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Netflix (NFLX) Hires Two Top Snap Executives to Lead Ad Push

Netflix (NFLX) hires two of Snap Inc.'s top executives to lead its advertising sales team ahead of the ad-supported tier's launch in 2023. Netflix NFLX recently announced that it has appointed two of Snapchat parent Snap Inc.’s SNAP top executives to help the streaming giant in building relationships with brand advertisers to support its AVOD tiers, which are expected to be launched early next year.Snap confirmed the departure of chief business officer Jeremi Gorman and Peter Naylor, vice president of ad sales for the Americas. Gorman has been working with Snap since 2018, looking after the global sales team responsible for enterprise advertisers, while Naylor joined the company two years ago after helping Hulu expand its robust ad-based subscription tiers.Netflix introduced its plans to launch an ad-supported tier of its service earlier this year, after reporting its first quarterly subscriber loss in over a decade. Netflix is struggling with slow revenue growth attributable to stiffer competition from rival companies and rampant account sharing among its prospects.Netflix had 220.67 million global subscribers in the second quarter, a loss of nearly 1 million subscribers. The upcoming advertising tier will look to turn that trend around by giving customers a cheaper streaming option, with reports suggesting that the plan could come down to the $7-9 price range.News of Naylor and Gorman’s appointments comes around six weeks after Netflix confirmed that Microsoft will be its technology and advertising sales partner. Netflix’s shares are down 63.4% year to date compared with the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector’s decline of 33.1% over the same time frame.Netflix, Inc. Price and Consensus Netflix, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Netflix, Inc. QuoteNetflix to Jump the Ad-Supported Streaming BandwagonNetflix is joining a chase for ad dollars that other streamers have already started. HBO Max, part of the newly-merged Warner Bros. Discovery WBD, has already expressed a desire to run commercials for some HBO films. WBD has been focusing on selective projects and content to sustain viewership on its streaming platforms.Hulu has begun reaching out to local and regional advertisers and not just the big national marketers revered by major media outlets.Disney’s DIS new ad-supported offering for the Disney+ streaming service will be available starting Dec 8, 2022. The company has also reached out to affiliates and recently signed a new agreement with the ad-tech company, The Trade Desk, as part of an effort to boost the commercial inventory it sells via connected-TV.Netflix’s most popular streaming plan in the United States is now $15.50 per month. This follows several rate hikes to help pay for its original programming, which has gained importance since Disney pulled down its programming and classic movies from Netflix after licensing agreements between the companies expired.Netflix and Disney have also been cutting costs and downsizing to sustain amid macroeconomic challenges. While Disney cut $1 billion from the 2022 budget, it will still spend $7 billion more than a year ago.In May, as Netflix’s subscriber count flagged, the platform canceled some of its announced animation projects, including Antiracist Baby, Wings of Fire, and Pearl, an animation project from Meghan Markle. In the world of adult animation, Netflix also scrapped a planned adaptation of the acclaimed adult comic Bone, as well as the original series Boons and Curses from animator Jaydeep Hasrajani.Netflix’s diversified content portfolio, attributable to heavy investments in the production and distribution of localized, foreign-language content, is expected to remain the key catalyst. The ad-supported low-priced tier might just help this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company regain some of the lost market share in the near term. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Special Report: The Top 5 IPOs for Your Portfolio Today, you have a chance to get in on the ground floor of one of the best investment opportunities of the year. As the world continues to benefit from an ever-evolving internet, a handful of innovative tech companies are on the brink of reaping immense rewards - and you can put yourself in a position to cash in. One is set to disrupt the online communication industry. Brilliantly designed for creating online communities, this stock is poised to explode when made public. With the strength of our economy and record amounts of cash flooding into IPOs, you don’t want to miss this opportunity.>>See Zacks’ Hottest IPOs NowWant 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 Netflix, Inc. (NFLX): Free Stock Analysis Report The Walt Disney Company (DIS): Free Stock Analysis Report Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (WBD): Free Stock Analysis Report Snap Inc. (SNAP): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 1st, 2022

The Twitter Whistleblower Needs You to Trust Him

An exclusive interview with Twitter whistleblower Peiter 'Mudge' Zatko, the famous hacker fighting a messy battle with the platform Peiter Zatko, the Twitter whistle-blower, is a black belt in jiu-jitsu. The day before his complaint against the social media company was published, Zatko was sitting in his lawyer’s office in Washington, scrolling through his camera roll to find a photo of his legs locked around someone’s neck. The move is called a side-triangle. It’s totally safe, he says, because the opponent will black out before a lack of blood flow to the brain can cause any lasting damage. One of the things Zatko likes about the martial art, he explains, is that it’s less about brute strength than finding creative ways to maneuver your opponent into a weaker position. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] That talent translates to cybersecurity. In Nov. 2020, Zatko, the hacker known as “Mudge,” was hired as Twitter’s security lead, with a global remit to fix gaping vulnerabilities in one of the world’s most important communications platforms. But 14 months later, he was fired. Six months after that, he filed a sweeping whistle-blower complaint that paints a damning portrait of a company in crisis. In an 84-page complaint to federal regulatory agencies and the Department of Justice, which was first reported by the Washington Post and CNN and which TIME obtained from a congressional source, he describes Twitter as crippled by rudderless and dishonest leadership, beset by “egregious” privacy and security flaws, tainted by foreign influence, a danger to national security, and susceptible even to total collapse. Zatko says he felt an ethical duty to come forward. “Being a public whistle-blower is the last resort, something that I would only ever do after I had exhausted all other means,” he told TIME in a lengthy interview on Aug. 22. “It is not an easy path, but I view it as continuing to help improve the place where I was employed.” Twitter quickly hit back. Zatko was fired for “ineffective leadership and poor performance,” CEO Parag Agrawal wrote in an email to employees, calling the disclosures a “false narrative that is riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies” and presented out of context. “Mudge was accountable for many aspects of this work that he is now inaccurately portraying more than six months after his termination,” Agrawal said. The story of how a top Twitter official turned whistle-blower is not a straightforward saga. In more than a dozen interviews with Zatko’s friends, family, and current and former colleagues, the portrait that emerges is more complicated. Eight current and former Twitter employees, who spoke with TIME on condition of anonymity in order to discuss issues they were not authorized to speak publicly about, said that many aspects of Zatko’s disclosures rang true to their experience, particularly his allegations of security deficiencies and shortcomings in company leadership. Some of the same sources, many of whom professed to like and admire Zatko, suggested that various allegations were misleading, overblown, or lacking context—in part because Zatko was straying into areas of the company into which he had only basic insight. Read More: ‘Egregious Deficiencies,’ Bots, and Foreign Agents: The Biggest Allegations From the Twitter Whistle-Blower Zatko’s allegations have emerged at a pivotal moment for Twitter, which is locked in a legal battle over an agreement to sell the company to Elon Musk. That makes the accuracy and credibility of Zatko’s claims a multibillion-dollar issue, and the object of considerable debate by his former colleagues. “Is Mudge generally correct? Yes,” says one current Twitter employee who worked with Zatko. “Where he is correct is that Twitter has absolutely been negligent in creating the appropriate security infrastructure for a company that has the level of impact it has … Is Mudge wrong about lots of things? Also yes. I think there’s a lot of sour grapes.” Zatko had come from a long line of jobs where he had free rein to tear up organizational structures and prioritize security above all else. But at Twitter, current and former colleagues say, he found himself in a different environment: navigating tense internal politics at a corporation bent on boosting revenue, without support from his superiors. Some employees caught up in the tumult perceived Zatko to be a figure hired by then CEO Jack Dorsey for publicity reasons, stepping on the toes of qualified colleagues with more institutional knowledge. Technically brilliant and morally rigid, Zatko was an iconoclast stepping into a corporate bureaucracy. “It’s like asking a doctor who’s been trained to do brain surgery to suddenly become a podiatrist,” says a former Twitter colleague. The polarized reactions to Zatko’s disclosures illustrate just how atypical a tech whistle-blower he is. Last year, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, disclosed tens of thousands of pages of internal company documents that revealed a company prioritizing profits over user safety. But readers didn’t have to take Haugen’s word for it; they could read the words of Facebook’s own safety teams. Zatko is different. As a former senior executive, he had a bird’s-eye view into Twitter’s decisionmaking, ultimately responsible for hundreds of staff in some of Twitter’s most high-priority work streams. But he didn’t release the same breadth of documentation as Haugen; while Zatko supplied some exhibits to support his claims, including internal emails, his partially redacted disclosures rely largely on his own credibility as one of the most celebrated figures in cybersecurity. He is implicitly asking the public to trust that his version of events is the correct one, and that Twitter is lying. Zatko may lose money by coming forward. Half of his compensation at Twitter was in cash, but the rest came in stock, says John Tye of the law firm Whistleblower Aid, which is representing Zatko. The value of those shares dropped by about 9% when news of Zatko’s allegations broke. Tye insists Zatko’s motivations are rooted in a desire to see the company succeed in the long term, not his own financial self-interest. The fate of Twitter’s stock price may be just the first of a cascading series of consequences from Zatko’s disclosures. His contention that Twitter has a bigger bot problem than executives admit may prevent them from forcing completion of the Musk deal. Tye says that his client prefers Twitter to remain a public company, for the public good. “We have concerns if the SEC were to lose jurisdiction if the company goes private, because there’s one less law-enforcement lever,” Tye says. “That’s a problem for accountability.” Zatko told TIME he has never met Musk and did not provide any information to him in advance of his disclosures becoming public knowledge. Zatko’s allegations could ripple out even further, in Washington and beyond. On Sept. 13, he is set to testify in Congress about the allegations, which could spur investigations by the SEC and FTC. That could in turn further erode public faith in social media companies generally, as they face escalating questions about their influence on politics and society, as well as global efforts to rein them in. All of which means the question of what kind of whistle-blower Peiter “Mudge” Zatko is has consequences well beyond Twitter’s future. In his Twitter profile picture, Zatko has flowing, shoulder-length brown hair, with a ring of light hovering above his head like a halo. But it’s been more than two decades since he traded this long-haired look—“hacker Jesus,” his wife Sarah Zatko jokes—for a clean-cut mien befitting a man who’s done tours at the highest levels of government. As Zatko sat down for his interview with TIME on the eve of the allegations becoming public, he sported a crisp goatee flecked with gray, wired spectacles, and a lapel pin depicting the logo of his lawyers, Whistleblower Aid. The profile picture is no accident. Zatko cites his famous work in the 1990s as both the defining era of his life and the grounding for his present morality. “I always ask myself: What would the Mudge of the late ‘90s think about what I’m doing now?” he says of his decision to blow the whistle on Twitter. “I want to make sure I haven’t lost that drive, that my ethics are still just as strong, that I’m fighting for people just as hard.” Dina Litovsky for TIMESarah Zatko at home on Aug. 23, 2022 Zatko is both attuned to and skilled at nurturing the mythology surrounding him. When he was a toddler, his father hung over his crib a mobile made of circuit boards. “He wanted me not to be afraid of technology,” he said in a 2011 interview with a trade magazine. He says he began hacking at the age of 5, picking locks and reverse-engineering computer games with his dad on a late-1970s Apple II computer to get around copyright protections. As a teenager, he spent his time surfing ARPANET, the predecessor to the modern internet, along with the bulletin boards where communities of online hackers were taking shape. Growing up in Alabama and Pennsylvania in the 1980s, his childhood heroes were the social activist Abbie Hoffman and the musician Frank Zappa. Zatko studied the guitar and the violin, and chose music over computer science, attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston. After graduating, he split his time between playing at clubs with his progressive metal band Raymaker, part-time tech-support work, and working with a high-profile hacker “think tank” called the L0pht (pronounced Loft) to expose corporate security flaws. He would soon become its most prominent member and went on to join a hacking cooperative known as the Cult of the Dead Cow. At the L0pht, Zatko pioneered a strategy of publicly embarrassing companies that refused to patch vulnerabilities that he and his fellow hackers had flagged to them. His biggest nemesis in the 1990s was Microsoft. When Zatko and his colleagues showed it was possible to insert malicious code to run secretly on any machine, Microsoft ignored it. So the L0pht released a user-friendly tool that allowed anybody to break into Windows users’ personal accounts, reasoning that it was the only way to force the company to finally fix its vulnerabilities. It worked. Today, Zatko says, Microsoft has one of the most advanced security programs in the world. Still, “responsible disclosure,” as the tactic of public embarrassment became known, is a bit of a misnomer. Criminals could use the hacking program he released to crack passwords in less than 24 hours, enabling them to steal credit-card or medical data from innocent users using unpatched machines. Zatko says that he thought “long and hard” before deciding that releasing the tool was the only way to make Microsoft change its ways and protect its users, even if some people got hurt in the short term. “Dishonesty is definitely something that frustrates him,” says his wife Sarah, a former mathematician at the National Security Agency. “It doesn’t mean he’s always trying to make a big public fuss, because if you can get things fixed … through proper channels it’s always easier on everybody. But if that’s not possible, there’s always this fallback.” Zatko and other members of the L0pht agreed to testify about internet security on Capitol Hill in May 1998. In the congressional hearing room, they were identified on their placards only by their hacker names. Zatko sat in the center of the group of seven hackers and did most of the talking. Even then, he flashed a flair for the dramatic, getting lawmakers’ attention by infamously claiming he could take down the internet in 30 minutes. “How can we be expected to protect the system and the network,” Zatko asked the assembled Senators, “when all of the seven individuals seated before you can tear down the foundation that the network was built upon?” Douglas Graham—Congressional Quarterly/Getty ImagesComputer hackers from the L0pht testify before a Senate Governmental Affairs hearing on government computer security on May 19, 1998 Still in his 20s, he began to work as an unofficial adviser on internet-security issues to Richard Clarke, who would become the cybersecurity czar for three different U.S. Presidents. A photo from 2000 shows Zatko at the first White House meeting on cybersecurity, talking to then President Bill Clinton. After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, cybersecurity suddenly became an urgent part of counterterrorism strategy. Bad actors and “spam gangs” run out of Russia and Eastern Europe were releasing viruses and other malware, wreaking havoc on systems unprepared to counter them. Zatko began advising U.S. intelligence agencies and the military for free. Zatko was shaken by what he uncovered when he started digging. “I started to figure out numerous ways of knocking the financial sector down,” he says. “It just started to dawn on me that I, as an individual actor, could wreak serious havoc. And this is shortly after 9/11.” He had a bad reaction to drugs that his psychiatrist prescribed to deal with his rising anxiety, which only made things worse. It took a long time for him to emotionally recover. “Every security professional has the moment where they have started to learn enough about the field that all of a sudden they have this existential crisis,” says Zatko’s wife Sarah. “Then you either become [nihilistic] and everything’s hopeless, or else you have to figure out a way to get past it and try to fix your corner of things.” Out of his rut and adopting that new mindset, Zatko was tapped in 2010 to lead cybersecurity efforts at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). “I didn’t go there because I thought it was cool. I didn’t go there because I wanted to be a part of the government,” he told the audience at the DEF CON hacker conference in 2013. “I actually went there because I thought they and other parts of government had kind of lost their way, and I had an opportunity to go in and fix it.” One of his first moves was bringing in hackers and forcing career officials at the military office to spend three days in a conference room with them, says Renee Rush, a U.S. Air Force veteran who worked with him at the agency. “Mudge could go anywhere and get a big paycheck,” Rush says, “but you’ll never find him in a job that doesn’t have a distinctive mission.” AlamyPresident Clinton meets with technology leaders, including Peiter “ Zatko’s sense of principle has a way of engendering loyalty among his many mentees, both inside and outside his field. Ryan Hall, a champion mixed martial artist, became close friends with Zatko after Zatko joined Hall’s gym in Arlington, Va., in 2010 to practice jiu-jitsu. He recalls seeing Zatko at a coffee shop a block from the gym, sporting jeans and a T-shirt, surrounded by men in well-cut suits. “Peiter has very little time for moral waffling,” Hall says. After 3½ years, Zatko left DARPA for stints doing security research at Google and the payment processor Stripe. He cast both as companies that took security advice seriously. “The executives actually back security and let us do things differently (otherwise I wouldn’t be there!),” he tweeted approvingly in 2018 while at Stripe. Over the years, internet security has grown more complicated as its impact expands beyond scams, cyberattacks, and corporate or government security hacks. Zatko publicly expressed his frustration that veteran security experts’ advice was being ignored in the lead-up to the 2016 election. The Democratic National Committee reached out to him for help to improve its network and information security, but even his most basic suggestions were considered too “annoying,” he said. “DNC creates Cybersecurity board made up of well-meaning people with no cybersecurity expertise,” he tweeted in August 2016. “Your move Russia…” Four years later, after the Trump era showed just how essential the security of social media platforms was for safeguarding democracy, Zatko was sitting in his home office in New Jersey. The room is in an extension with no central heating or cooling system. In the winter, it is warmed by “way too many” computer cores—over 100, he estimates. It’s a messy space, with dog-eared textbooks strewn across the floor and framed letters of praise from national security luminaries on the walls. Zatko’s phone rang. On the other end was Dorsey. The man who had co-founded Twitter addressed him as Mudge, and told Zatko the hacker’s work during the 1990s was one of the reasons he pursued a tech career. “That just blew my mind,” Zatko recalls. “I’m talking to the guy who created, let’s face it, a platform that is critical worldwide. It influences governments, social change, it is the perception many people have of the world. And he was telling me that he was interested in me.” Zatko eventually decided to accept the unorthodox job Dorsey was offering, overseeing Twitter’s entire security operations, both data and physical. Zatko saw the protection of a platform as influential as Twitter as perhaps his most effective way to “make a dent in the universe”—a personal motto originating from his time at the L0pht. The move was hailed by experts as a sign of Twitter’s serious commitment to fixing long-standing security issues. As one security analyst put it, “A rare moment of cybersecurity sunshine where it seems the right person is put in the lead on addressing a major issue.” Twitter needed him. The company was reeling from one of the most embarrassing incidents in its 16-year history. In July 2020, a trio that included two teenagers used extremely basic phishing methods to gain access to the accounts of Twitter employees. They were then able to send tweets from the accounts of Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Elon Musk, and a slew of other blue-checked accounts, setting up a scam that netted them over $100,000 in Bitcoin. The incident was hardly the company’s first major security lapse. The year before, the U.S. government had accused two Twitter employees of being moles for the Saudi Arabian government. This month, one of them was found guilty in federal court. Back in 2011, the FTC had filed a complaint against Twitter for failing to protect consumer information. That complaint was supposed to result in Twitter implementing a robust security program resistant to cyberattacks. Yet the success of the July 2020 hackers showed how vulnerable the platform remained. “While Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Meta consistently put out new features to help people protect their accounts and information, Twitter’s focus seemed to be a bit stale,” says Runa Sandvik, a privacy and security researcher. “It’s unclear what Twitter was doing in that space, if anything at all.” Zatko’s whistle-blower complaint says he expected to spend the remainder of his career working at Twitter. But it quickly became apparent that the company was “a decade behind” its competitors, he wrote in a staff memo included in the disclosures. Teams fighting bots were understaffed and overworked, he alleges, and internal security measures Twitter promised to develop in the wake of the 2011 FTC mandate had yet to be rolled out. Zatko’s complaint claims that a serious security breach was occurring at Twitter on average every week. Read More: What the Twitter Whistle-blower Disclosure Means for Elon Musk. On Jan. 6, 2021, Zatko was watching the Capitol insurrection unfold online and asked a Twitter engineering executive to curtail employees’ access to internal systems. He learned that too many employees had irrevocable access. One rogue engineer with the right system privileges could have sabotaged the platform, sowing misinformation and discord, Zatko alleges in his disclosure. Zatko tried to patch these holes. He shuttered several existing security and privacy programs in favor of a new department, optimistically named Confidence. He drew up a three-year plan to improve defense efforts and measure spam bots, which he alleges were running rampant and unchecked across the platform. According to his disclosure, he was met with continual pushback at senior levels of the company, and when it came to security issues, he says, “deliberate ignorance” was the norm. Some product managers were “encouraged” to override security and privacy issues in order to release new products more quickly, his complaint alleges. Current and former Twitter employees who spoke with TIME corroborated the general sweep of Zatko’s allegations that Twitter often prioritized profit over security. “Unless you can make a compelling trade-off argument for why improved security or privacy will benefit the business more than their cost,” says one former Twitter employee, “it’s very hard to enforce change.” Zatko’s complaint adds that his efforts to inform Twitter’s board about various security issues were met with alarm or anger, and that at least twice he was asked by executives to withhold information from the board. Twitter declined multiple requests from TIME to address specific parts of Zatko’s allegations. In his email dated Aug. 23, Agrawal said Zatko’s disclosures as a whole had many inaccuracies in them. Meanwhile, Dorsey, the man who Zatko thought would be his main ally, was increasingly absent and unfocused, Zatko’s disclosure says. A representative for Dorsey’s company, Block, did not respond to a request for comment for this story. The situation began to come to a head in November 2021, when Dorsey resigned. His replacement was Agrawal, who had formerly been the most senior executive in charge of security issues before Zatko arrived. Tensions between the two quickly escalated. Zatko says in his disclosures that he became concerned that Agrawal was going to use the first board meeting of his tenure to diminish the severity of security issues. He wrote to Agrawal on Dec. 15, arguing that there were “numerous, and some significant, misrepresentations” in materials for an upcoming presentation, according to emails contained in the complaint. Agrawal brushed him off, Zatko’s complaint alleges, and the next day, the documents were presented at a high-level Risk Committee board meeting. In a Jan. 4, 2022, email to Agrawal, Zatko called the documents “at worst fraudulent,” and wrote, “I was hired to achieve certain goals and to fix problems here at Twitter. In order to do that, we need to recognize the actual state of affairs at the company.” A few days later, Agrawal wrote back to Zatko, saying that the company had launched an internal investigation into Zatko’s allegations of “fraud.” Zatko was asked for a detailed report to back up his claims, which he began to pull together. Less than two weeks later, before he was able to file the report, he was fired. Zatko retained Whistleblower Aid on March 17, a month before Musk offered to buy Twitter. He concluded he had no choice but to blow the whistle. “Change sometimes requires, you know, kicking the hornet’s nest a little bit,” he says. “Ethically and morally, I had to pursue this.” In interviews, current and former Twitter officials had differing perspectives on Zatko’s allegations. Several said that Zatko was right about many things, including data-management issues, chaotic leadership, and platform vulnerabilities. But some felt he mischaracterized or exaggerated certain details in the disclosure, particularly when it came to issues that he himself did not work on. “He didn’t know what was happening with the bots stuff,” says a current employee who worked with Zatko. “That did not fall under his security purview.” Zatko’s attorneys dispute this, arguing that he did in fact have insight into and authority over the bots issue as the ultimate supervisor of Twitter Services, which oversees global content moderation at scale. The disagreement can be chalked up to Twitter’s messy organizational structure, in which different arms of the company have competing claims to ownership of the bots issue. Hannah McKay—AFP/Getty ImagesJack Dorsey, chief executive officer of Twitter, testifies remotely during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “ Other parts of Zatko’s disclosures simply pit his word against Twitter’s. One of his most explosive claims is that Twitter “knowingly” hired “agents” of the Indian government. Because of access privileges afforded to many Twitter employees, Zatko says in his disclosure, these alleged agents could access sensitive user data. The hires came at a time when the Indian government was bristling at Twitter’s refusal to identify details about people using the platform to criticize the nation’s ruling party. Zatko had direct responsibility for the physical security of employees at Twitter, and would likely have been directly briefed on alleged espionage efforts. The disclosures state that Zatko has given more details about this incident to the Department of Justice and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Twitter declined multiple requests from TIME to address Zatko’s claims about Indian agents on the record. One person with direct knowledge of Twitter’s internal affairs in India told TIME they had no knowledge of the supposed agent, but said they would not be surprised if the Indian government had at least tried to covertly appoint an agent to Twitter’s payroll, similar to the Saudi case. Some of Zatko’s other claims strike experts as overstated. His disclosure argues that Twitter’s failure to own the rights to training data of machine-learning models constitutes “fraud,” for example. That shortcoming is an industry-wide practice, according to two former Twitter employees and others familiar with industry standards. As the pushback mounts, Zatko tells TIME he stands by his allegations and for legal reasons is unable to talk about his time at Twitter beyond what’s in the disclosures. “I was aware of the most common tactics that would happen, that there would be attempts to character assassinate me or make things personal—anything that would distract from the data and the problem at hand,” Zatko says. While Zatko describes his decision to go public in idealistic terms, the timing of the disclosures is notable. The trial to decide whether Musk must go through with his initial agreement to buy Twitter is set to start in Delaware on Oct. 17. Zatko inserts himself into this battle from the opening pages of his disclosure, claiming that Twitter is “lying about bots to Elon Musk.” Zatko may be drawn directly into the court case: Musk’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, tells TIME his team has subpoenaed Zatko, although Zatko’s lawyers say he has received no such subpoena. Two legal experts say they’re skeptical Zatko’s claims will have a major impact on the lawsuit. He provides scant new information about spam bots, and what he does claim about them has little to do with the merger agreement. Ann Lipton, a law professor at Tulane University, says that Zatko’s claims that Twitter lied in its SEC filings will be hard to prove. “When a disgruntled employee disagrees with management decisions,” Lipton says, “that’s frequently not taken as a sufficient basis for treating an SEC filing as false.” “The question ultimately boils down to the credibility of the assertions made by the whistle-blower, and that is usually determined by the existence of hard evidence,” says Howard Fischer, a former SEC attorney. “Twitter’s real regulatory risk lies in whether or not the documentary evidence, and not the potentially self-serving statements of a former employee, shows knowing or reckless misleading of regulators or investors in public filings and statements.” Greg Kahn for TIMEZatko attending meetings in Washington on Aug. 23, 2022 The disclosures could have other long-lasting financial and political ramifications. The company’s stock price dropped by around 9% in the wake of the disclosures’ publication. The same day, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin and Democratic Representative Frank Pallone announced they were investigating Zatko’s claims, with Pallone calling for “the need to pass comprehensive privacy legislation.” Zatko’s allegations have demoralized Twitter employees, some current staffers say, and may exacerbate a brain drain at a company that has lost many of its leaders and significantly slowed its spending while in Musk-induced limbo. Twitter still has a significant impact on elections and political discourse around the world, and those who are still working on its security and privacy teams will “have to work three or four times harder,” says a former Twitter employee. Knowing that his actions would cause corporate chaos and catalyze government investigations, Zatko says he made his decision with one goal in mind: to make Twitter, and thus the world, safer. Although right now the public can only take him at his word, that may not hold true for long. When he testifies before Congress in September, Zatko—who refused to discuss the meat of his complaint in his interview with TIME—will have the legal cover to expand on the allegations, potentially revealing new and damaging details about what happened within Twitter. Zatko is not the youthful star hacker he used to be. Two days before his interview with TIME, he broke a toe while sparring with a jiu-jitsu opponent, an accident he chalks up in part to partial paralysis of his back, which he says his doctor told him has been brought on by the stress of the past few months. Injury, however, may be necessary if you’re going to engage in the fight. “If you’re just reacting to what an adversary is doing, they’re the ones that are moving you around and manipulating you,” he says. “That’s all too common in this industry.” —With reporting by Leslie Dickstein, Nik Popli, Simmone Shah, and Julia Zorthian.....»»

Category: topSource: timeAug 25th, 2022

Insiders are predicting a giant wave of machine-learning acquisitions as valuations plummet and giants like Snowflake eye takeover opportunities

Investors and insiders who poured hundreds of millions into machine-learning startups now expect a big wave of acquisitions as the market sours. Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman.Snowflake As companies' valuations plummet amid the market downturn, insiders and VCs predict an M&A wave. Machine-learning startups in the "$10 million ARR club" are prime targets, they say. The data giant Snowflake says it's eyeing strategic acquisitions, which further signals a shakeout. Companies' valuations are being cut en masse as the market sours, with many raising down rounds and laying off employees. Insiders and investors are now expecting a big wave of acquisitions, and many machine-learning startups are prime targets.Some of the startups most likely to get scooped up are part of what investors and insiders sometimes refer to as the "token $10 million ARR club," which refers to companies that picked up a few large initial customers but have yet to break into the mainstream. With a looming downturn, their customers may look to quickly cut costs — which would come at the expense of the startups relying on their deals.Like with most emerging technology, new machine-learning startups typically find a sweet spot in the rapidly evolving field and build a product as a wedge into customers. Those that find success can then launch additional products and gradually expand until they own a large part of their customers' machine-learning workflows. Those that can't build a sustainable business get acquired or eventually shut down.With the current market conditions and lower price tags on startups, this means there will likely be plenty of opportunities for acquisitions, either as "acqui-hires" or to buy up key technology. Snowflake, in particular, will likely be eyeing acquisitions after spending $800 million on a machine-learning platform called Streamlit."I do think the next six months, if things stay where they are, there could be interesting opportunities on the M&A front. Not necessarily big M&A, but I do think there's going to be some valuation resets on some of the private companies out there that could create interesting opportunities," Snowflake's chief financial officer, Mike Scarpelli, said on the company's most recent earnings call.Scarpelli went on to explain there were some areas on the company's road map where it may make sense to consider acquisitions for both added staff and tech buys."We're not looking for revenue but good teams and technology at a more reasonable valuation," he said.The same tools spawning billion-dollar valuations lose their lusterThe data-catalog space, which includes startups like the $1.2 billion firm Alation and the $5.25 billion company Collibra, is one of several areas in the machine-learning industry that sources say may be challenging to prove as a compelling stand-alone product, which makes it ripe for acquisitions. Another part of that workflow that comes up frequently is feature stores.Feature stores allow developers to avoid needlessly running massive recalculations when deploying a machine-learning component of a product. The largest player is Tecton, which manages the open-source feature-store tool Feast. Tecton was founded in 2019 by the creators of Uber's Michelangelo machine-learning tools.Tecton has since moved beyond feature stores to other products, and like many open-source tools, Feast serves as an on-ramp to a more sophisticated (and more lucrative) tool. But insiders question whether a feature store — which at the time was enough to net Tecton $60 million in funding from investors like Sequoia and Andreessen Horowitz — can be a stand-alone product. Both Tecton and Rasgo, another startup that launched on the momentum of feature stores, have since pushed into new areas."That terminology has been a little tricky for us. It's really easy to hear the word 'store' and think of a database table," Tecton CEO Michael Del Balso told Insider. "What we've seen is, and we see this again and again, teams who are putting machine learning into production. They underestimate this problem."It's in many ways a return to the age-old question of whether something is a feature or a product. The machine-learning startup Dataiku, for example, has a feature-store component, while Tecton has rapidly tried to grow beyond feature stores. Both are backed by Snowflake after Tecton raised $100 million earlier this month in a round that also included Databricks.Snowflake and Databricks could build out the same features these billion-dollar startups haveWhile Snowflake and Databricks have both bet on Tecton and others, a shadow exists over whether they will launch their own products. Insiders say that as long as they're serving as a way to drive usage of Snowflake and Databricks, they expect the companies to remain supported. But Snowflake and Databricks may also eye certain parts of the workflow, like a feature store, as a component they could add to their own products.Not all machine-learning startups are in this position. Many investors and insiders have said there are several startups that have likely built enough momentum to avoid being part of a rollup. Hugging Face, recently valued at $2 billion, is one that comes up frequently because of its large community, alongside the experiment-tracking startup Weights & Biases.At the same time, acquisitions that do crop up may provide lucrative outcomes for investors, who rarely see the lightning-in-a-bottle results of a WhatsApp or Red Hat. Smaller acquisitions and initial public offerings are largely what deliver expected results at a high-enough volume."Machine learning is really exciting, but sometimes it's hard to tie to ROI for some of these companies," one insider close to Tecton and other startups said. "Who knows — with this market environment, consolidation might happen really fast."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJul 24th, 2022

Esper hires chief revenue officer shortly after layoffs

The move comes just two weeks after the Bellevue startup confirmed it had cut 12% of its staff......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJul 8th, 2022

How much media and tech giants from Spotify to TikTok pay employees in the US

More than a year's worth of pay data shows what media companies including Hulu, Spotify, Snap, and more offer US staffers for tech and other jobs. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek.Drew Angerer/Getty Images Streaming merged media with technology, driving companies from Disney to TikTok to compete for talent. Insider analyzed US pay data to see what eight media and tech giants offer top talent. They include Netflix, Snap, Roku, and more. Streaming fused media with technology, urging media companies to think like tech platforms and tech giants to move into content.The result is a massive shift in media and tech workforces. Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, and others have been staffing up in tech and consumer-facing roles as they focus on their direct-to-consumer businesses. And tech companies like TikTok have made key hires from more traditional media spheres. With media and tech heavyweights increasingly vying for top talent, Insider analyzed recent pay data to see how much the major players in the space offered top talent.The data, released by the US Department of Labor's Office of Foreign Labor Certification, shows how much companies offered to pay employees who they wanted to hire through work visas in the US.We looked at pay data, mainly from October 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021 (with one exception), across nine companies including Hulu; Netflix; The New York Times; Roku; Snapchat owner Snap; TikTok and its parent company, Bytedance; Twitch, Amazon's livestreaming platform; and Warner Bros. Discovery.These are base salaries, and do not include other forms of compensation such as stock options or cash bonuses.HuluDisney's US streamer Hulu offered base salaries ranging from $93,150 to $208,000 per year, according to wages from 57 foreign-labor-certification applications.Most of the salaries were for tech jobs, including data scientist and software engineer roles. There were also salaries for a handful of other roles at Hulu, such as marketing analyst and manager of content financial analysis.Many of these jobs are now part of Disney's broader streaming division, as the company has centralized its direct-to-consumer efforts.Read our full breakdown of how much employees at Hulu and other Disney divisions make. NetflixStreaming giant Netflix offered base salaries ranging from $40.45 per hour to $800,000 per year for certain US roles, according to wages from 240 foreign-labor-certification applications.They included content, finance, legal, marketing, product, and other roles, many of which offered six-figure base salaries.Netflix's workforce boomed in recent years as the company staffed up to support its growing content endeavors and, more recently, its push into gaming. It added 1,900 full-time staffers last year, ending 2021 with 11,300 employees globally.But the streamer also recently laid off staffers in marketing, animation, and other divisions amid internal restructurings and subscriber-growth struggles that have raised questions about the company's growth plans. Still, Netflix is planning an expansion into advertising, among other areas, that could help create new jobs. Read our full breakdown of how much Netflix employees make. The New York TimesThe New York Times offered base salaries ranging from $70,000 to $306,000 per year for certain US roles, according to wages from 60 foreign-labor-certification applications. The pay data spanned October 1, 2019 to December 31, 2021. The salaries were from jobs in the paper's newsroom and other divisions such as advertising, data, and engineering.  Many of the positions were based in New York, though some were based in California, North Carolina, and Texas.The Times has been in growth mode lately, buying up new properties like sports site The Athletic and hit game Wordle as it seeks to boost its subscription offering to readers across the world. The paper's news division also expanded by hundreds in the last few years and now employs about 1,700 journalists.Read our full breakdown of how much New York Times employees make. RokuRoku, a leader in US streaming devices and platforms, offered base salaries ranging from $75,000 to $687,500 per year for certain US roles, according to wages from 175 foreign-labor-certification applications.The salaries were mainly for product, engineering, and other tech roles. Most of the jobs were based in California, but there were also positions based in other US states including New York, Massachusetts, and Texas.The early days of the pandemic fueled a period of growth for Roku, helping to accelerate its transition from a small-but-mighty maker of streaming-TV boxes into a video platform business that makes most of its revenue through advertising.The company has hit speed bumps since. Its growth has slowed, as have other streaming businesses. And its platform boss Scott Rosenberg, who led Roku's push to sell advertising, is set to leave the company this spring. But Roku hasn't show signs of pulling back on its investment into original content, and has continued to staff up recently to support its growth plans.Read our full breakdown of how much Roku employees make. SnapSnap, the parent company of Snapchat, offered base salaries ranging from $50,315 to $500,000 per year for various US roles — and even $1.95 million for one, according to wages from 303 foreign-labor-certification applications.The salaries were mainly for data, engineering, and product jobs, as well as some marketing and other positions. The jobs were based in Santa Monica, Seattle, Silicon Valley's Mountain View, San Francisco, or New York.Snap heartily grew its workforce in recent years. During Q1 alone, the company said it grew its full-time headcount by 52% year over year.But it's now pumping the breaks on the pace of hiring amid the economic downturn. Snap told employees recently that while it still planned to grow its headcount by about 10% this year, hiring for new roles will slow substantially.Read our full breakdown of how much Snap employees make. SpotifyThe music-streaming company Spotify offered base salaries ranging from $75,440 to $293,356 per year for certain US roles, according to wages from 133 foreign-labor-certification applications.The vast majority of the salaries were for roles based in New York and Boston, though Spotify now allows staffers to "work from anywhere." The jobs included a mix of advertising, research, product, and administrative roles.The Swedish company said in April that it's continued to hire aggressively. It told investors that hiring was up significantly in Q1 and would continue to grow in Q2.It's focusing on the tech and product side of the business, with more than half of new hires in research and development roles, the company said. It's also staffing up in sales and marketing. Read our full breakdown of how much Spotify employees make. TikTokThe short-video app TikTok and its parent company Bytedance offered base salaries ranging from $30 per hour to $400,000 per year for US certain roles, according to wages from 256 foreign-labor-certification applications.Many of the salaries were for roles based in the companies' Mountain View, California offices.The ByteDance salaries included jobs that focus on corporate-support functions like finance that could apply to any division or product within the company. And the TikTok salaries were for TikTok-specific positions in areas like product development and growth marketing.TikTok emerged in recent years as a major player in tech and media.Its user base exploded in 2021, passing one billion monthly active users globally, according to the company. And it's been staffing up to meet growing demand. It had around 1,600 US job openings listed on its website as of March.The company has not yet said whether it will pullback on hiring amid the economic downturn, like some of its competitors are.Read our full breakdown of how much TikTok employees make. TwitchTwitch, Amazon's livestreaming giant, offered base salaries ranging from $60,174 and $201,968 per year for certain US roles, according to wages from 84 foreign-labor-certification applications.Most of the salaries were for data, engineering, and other tech jobs based in San Francisco, California; and Seattle, Washington.Twitch is the largest platform by a longshot in the game streaming space.In February, Amazon-owned Twitch clocked 1.9 billion hours of watch-time, per analytics firm Rainmaker.gg, a slight dip from the 2 billion hours it saw in January. By comparison, Facebook Gaming clocked 497 million hours of watch time that month.Internally, however, a recent Bloomberg report found high turnover among Twitch's workforce. Six C-Suite executives – and a total of 60 employees – have left the company this year, per Bloomberg, including Twitch's COO, chief content officer, and head of creator development. The report said 300 employees left the company in 2021.Nevertheless, Twitch still appears to be staffing up with hundreds of open roles listed on its jobs board.Read our full breakdown of how much Twitch employees make.Warner Bros. DiscoveryDiscovery and WarnerMedia, which recently merged to create Warner Bros. Discovery, have each offered base salaries as high as $300,000 per year for various US roles, based on work-visa applications submitted by both companies between October 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021.The data included 58 salaries at WarnerMedia and 80 salaries at Discovery.The WarnerMedia salaries ranged from $55 per hour to $300,000 per year, and were mostly for jobs at HBO, though the data also included salaries from from other parts of the company. The Discovery salaries ranged from $52,333 to $300,000, and included a mix of business intelligence, data, software engineering, and other roles with pay rates similar to those at WarnerMedia.The union of WarnerMedia and Discovery Inc. created a company of formidable size, with about 30,000 employees at the parent of Warner Bros. and more than 10,000 at the conglomerate that houses cable stalwarts HGTV, the Food Network, and TLC. The dust is still settling on the merger, and corporate consolidation almost always brings "synergies" (read: widespread job cuts) as leadership strategizes to trim the fat.But for now, both parts of the new whole continue to enlist more staffers: There were in April more than 360 online job listings at WarnerMedia and over 300 open positions at Discovery Inc., and a company spokesperson told Insider at the time that there was currently no hiring freeze in place.Read our full breakdown of how much Warner Bros. Discovery employees make.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 30th, 2022

Seattle logistics startup Pandion hires first chief revenue officer

Lori Tenan, formerly an executive at San Mateo, California-based Narvar, "will help identify new opportunities to augment our growth while ensuring our customer experience is best in class,” says Pandion's CEO......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 24th, 2022

After stellar growth during the pandemic, Shopify"s stock is now declining. Insiders reveal what it"s like to work at the e-commerce company as it restructures pay and grapples with employee unrest

Insiders reveal what Shopify's culture is like, what's on the horizon for fulfillment, and how it's competing with Amazon. Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke.Lucas Jackson/Reuters; Marianne Ayala/Insider Shopify saw outsized growth in 2020 and 2021 as the pandemic brought more businesses online.  But performance has slowed down with its stock plummeting 75% from its peak late last year.   Here's a rundown of Insider's reporting on Shopify, including a brewing rivalry with Amazon. See more stories on Insider's business page. Shopify is going through some big changes after seeing monster growth at the peak of the pandemic. Founded in 2006, Shopify provides e-commerce tools to small and medium-sized businesses that often lack large technology budgets. The company's success accelerated in 2020, when the pandemic forced businesses to take their e-commerce operations more seriously, some for the first time, and consumer shopping habits shifted online. The trends were apparent in Shopify's financials: after its business doubled in 2020, it reported 57% revenue growth for 2021, up to $4.6 billion. Its gross merchandise volume — or the total value of sales conducted on the platform — grew 47% year over year. But that trend of explosive growth has recently slowed, with Shopify's revenue and GMV growth declining significantly in its most recent quarter. The company has pointed to macro trends like consumers' return to brick-and-mortar stores as reasons for the slowdown. Shopify's stock has fallen about 75% since its high of $1,762 in the fall of 2021, prompting the company to announce changes to its stock-based approach to employee compensation. Insiders say that the past several years have brought other changes for Shopify's culture, too. The growth challenges come as Shopify has announced plans to increase investments in its fulfillment network. Those plans include its biggest acquisition to date: a $2.1 billion deal to acquire Deliverr.Here's a rundown of Insider's reporting on Shopify, including recent departures, cultural issues, growth ambitions, and new product announcements. A plummeting stock has forced Shopify to reexamine its approach to payShopify has long relied on stock grants as an important part of its employee compensation package. But as Shopify's stock price has plummeted in recent months, some employees have voiced concerns about the total value of their compensation. In April, Shopify announced that it would overhaul its approach to employee compensation and give workers a raise across the board. It also hired a new chief of talent, Tia Silas, to fill a vacancy that had been left open for nearly a year.Inside Shopify's pay crisis: How a falling stock price, employee uproar, and the Great Resignation forced the company to overhaul its compensationShopify hires new chief of talent as it overhauls pay amid an employee outcry and falling stock priceLeaked Slack messages show Shopify plans to address pay and attrition woes: 'It's very hard to focus if you or your team is being targeted by recruiters, we get that.The investing startup Wealthsimple is raiding Shopify for talent as the Canadian tech scene heats upShopify is making big investments in fulfillmentShopify continues to launch products that position it for future growth. The company recently announced plans to bring its fulfillment network out of the "product-market fit" phase and start to own more of the processes itself.Shopify's moves in logistics and fulfillment come as the company sets its sights on further dominating the e-commerce market while fending off Amazon. It has also been adding new features to its consumer-facing Shop app, another area where it could compete with Amazon for shoppers' dollars. More than 2 million merchants now have online stores through Shopify. Shopify now employs more than 10,000 people.Shopify is cutting contracts with warehouses across the US, marking a shift in its push to challenge Amazon's massive fulfillment machineNew shipping features from Amazon and Shopify aim to answer e-commerce's most pressing question: When will my package arrive?The $20 billion reason Shopify is all in on its Shop app and hustling to create a shopping destination to rival Amazon'sShopify has a cult-like following from developers, and it could be the company's biggest weapon against AmazonShopify has lost a number of key executivesShopify announced in April 2021 that its chief talent officer, chief technology officer, and chief legal officer would be leaving the company. The news followed the departure of Shopify's chief product officer in September 2020. But Shopify has also had several departures in its middle ranks over the past several years. Many are leaving to invest in startups or launch their own companies. Some employees have said that CEO Tobi Lütke's management style could also be driving people away.Meet 34 members of the 'Shopify Mafia' who embraced the e-commerce giant's entrepreneurial spirit and launched their own companiesShopify is losing nearly half of its C-suite, including key tech leadership. Analysts worry about what it means for its $1 billion plan to take the fight to Amazon.Shopify has seen a sudden rush of departures despite massive growth. Insiders say CEO Tobi Lütke's temper and 'robotic' personality are partially to blame.Cultural stumbles during the pandemic frustrated some employeesIn 2021, current and former employees told Insider about a series of incidents in which they felt company leadership failed to properly respond to internal debate on racial issues in the summer of 2020. With protests in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd also taking place at the time, tensions were high. One such incident involved a conversation among staff about the uploading of a noose emoji to Shopify's Slack messaging system. As the discussions grew heated, Lütke changed a Slack channel where debate was taking place to be read-only. A few weeks after, he sent an email to managers clarifying his stance on the role that companies should play in their employees' lives.Shopify employees found a noose emoji uploaded to Slack. Its CEO then silenced internal discussions.Read the essay Shopify's CEO sent to managers to remind them they are a sports team, not a family. It shows the growing tension between leaders and employees in the corporate world.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 11th, 2022

Shopify witnessed both stellar growth and cultural challenges during the pandemic. Insiders reveal what it"s like to work at the e-commerce company as it invests in fulfillment and restructures pay.

Insiders reveal what Shopify's culture is like, what's on the horizon for fulfillment, and how it's competing with Amazon. Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke.Lucas Jackson/Reuters; Marianne Ayala/Insider Shopify saw outsized growth in 2020 and 2021 as the pandemic brought more businesses online.  But performance has slowed down with its stock plummeting 75% from its peak late last year.   Here's a rundown of Insider's reporting on Shopify, including a brewing rivalry with Amazon. See more stories on Insider's business page. Shopify is going through some big changes after seeing monster growth at the peak of the pandemic. Founded in 2006, Shopify provides e-commerce tools to small and medium-sized businesses that often lack large technology budgets. The company's success accelerated in 2020, when the pandemic forced businesses to take their e-commerce operations more seriously, some for the first time, and consumer shopping habits shifted online. The trends were apparent in Shopify's financials: after its business doubled in 2020, it reported 57% revenue growth for 2021, up to $4.6 billion. Its gross merchandise volume — or the total value of sales conducted on the platform — grew 47% year over year. But that trend of explosive growth has recently slowed, with Shopify's revenue and GMV growth declining significantly in its most recent quarter. The company has pointed to macro trends like consumers' return to brick-and-mortar stores as reasons for the slowdown. Shopify's stock has fallen about 75% since its high of $1,762 in the fall of 2021, prompting the company to announce changes to its stock-based approach to employee compensation. Insiders say that the past several years have brought other changes for Shopify's culture, too. The growth challenges come as Shopify has announced plans to increase investments in its fulfillment network. Those plans include its biggest acquisition to date: a $2.1 billion deal to acquire Deliverr.Here's a rundown of Insider's reporting on Shopify, including recent departures, cultural issues, growth ambitions, and new product announcements. A plummeting stock has forced Shopify to reexamine its approach to payShopify has long relied on stock grants as an important part of its employee compensation package. But as Shopify's stock price has plummeted in recent months, some employees have voiced concerns about the total value of their compensation. In April, Shopify announced that it would overhaul its approach to employee compensation and give workers a raise across the board. It also hired a new chief of talent, Tia Silas, to fill a vacancy that had been left open for nearly a year.Inside Shopify's pay crisis: How a falling stock price, employee uproar, and the Great Resignation forced the company to overhaul its compensationShopify hires new chief of talent as it overhauls pay amid an employee outcry and falling stock priceLeaked Slack messages show Shopify plans to address pay and attrition woes: 'It's very hard to focus if you or your team is being targeted by recruiters, we get that.The investing startup Wealthsimple is raiding Shopify for talent as the Canadian tech scene heats upShopify is making big investments in fulfillmentShopify continues to launch products that position it for future growth. The company recently announced plans to bring its fulfillment network out of the "product-market fit" phase and start to own more of the processes itself.Shopify's moves in logistics and fulfillment come as the company sets its sights on further dominating the e-commerce market while fending off Amazon. It has also been adding new features to its consumer-facing Shop app, another area where it could compete with Amazon for shoppers' dollars. More than 2 million merchants now have online stores through Shopify. Shopify now employs more than 10,000 people.Shopify is cutting contracts with warehouses across the US, marking a shift in its push to challenge Amazon's massive fulfillment machineNew shipping features from Amazon and Shopify aim to answer e-commerce's most pressing question: When will my package arrive?The $20 billion reason Shopify is all in on its Shop app and hustling to create a shopping destination to rival Amazon'sShopify has a cult-like following from developers, and it could be the company's biggest weapon against AmazonShopify has lost a number of key executivesShopify announced in April 2021 that its chief talent officer, chief technology officer, and chief legal officer would be leaving the company. The news followed the departure of Shopify's chief product officer in September 2020. But Shopify has also had several departures in its middle ranks over the past several years. Many are leaving to invest in startups or launch their own companies. Some employees have said that CEO Tobi Lütke's management style could also be driving people away.Meet 34 members of the 'Shopify Mafia' who embraced the e-commerce giant's entrepreneurial spirit and launched their own companiesShopify is losing nearly half of its C-suite, including key tech leadership. Analysts worry about what it means for its $1 billion plan to take the fight to Amazon.Shopify has seen a sudden rush of departures despite massive growth. Insiders say CEO Tobi Lütke's temper and 'robotic' personality are partially to blame.Cultural stumbles during the pandemic frustrated some employeesIn 2021, current and former employees told Insider about a series of incidents in which they felt company leadership failed to properly respond to internal debate on racial issues in the summer of 2020. With protests in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd also taking place at the time, tensions were high. One such incident involved a conversation among staff about the uploading of a noose emoji to Shopify's Slack messaging system. As the discussions grew heated, Lütke changed a Slack channel where debate was taking place to be read-only. A few weeks after, he sent an email to managers clarifying his stance on the role that companies should play in their employees' lives.Shopify employees found a noose emoji uploaded to Slack. Its CEO then silenced internal discussions.Read the essay Shopify's CEO sent to managers to remind them they are a sports team, not a family. It shows the growing tension between leaders and employees in the corporate world.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 11th, 2022

10 Things in Tech: Google hiring shakeup

In today's edition: Google is changing its notoriously long recruitment process, and new drone footage shows how Tesla makes its Model Y SUV. You made it to Friday, readers. Google is updating its notoriously long recruitment process, and new drone footage shows how Tesla makes its Model Y SUV.Let's dive in.If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider's app – click here for iOS and here for Android.Google CEO Sundar Pichai.Justin Sullivan via Getty Images1. Leaked documents show Google is radically changing the way it hires. Google has an infamously long and frustrating recruitment process. But new changes could help the company speed up hiring and remain competitive in the battle for talent. Here's what's new:Candidates will be assigned a team within Google much earlier in the interview process, the documents said. Previously, candidates would often not be assigned to a team until most of the interview process was complete.As a result, some applicants will even be allowed to skip some parts of the process.The changes were launched this month, and will be applied globally to tech roles such as software engineers and UX designers, and affect candidates between level three and level seven. Get a closer look at what's changing.In other news:Messari's Mason Nystrom told Insider that moving to a 'crypto city' like Miami could boost your chances of being hired in Web3.Ian Witlen2. Dispatch from Bitcoin 2022: During the conference in Miami, Robinhood announced that eligible customers can now send and receive crypto, and "Shark Tank" investor Kevin O'Leary predicts a flood of investment into crypto once US regulation and policy are set.3. Twitter employees react to Elon Musk's investment and board seat. Responses have been mixed, with some workers frustrated with his new role and quick attempts to influence company decisions, and others just happy Twitter's stock is up. Here's what employees told us as the social media giant prepares to host an AMA session with Musk.4. Former employees at shuttered startup Fast detail chaotic management, overhiring, and spending cash like "drunken sailors." Staffers at the company nabbed $120 million in funding from the likes of Stripe and Index Ventures but unsustainable headcount growth and rudderless management contributed to its swift downfall.5. A former exec claims fintech unicorn Array created a "false illusion" of success. The exec is alleging the company, which sells credit-score and ID-protection products to other fintechs, inflated its revenue and made up fake customers to trick investors. What we know so far.6. Twitter is testing an "unmentioning" feature. Currently limited to some users, the feature would let people remove themselves from conversations and threads they don't want to be a part of. Get the lowdown the "Don't @ me" feature. 7. A grade school teacher doubled their salary by pivoting to tech. After teaching for four years, Gianni LaTange changed careers and became a Zoom developer advocate, getting a total compensation package of $175,000 within two years. They explain how they did it.8. These 25 companies have the highest-paying internships. Most of the companies are in tech and finance, and include firms like Google, PayPal, and American Express — but Roblox takes the lead, offering interns nearly $10,000 per month. See what other firms made the list.Odds and ends:A Model Y SUV exits Tesla's new factory in Germany on March 22.Getty Images Europe9. Drone footage shows how Tesla builds the Model Y SUV at its new factory in Germany. The video, posted to YouTube, shows an army of robots, machines, and human workers assembling the vehicle inside the newly operational Gigafactory Berlin. Watch the video here.10. Meanwhile, in Texas: Tesla kicked off production at its new Texas factory with an invite-only "Cyber Rodeo" party, which CEO Elon Musk said might be "literally the biggest party on Earth." See photos from the event.The latest people moves in tech:An ex-AWS exec has joined an internal Amazon project to take on Shopify.WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar is departing the company ahead of the Discovery merger. Most of his team of direct reports will depart as well.A leading Google Cloud manager has quit to join rival Amazon Web Services.Zillow's chief marketing officer is leaving the embattled company after three years.Keep updated with the latest tech news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.Curated by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email jerb@insider.com or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Michael Cogley in London.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytApr 8th, 2022

Credit Suisse Unveils Promised Reorg, Cuts Prime Brokerage In Pivot To "Catering To World"s Rich"

Credit Suisse Unveils Promised Reorg, Cuts Prime Brokerage In Pivot To 'Catering To World's Rich' A couple of quarters have passed since Archegos, the family office of former "Tiger Cub" Bill Hwang, got hit with the margin call of a lifetime (mostly thanks to ViacomCBS announcing a  sale of a $3BN chunk of preferred stock) and collapsed spectacularly, forcing half a dozen megabanks to try and sort out an orderly exit from the fund's highly-leveraged trades (to which they had unwittingly become principals) before Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley kicked down the door and liquidated Archegos's positions in a series of massive block trades that fascinated Wall Street. News of the blowup briefly turned the broader market red (not an easy feat in the era of Fed-induced easy money), sparking chatter about contagion, but it fell particularly hard on the shares of Credit Suisse and Nomura, whose prime brokerage businesses were the most exposed to Archegos's positions. Both banks reported losses in the billions of dollars - with Credit Suisse reporting more than $5 billion in losses attributed to Archegos during the first quarter. In time, it was revealed the bank had earned only $17MM in revenue from its dealings with Archegos, which its PB desk had sought to placate in order to win more business. The collapse of the family office prompted Democratic lawmakers like Elizabeth Warren to demand more transparency surrounding reporting of family office positions, since Archegos had managed to keep the fact that it effectively controlled more than 5% of ViacomCBS's shares via its swap positions with various prime brokers a secret (funds are legally required in the US to report positions above that threshold). Warren has continued to use the Archegos collapse as fuel for her criticisms of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, whom she demanded resign back in September. Credit Suisse swiftly fired a handful of senior (and not-so-senior) employees, including its chief risk manager and compliance officer, while promising shareholders it would reorganize its business, hinting that its prime brokerage and other risky businesses tied to hedge funds would be dramatically scaled back. Well, the time has finally come for CS to deliver on this promise. Switzerland's second-largest investment bank by assets released its Q3 earnings results early Thursday, alongside a plan to reorganize its sprawling business, exit most hedge-fund-financing related businesses. As far as the results go, JPMorgan analyst Kian Abouhossein described them as "strong", although others warned that shareholders should expect "further writedowns" as the restructuring plan progresses and more regulatory penalties are assessed (note: CS has recently been hit with penalties by American and British regulators that had nothing to do with Archegos). CS also warned of the potential for the bank to take a net loss during the final three months of the year. As for Q3, the bank reported lower net income of CHF434M vs. CHF546M YoY, a 21% drop. As for the restructuring, the bank is using a tried-and-true playbook that has (so far, at least) worked for another struggling European banking giant: Deutsche Bank. According to WSJ, the bank plans to make "catering to the world's rich" its new central mission by consolidating its global operations in private banking and wealth management under one roof, while it plans to exit its prime brokerage and other businesses that help hedge funds finance trades. But otherwise, its investment bank will remain mostly intact. What's more, CS plans to expand its wealth management business with new hires, estimating that it will spend roughly $440MM on the restructuring effort. As a result of the reorg, the bank says it expects to take a 1.6 billion Swiss franc ($1.75BN) goodwill writedown that will likely be the cause of the expected Q4 loss. More specific details about the restructuring effort - along with changes to the bank's senior management - will be rolled out in January, according to Chairman António Horta-Osório, who affirmed that CEO Thomas Gottstein would remain in the CEO's seat to oversee the restructuring. Shares of the Swiss bank gyrated in the wake of the earnings report and announcement as investors digested the announcement with a fair bit of skepticism. A Swiss bank catering to the world's richest? Doesn't UBS already do that? Tyler Durden Fri, 11/05/2021 - 02:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 5th, 2021

Advertising is one of Amazon"s biggest growth areas. Here"s everything to know about its ad business.

Advertising is one of Amazon's fastest-growing businesses, representing more than 10% of the US digital ad pie. AWS CEO Andy Jassy, who is set to become Amazon CEO, helped oversee the cloud unit's rise. Mike Blake/Reuters E-commerce advertising has boomed as people shop more from home - with Amazon leading the pack.EMarketer said Amazon claimed 10.3% of the US digital ad market in 2020, up from 7.8% in 2019 - competing with Google and Facebook for ad budgets. That growth has attracted Walmart, Instacart, Walgreens and other retailers that have joined Amazon in vying for a slice of the ad pie.Here's the latest on Amazon's moves to grow its advertising business and the growing competition it faces.Amazon's ad business is big and growingAmazon took in about $21.5 billion from advertising in 2020, up from roughly $9.3 billion in the year-ago period.While that amount is a tiny sliver of Amazon's revenue from retail sales and Amazon Web Services, its cloud business, advertising is one of its fastest-growing areas. The tech giant continues to cut into advertisers' search budgets that mostly go to Google. It's also ramping up its audio and video sales pitch.Read more: Amazon is making its biggest pitch yet for TV ad dollars - ad buyers break down where it's winning and what it needs to get their budgetsLeaked pitch deck slides from Amazon's Twitch reveal new data about the live-streaming site's audience 7 charts show why Amazon's ad business could balloon to $17 billion this year and is a growing threat to GoogleInside Amazon's charm offensive to win over big brand budgets from Madison AvenueAmazon is ramping up its pitch for audio ads after long promising Alexa would be ad-free'It's in this weird middle ground:' Amazon has a new plan to win over big brands with video ads, but agencies aren't buying itA Wall Street firm says Amazon is stepping up its efforts to win small advertisers with cheaper prices and help from sales repsAmazon's ad business is set to more than quadruple by 2023 - and Google should be worriedWho runs Amazon's ad business?Amazon has built a team of execs to pitch advertisers on its ad business.They include longtime Amazon employees like Colleen Aubrey, who is part of Amazon's executive suite; and agency and brand vets who work directly with advertisers.Read more: Alan Moss is spearheading Amazon's push to steal ad dollars from Facebook and Google. Insiders lay out his playbook for getting a slice of the $70 billion TV ad market.Andy Jassy will be Amazon's next CEO. Here's how advertisers think his AWS experience could boost its ad business.Advertising is Amazon's fastest-growing business and is expected to surpass $17 billion this year. Here are the 19 top insiders leading the charge. Meet the 18 power players who are leading Amazon's ambitions to take on heavyweights like Netflix and Hulu in mediaAmazon just made a big hire from ad agency Dentsu to help it take a share of the $70 billion TV-advertising business Amazon faces growing competition for ad dollarsOther big retailers and delivery companies like Walmart, CVS, and Instacart are trying to replicate Amazon's playbook by building their own ad businesses, and hiring top talent to do so.Read more: How eBay is trying to overhaul its advertising business to be more like Amazon and WalmartExclusive: Walmart poaches Instacart's chief revenue officer Seth Dallaire as the grocery delivery startup's c-suite shakeup continuesRetailers like Walmart, CVS, and Instacart are starting to chip away at Amazon's advertising dominanceWalmart unleashes a crucial new weapon to grab advertising budget from Amazon, but it's still lagging behindAmazon, Walmart, and Instacart are vying for advertising dollars - here's exactly how much they charge for adsExperts lay out how Instacart, Walmart, and other retail ad sellers can take on Amazon in digital advertisingHere's a look inside Instacart's playbook to take on Google and Facebook as it tries to build a $1 billion ads businessUber just hired a top Amazon advertising exec. Here are 45 other big hires that show how it and other companies are warring for advertising dollarsAmazon is tough for advertisers to navigateMarketers have complained that Amazon is tough to navigate. Amazon said its complex approach is by design, but at the same time, it's been rolling out tools to make it easier for marketers to buy and measure ads. Nonetheless, its complicated structure has rise to a cottage industry of firms that specialize in helping marketers navigate the site.Read more: Meet 18 firms solving companies' giant problems selling and advertising on AmazonAmazon is breeding a new crop of marketing startups, and investors are buying inMarketers say Amazon's advertising business is difficult to navigate. Here's why the company thinks the 'chaotic' structure actually makes sense.The complete guide to hiring an Amazon agencyAmazon started showing a favored metric for advertisers this month, making it easier for large brands to compare ad efficiency against Google and FacebookAmazon is rolling out a tool that shows just how much Google and Facebook ads drive people to do their shopping on the e-commerce siteHow to get a job at AmazonAmazon is consistently looking for advertising talent, but its tough interviewing process and particular culture can make it hard for outsiders to break into the company.We talked to insiders about how to ace the interview process.Read more: Amazon is known for its ruthless interviewing process. We talked to insiders about how to get a job there.Amazon insiders explain the company's unique 'loop' interview system and how it's the ultimate test of whether someone will be a cultural fitAmazon is coming for Madison Avenue's talent, and it could be another blow to embattled agencies and ad-tech companiesRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 8th, 2021

Philadelphia Inquirer hires former Boston Globe exec as chief revenue officer

A longtime executive who held sales, marketing and revenue roles at the Boston Globe for more than a decade has been hired as the new chief revenue officer at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Pete Doucette, 50, whose LinkedIn page says he ended his tenure.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJan 22nd, 2021

Digital Ally hires chief revenue officer, balks on stock offering

Digital Ally hired Mark Shrout as its new chief revenue officer — the same day it pulled a plan to sell more stock......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJan 11th, 2021

Benchmark Electronics hires first chief revenue officer

Rob Crawford has been named to the newly created position as chief revenue officer of Benchmark Electronics Inc. (NYSE: BHE), a Tempe-based electronics component manufacturer. Crawford will direct Benchmark’s global go-to-market strategy, includin.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsAug 16th, 2019

Chandler fraud prevention company hires new chief revenue officer

As Chandler-based online fraud prevention software company Emailage continues to expand globally, it has hired Tom Miller as its new chief revenue officer, the company announced Wednesday. Miller previously served as a sales executive at companies lik.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 15th, 2018

Nextiva hires former Oracle exec as chief revenue officer

Nextiva, the fast-growing Scottsdale cloud-based communications company, has hired Scott Armour for the newly created position of chief revenue officer. Armour will set the company’s global revenue strategy and oversee its sales teams as Nextiva .....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJan 17th, 2019

What Cintas Can Teach Investors About This Bear Market?

Cintas notched a double beat in earnings, but its forward guidance is the real story. There are always good companies to invest in a bear market. As a stock trade exclusively, there may be better options. Cintas (NASDAQ:CTAS) is down just over 1% the day after it reported strong earnings. On the top line, the […] Cintas notched a double beat in earnings, but its forward guidance is the real story. There are always good companies to invest in a bear market. As a stock trade exclusively, there may be better options. Cintas (NASDAQ:CTAS) is down just over 1% the day after it reported strong earnings. On the top line, the company posted revenue of $2.17 billion which was up from the $2.08 billion forecast by analysts. The bottom line number was equally strong. Earnings per share (EPS) came in at $3.39 which was significantly higher than the forecast of $3.13. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   Find A Qualified Financial Advisor Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn't have to be hard. SmartAsset's free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you're ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now. But the really notable part of the company’s earnings report is that it raised its guidance for the rest of 2022. If this was happening a year ago, or even two years ago, many investors wouldn’t have thought anything about it. In fact, CTAS stock might have been falling because the results weren’t “good enough.” But there aren’t a lot of companies that are beating on earnings and raising their guidance. Cintas did that. And that’s the lesson that investors should remember. There are going to be companies that perform well even during a bear market. But finding them is going to require more effort. Cintas has a couple of factors working for it. This article will explore a few reasons why Cintas may be a good option for long-term investors, and why there may be better options for short-term traders. A Strong Customer Base As Dave Gilreath, chief investment officer and portfolio manager for Innovative Portfolio’s mentioned on The MarketBeat Podcast, the workers that Cintas is supplying uniforms for are essential workers. Remote work is not an option for them. And, with factory output showing signs of increasing in the country, there’s another reason to believe in the company’s forecast. And some of it is because the company is diversified in many areas such as personal protective equipment (PPE). One example of this is the company’s Ready for the Workday program allows businesses to have essential products and services delivered in a contactless way. Solid Financials It’s interesting to note that Cintas, which is largely seen as a company that would depend on in-person work saw its revenue increase on a sequential and year-over-year basis during the pandemic. Part of this was, as Gilreath noted, because it captures essential workers. But capturing revenue and making efficient use of it are two different things. Cintas scores well on several key profitability metrics such as Return on Equity, Return on Assets, and Profit Margin. And the company has been growing its free cash flow (FCF) at an impressive pace. A Growing Dividend Cintas falls into the category of Dividend Aristocrats. This category is made up of companies that have increased the dividend they pay for at least 25 consecutive years. Cintas has now managed to increase its dividend for 38 consecutive years. With a yield of just over 1% (1.19%), the stock isn’t one that may catch the attention of dividend investors. But once again, I’ll point out something Gilreath mentioned. A significant reason for the low yield is that investors have received a 169% gain in the CTAS stock share price over the past five years. The Stock May be Overvalued in the Short-Term I’ve given long-term investors several reasons to look at Cintas as a company that can help them weather the current bear market. But if you’re a short-term trader, I’ll admit there may be better options. CTAS stock currently trades at a P/E ratio of over 30x earnings and while it’s trading in the middle of its 52-week range, it has met resistance on the upper end of that range twice in the last year. That leaves the company little margin for error at a time when the company admits it faces higher operational expenses. So far, the company has been able to offset that with higher prices and growth in new customers. But if the country faces a prolonged recession that model will be put to the test. Cintas is a part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks some of the largest publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs. Should you invest $1,000 in Cintas right now? Before you consider Cintas, you'll want to hear this. MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street's top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on... and Cintas wasn't on the list. While Cintas currently has a "Moderate Buy" rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys. View The Five Stocks Here Article by Chris Markoch, MarketBeat.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalk4 hr. 34 min. ago

Carnival (CCL) Q3 Earnings & Revenues Lag Estimates, Rise Y/Y

Carnival's (CCL) third-quarter fiscal 2022 performance reflects solid booking trends owing to relaxed protocols and better alignment of land-based vacation alternatives. Carnival Corporation & plc CCL reported third-quarter fiscal 2022 (ended Aug 31, 2022) results, with earnings and revenues missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Both the metrics lagged the consensus mark for the eighth straight quarter. Nevertheless, the top and the bottom line improved on a year-over-year basis.Carnival Corporation's chief executive officer Josh Weinstein, stated, "During our third quarter our business continued its positive trajectory, achieving over $300 million of adjusted EBITDA and reaching nearly 90% occupancy on our August sailings. We are continuing to close the gap to 2019 as we progress through the year, building occupancy on higher capacity and lower unit costs."Earnings & RevenuesIn the quarter under review, the company reported a loss per share of 58 cents, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 12 cents. In the year-ago quarter, the company had reported a loss per share of $1.75.Carnival Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise  Carnival Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Carnival Corporation Quote Revenues in the quarter totaled $4,305 million, which fell short of the consensus mark of $4,951 million. The top line improved sharply from the prior-year quarter’s figure of $546 million. Passenger ticket and onboard and other revenues were $2,595 million and $1,711 million, respectively.Q3 FinancialsDuring the fiscal third quarter, the company reported an adjusted net loss of $688 million. GAAP net loss for the quarter amounted to $770 million.In third-quarter fiscal 2022, occupancy came in at 84% compared with 69% reported in the prior quarter. Available lower berth days (“ALBD”) in the quarter were 21 million, marking 92% of total fleet capacity, up from 74% in second-quarter fiscal 2022.For cruise segments, revenue per PCD for the third quarter of fiscal 2022 declined from strong 2019 levels.Balance SheetCash, cash equivalents and short-term investments as of Aug 31, 2022, were $7.1 billion compared with $7.2 billion in the prior quarter. Carnival ended the quarter with liquidity of $7.4 billion. Total debt (current and long-term) as of Aug 31, 2022, was $34.1 billion compared with $35.1 billion as of May 31, 2022.Adjusted EBITDA, as of Aug 31, 2022, came in at $303 against $(928) reported in the previous quarter.Bookings UpdateDuring the fiscal third quarter, the company reported accelerated booking volumes on account of relaxed protocols and better alignment of land-based vacation alternatives. Cumulative advance bookings for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022 are below the historical range. The company stated that cumulative advanced bookings for the first half of 2023 are above the historical ranges and at increased prices compared with 2019 levels.Meanwhile, total customer deposits as of Aug 31 were $4.8 billion compared with $5.1 billion as of May 31, 2022. As of Sep 30, 2022, 95% of the company's capacity had resumed guest cruise operations.GuidanceThe company continues to expect a net loss for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022. Given the ongoing resumption of guest cruise operations, the company anticipates continued improvement in adjusted EBITDA and occupancy during 2023. It expects eight of its nine brands to have their entire fleet operational by the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022.Zacks Rank and Stocks to ConsiderCurrently, Carnival carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.Some better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector include Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation VAC, Hyatt Hotels Corporation H and Choice Hotels International, Inc. CHH.Marriott Vacations sports a Zacks Rank #1. VAC has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 13.9%, on average. The stock has declined 24.9% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for VAC’s current financial year sales and EPS indicates an increase of 19.7% and 131.4%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s reported levels.Hyatt carries a Zacks Rank #2. H has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 798.8%, on average. The stock has declined 0.6% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for H’s current financial year sales and EPS indicates growth of 89.1% and 113%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s reported levels.Choice Hotels carries a Zacks Rank #2. CHH has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 11.2%, on average. The stock has declined 17.4% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CHH’s current financial year sales and EPS indicates growth of 25.3% and 21.7%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s reported levels. This Little-Known Semiconductor Stock Could Be Your Portfolio’s Hedge Against Inflation Everyone uses semiconductors. But only a small number of people know what they are and what they do. If you use a smartphone, computer, microwave, digital camera or refrigerator (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg), you have a need for semiconductors. That’s why their importance can’t be overstated and their disruption in the supply chain has such a global effect. But every cloud has a silver lining. Shockwaves to the international supply chain from the global pandemic have unearthed a tremendous opportunity for investors. And today, Zacks' leading stock strategist is revealing the one semiconductor stock that stands to gain the most in a new FREE report. It's yours at no cost and with no obligation.>>Yes, I Want to Help Protect My Portfolio During the RecessionWant 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 Carnival Corporation (CCL): Free Stock Analysis Report Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H): Free Stock Analysis Report Choice Hotels International, Inc. (CHH): Free Stock Analysis Report Marriot Vacations Worldwide Corporation (VAC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks5 hr. 18 min. ago

Nike sinks 14% after the athletic-wear maker posts a 44% jump in quarterly inventory on supply-chain issues and warns on a margin squeeze

Nike said it has a few seasons of products 'landing in the marketplace at the same time,' leading to an inventory surge for its fiscal first quarter. Mike Segar/Reuters Nike shares dropped 14% on Friday as the company logged a 44% rise in fiscal first-quarter inventory.  Supply-chain issues led to a build-up in seasonal products and retailers began ordering early.  The company also said dollar strength will dent its full-year revenue.  Nike shares tumbled to their lowest price in more than two years Friday after the company said inventories soared during its fiscal first quarter owning to supply-chain issues and that it's moving to rid itself of excess products. Shares dropped as much as 13.5% to $82.50, the weakest price since April 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic was in its first months of slamming into the global economy. The stock has dropped about 49% in 2022. The stock plunged after the company late Thursday said inventories rose 44% to $9.7 billion compared with the year-ago period. Elevated in-transit inventories from ongoing supply chain volatility fueled the increase but Nike said the rise was partially offset by strong consumer demand.The company behind the Nike, Jordan, and Converse brands said on its conference call that inventory grew 65% in North America versus the same period a year ago as regional disruptions caused late arrivals for products while retailers started ordering early for the holiday season. ''[We] effectively have a few seasons landing in the marketplace at the same time," Matthew Friend, Nike's chief financial officer, said according to a call transcript. "Because we have a portion of that inventory being seasonally out of relevance, we've decided to take that inventory and more aggressively liquidate it so that we can put the newest and best inventory in front of the consumer in the right locations. So that's where we're focused." Nike said gross margin fell by 44.3% in the quarter ended August 31 in part by higher freight and logistics costs and US dollar strength. The company also sees the US dollar pressuring full-year revenue by $4 billion and expects gross margin to decline by 200-250 basis points compared with the prior year. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt6 hr. 18 min. ago

Nike sinks 12% after the athletic-wear maker posts a 44% jump in quarterly inventory on supply-chain issues and warns on a margin squeeze

Nike said it has a few seasons of products 'landing in the marketplace at the same time,' leading to an inventory surge for its fiscal first quarter. Mike Segar/Reuters Nike shares dropped 12% on Friday as the company logged a 44% rise in fiscal first-quarter inventory.  Supply-chain issues led to a build-up in seasonal products and retailers began ordering early.  The company also said dollar strength will dent its full-year revenue.  Nike shares tumbled to their lowest price in more than two years Friday after the company said inventories soared during its fiscal first quarter owning to supply-chain issues and that it's moving to rid itself of excess products. Shares dropped as much as 11.5% in premarket trade to $84.34, the weakest price since May 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic was in its first months of slamming into the global economy. The stock plunged after the company late Thursday said inventories rose 44% to $9.7 billion compared with the year-ago period. Elevated in-transit inventories from ongoing supply chain volatility fueled the increase but Nike said the rise was partially offset by strong consumer demand.The company behind the Nike, Jordan and Converse brands said on its conference call that inventory grew 65% in North America versus the same period a year ago as regional disruptions caused late arrivals for products while retailers started ordering early for the holiday season. ''[We] effectively have a few seasons landing in the marketplace at the same time," Matthew Friend, Nike's chief financial officer, said according to a call transcript. "Because we have a portion of that inventory being seasonally out of relevance, we've decided to take that inventory and more aggressively liquidate it so that we can put the newest and best inventory in front of the consumer in the right locations. So that's where we're focused." Nike said gross margin fell by 44.3% in the quarter ended August 31 in part by higher freight and logistics costs and US dollar strength. The company also sees the US dollar pressuring full-year revenue by $4 billion and expects gross margin to decline by 200-250 basis points compared with the prior year.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt9 hr. 50 min. ago