphones became all the rage. But Meerkat, an app which pioneered it,...

Pfizer’s boss thinks covid-19 is reshaping Big Pharma for the better

ReformulatedPfizer’s boss thinks covid-19 is reshaping Big Pharma for the betterThe industry is becoming nimbler and more innovativeBusinessApr 10th 2021 edition“THE IMPOSSIBLE can many times become possible,” reflects Albert Bourla, boss of Pfizer. He is talking about the giant American drugmaker’s speedy development (with BioNTech of Germany) of a...

A leaked memo from a chief impact officer

BartlebyA leaked memo from a chief impact officerThe newest addition to the C-suite talks climate change and hot tubsBusinessApr 10th 2021 editionDEAR COLLEAGUES,This is my first memo as the newly appointed chief impact officer at Global United Financial Firms (GUFF) and I would like to thank everyone for welcoming me to the group. Some of you will...

Cairn Energy takes on India’s government

Seize and insistCairn Energy takes on India’s governmentA Scottish firm threatens to seize overseas assets of state-controlled Indian firmsBusinessApr 10th 2021 editionFACED WITH recalcitrant sovereign counterparties, foreign investors and companies occasionally take drastic action. A picaresque example of the genre occurred in 2012, when Elliott Management,...

Brace for the Amazon effect on live sport

SchumpeterBrace for the Amazon effect on live sportThe last redoubt of the pay-TV bundle is under siegeBusinessApr 10th 2021 editionIN 1993 FOX, a nascent cable network owned by Rupert Murdoch, an Australian-born tycoon, paid a fortune to scoop the rights to National Football League (NFL) games from under the nose of CBS, a veteran broadcaster. It caused...

China’s rulers want more control of big tech

Tycoons on a tight leashChina’s rulers want more control of big techAs the Communist Party whips digital platforms into line, trillions of dollars in market value are at stakeBusinessCHINA’S TECH tycoons have not been themselves lately. In early March, at the annual session of China’s rubber-stamp parliament, Pony Ma called for stricter regulation of...

Billionaires battle for Tribune Publishing

American newspapersBillionaires battle for Tribune PublishingA bidding war is under way to wrest control of the media group from a hedge fundBusinessApr 3rd 2021 editionGARY MARX and David Jackson, two veteran investigative reporters at the Chicago Tribune, spent most of last year seeking potential buyers who might save their newspaper from Alden Global...

Hon Hai, Apple’s biggest iPhone assembler, is eyeing cars

Riding Hon HaiHon Hai, Apple’s biggest iPhone assembler, is eyeing carsThe contract manufacturer has thrived amid the pandemic, in line with its biggest customer. Now it wants to diversifyBusinessApr 3rd 2021 editionHON HAI PRECISION INDUSTRY is as obscure as its main client is famous. On March 30th the firm, also known as Foxconn, reported record sales...

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