GE: A new chief for a troubled giant
General Electric’s board fired CEO John Flannery this week amid a cascade of problems, said Tom Buerkle in Reuters. The three-decade GE veteran was in the middle of a turnaround plan, but as a company lifer he had struggled to confront “the depth of GE’s woes.” The final straw for the board was the discovery of a defective blade in two of its power division’s gas turbines. GE’s stock has fallen more than 10 percent since the issue was identified—a loss of over $10 billion. The new CEO, Lawrence Culp, is the first outsider brought in to run GE in its 126-year history.
Autos: Cadillac heads home
Cadillac announced last week that it will move its headquarters back to Detroit after a three-year flirtation with New York City, said Michael Wayland in AutoNews.com. The GM division’s decision to abandon Manhattan’s “trendy SoHo neighborhood” comes three months after the ouster of Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen, a former Audi and Infiniti executive. Nysschen, a master of luxury, was supposed to bring European expertise to Cadillac, but a marketing campaign that focused on New York City streetscapes puzzled dealers and customers in the company’s Middle American heartland.
Privacy: Facebook faces Europe’s wrath
A Facebook data breach that exposed the accounts of 50 million users could result in the tech giant being hit with $1.6 billion in fines under new European Union privacy laws, said Josh Constine in TechCrunch.com. While only 5 million of the users affected were in Europe, Facebook could be fined if EU regulators conclude that it failed to protect users. The firm did succeed in notifying the public within 72 hours of discovering the hack, as demanded by EU law; a failure to have met that deadline could have resulted in more fines. It’s not yet clear what data the hackers may have obtained.
IPOs: A gig economy platform cashes in
Shares of the freelancing platform Upwork “rocketed” upward after the firm made its Nasdaq debut this week, said Matthew Belvedere in CNBC.com. The company connects clients to gig economy workers such as developers and designers and tracks their work in real time through a desktop app. Upwork takes a cut of the transactions. Some 375,000 freelancers used the site last year, but with revenue of $107 million in the first six months of 2018, Upward is still a minnow by big corporation standards.