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…

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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!

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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…

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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.

 

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Ballmer a Baller? The British Are Coming…To Make Bourbon! Costco Goes Hip But Still Misses a Couple of Cents

Clipped…

Image courtesy of sippakorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of sippakorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Steve Ballmer wants to become an official baller. Well sort of. The former Microsoft CEO just inked a deal to take over the LA Clippers to the tune of $2 billion. He outbid a few groups to earn the position of the team’s newest owner, wresting it from the hands of embattled owner/alleged racist Donald Sterling and his estranged wife, Shelly. It’s a record price paid for an NBA team which was originally purchased by Sterling back in 1981 for a little over $12.5 million. Oprah Winfrey and David Geffen were at one point also considering buying the Clippers but dropped out of the bidding. The league still needs to approve the sale. However, Sterling, who swears he’s not a racist despite the numerous racist comments he made during an audio recording, has plans to make the sale difficult.

Bourbon State….

Image courtesy of artur84/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ŷ Image courtesy of artur84/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The British are coming to Kentucky but I suspect the state will welcome this latest invasion. Diageo, the London-based liquor company whose brands include perennial favorites Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Ciroc has plans to build a 300 acre, 1.8 million proof gallon (yeah, I know you like the sound of that) distillery in Shelby County. The $115 million project will create thirty new jobs and lots and lots of bourbon. Fun fact: Bourbon is the fastest growing beverage in the spirits category. How very spirited! Kentucky is a very gracious home to the growing Bourbon industry. Naturally, local government officials will need to provide approval.  I’ll bet a bottle of bourbon that permission will be spiritedly granted.

A cooler, hipper Costco?

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Costco (COST), unfortunately, is not having as good a day as Kentucky. Or Steve Ballmer. Net income for the company was $473 million and revenue climbed over 7% to about $28 billion with a special thanks to higher sales and more membership fees. The warehouse wholesaler to the masses posted earnings of $1.07 per share but that just wasn’t enough for those fancy Wall Street analysts who were hoping for $1.09 per share. Those two cents really put a downer on things. The chain, which currently operates 655 warehouses worldwide, is trying to attract a younger demographic. It’s hoping a partnership with Google (GOOG) offering same day delivery and adding more hipper categories and products will achieve the desired effect. I just hope they crank out some more of their tiramisu cakes, which always seem to be in short supply at my local Costco.