6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) chose an executive from Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) as its new CEO as the restaurant chain struggles to regain customers. According to The Wall Street Journal:

 Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. on Tuesday named Taco Bell Chief Executive Brian Niccol as its next CEO, tapping a fast-food veteran to try to revive the struggling burrito chain.

Mr. Niccol, 43 years old, has run Taco Bell for three years as the chain has been the most successful in the portfolio of Yum Brands Inc., which also owns Pizza Hut and KFC. He will succeed Chipotle founder Steve Ells on March 5.

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is making more employee layoffs. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Walmart Inc. is cutting some store management jobs as it works to keep labor costs low while investing in higher wages and e-commerce efforts to fend off Amazon.com Inc.

The retailer this week is eliminating two department manager positions in some of its 4,700 U.S. stores, including managers who oversee cellphone departments and online-grocery pickup areas, according to a person familiar with the plans.

Uber lost over $1 billion last quarter. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Uber Technologies Inc. continued to boost ridership and revenue throughout last year, despite a punishing stretch that included a sexual harassment scandal, the resignation of its longtime chief and a blockbuster lawsuit from its primary rival in self-driving vehicles.

The San Francisco company said revenue rose 12% in the fourth quarter to $2.26 billion from three months earlier while its loss narrowed to $1.1 billion, according to a detailed financial statement reviewed by The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) has run into trouble in China. According to Bloomberg:

Tesla Inc., the biggest-selling electric carmaker in the U.S., is in danger of being relegated to an expensive niche in China because Elon Musk can’t clinch a deal to open a factory there.

More than seven months after Tesla said it was working with Shanghai’s government to explore assembling cars, an agreement hasn’t been finalized because the two sides disagree on the ownership structure for a proposed factory, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation. China’s central government says the plant must be a joint venture with local partners, while Tesla wants to own the factory completely, the people said, asking not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential. Currently, all foreign automakers must partner with Chinese companies in order to manufacture locally.

Olympics viewership has been mediocre. According to Bloomberg:

NBC is attracting about 24 million viewers a night to its Winter Olympics coverage from South Korea, enough to ensure the network doesn’t have to give its sponsors additional airtime for free.

The flagship NBC network is drawing 22 million viewers a night and an additional 2 million are tuning in to cable and online programming, executives of Comcast Corp.’s entertainment division said Tuesday in a press conference.

While that’s down about 6 percent from the winter games four years ago in Sochi, Russia, it means the network is meeting its guarantee to advertisers and won’t have to give away costly make-goods, a problem that hurt the telecast of the Summer Olympics two years ago in Rio de Janeiro. Airtime set aside for possible make goods can now be sold.

In the most recently reported quarter, U.S. household debt rose. According to CNBC:

Total household debt rose by $193 billion to an all-time high of $13.15 trillion at year-end 2017 from the previous quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data report released Tuesday.

Mortgage debt balances rose the most in the December quarter rising by $139 billion to $8.88 trillion from the previous quarter. Credit card debt had the second largest increase of $26 billion to a total of $834 billion.

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