Travis Kalanick’s Not-So-Fond Farewell; It’s Bottoms Up for George Clooney; Glassdoor Drops Another List and You Better Hope Your Boss is on it

Goodbye and farewell…

ID-100504183

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Looks like Travis Kalanick’s “leave of absence” is now a permanent one as he finally took the hint from investors and officially resigned as Uber’s CEO. But not before the aforementioned investors placed a lot of pressure on the embattled CEO to step down. And who can blame the investors. Scandal after ugly scandal emerged from the $68 billion, privately held company and it seemed as if Kalanick wasn’t up to snuff when it came to dealing with them.  In an email to employees, Kalanick talked about his love for Uber and decided to step down “so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight.” How very gallant of him. While Kalanick still remains on the board of Uber, the business is now being run by fourteen people who once upon a time reported to him. Talk about irony.

Aye tequila!

ID-1004083

Image courtesy of Juan Gnecco/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Some guys have all the luck and George Clooney is one of them. If you think he’s just an actor with a pretty face then you are so very wrong. Turns out the Hollywood hunk also has his own tequila brand –  along with two other partners – called Casamigos, which was just bought for $1 billion by liquor company giant Diageo. The name Diageo might not ring a bell for you, but the name Smirnoff should, and that is just one of the many notable brands that belongs to the Diageo family. Curious who George’s other partners are? Mr. Cindy Crawford, aka Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman. Annoyingly enough, Clooney and Gerber were just trying to come up with their very own “house” tequila for the properties they own in Cabo San Lucas.  But a very lucrative opportunity knocked that had them expanding the brand beyond Cabo, and just last year 120,000 cases of the stuff was shipped out. This year the company expects that number to climb to 170,000. And with a price tag between $45 to $55 a bottle, Clooney and company get to live large without having to rely on other their other talents, including acting and such. As for Diageo, you can bet that this acquisition had less to do with Clooney’s movie star charm and more to do with the fact that tequila volume in the U.S. more than doubled from 2002 to 2015.

There’s a list for that too…

ID-100399502

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Glassdoor has regaled us with yet another list. This time it’s to let us know who the top CEO’s in the world are, according to employees And you can bet Travis Kalanick did not make the cut. The Clorox Company’s Benno Dorer takes the top spot. What? Were you expecting a tech CEO? Well too bad because Dorer earned a 99% approval rating from his employees.  Another name from the list you might recognize is Elon Musk who takes the eighth spot. Interestingly enough, his 98% employee approval rating came not from Tesla, but his other company, SpaceX. Wonder what that’s about. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg makes it onto the list at number ten, also with a 98% approval rating. But sadly that’s a sharp drop from his number four spot in 2016. Google’s Sundar Pichai grabs the 17th spot while LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner comes in at number 35. The biggest bummer on the list just might be Apple’s Tim Cook. Last year he held the number eight spot, but this year he drops to spot number 53. In all fairness, however, he still scored a 93% approval rating.

 

Cyber-Monday Madness; Move Over George Clooney, There’s a New Robot in Town; Cyber-Cookie Scouting

Monday cyber blues…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Cyber-Monday is expected to be a little less cyber and a lot more Monday thanks to promotions that started a lot earlier than Monday and are lasting a whole lot longer past Monday. The National Retail Federation is expecting 127 million shoppers to log on and purchase some of their holiday shopping from their computer. That may seem like a huge number except that last year saw 131 million people doing some of their shopping online. Some of this has to do with the fact that a lot of deals can be had in stores as well as online. This past Thanksgiving weekend saw 5.3% fewer shoppers with 11% less money spent. However, do not despair, as this Cyber Monday alone is expected to rake in some $2.5 billion (though to be fair, it is going to be a “Monday” that lasts several days).

Mr. Roboto…

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Continuing the cyber-Monday theme, Amazon.com expects this to be its biggest cyber-Monday yet. Last year the online marketplace shipped off 36.8 million items worldwide, which comes out to 426 items per second. This year the company expects to surpass that. So it’s a good thing it’s employing a fleet of 15,000 robots that it purchased (presumably not from Amazon.com) from Kiva Systems a few years ago for $775 million. The robots will be used to “pick and pack” and are expected to reduce shipping time from hours to mere minutes, according to a company spokesperson. But it’s not just Amazon that has hopped on the robotic train. Just ask George Clooney – who has been unceremoniously replaced by a robot charmingly called Pepper to become the new “face” of Nespresso in Japan. Approximately 1,000 stores across the country are expected to get their very own “Pepper.” I guess that was harder to achieve with George Clooney. It seems the robots’ artificial intelligence have expanded their conversational ability by actually listening to what customers say. Apparently the same could not be said for Mr. Clooney.

The sweetest things…

Image courtesy of SOMMAI/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of SOMMAI/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Girl Scouts of America just got a whole lot more adorable now that they are getting a bit more tech-savvy as they embark on their Digital Cookie Program. Yeah. That’s right. The cookie fundraiser, meant to teach the girls a bit about entrepaneurship have upped their cookie game. They will be setting up online shops – each girl scout will get her own digital cookie website – to market their cookies and track sales. There are 2 million girl scouts milling about the country. That adds up to a lot of Thin Mints. The girls tend to sell about 200 million boxes of cookies a year which fund not just the organization, but camps and trips as well. Creeps and weirdos need not apply as consumers will need to get pre-approved by the scouts’  parents in order  to purchase the delicacies. So how does that help someone if they don’t know anybody who has a child who is a girl scout? The cookie websites will sync with Facebook pages. Surely via Facebook they’ll be able to gain access to those delightfully delectable boxes. But f that still doesn’t help, and that certain someone has no Facebook friends connecting them to girl scout cookies then perhaps it’s just the universe’s way of telling them to lay off the cookies.