6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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The founders of Instagram have left the company. According to The New York Times:

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the co-founders of the photo-sharing app Instagram, have resigned and plan to leave the company in the coming weeks, adding to the challenges facing Instagram’s parent company, Facebook.

Mr. Systrom, Instagram’s chief executive, and Mr. Krieger, the chief technical officer, notified Instagram’s leadership team and Facebook on Monday of their decision to leave, said people with direct knowledge of the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

The head of Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD) is trying to keep the firm out of bankruptcy. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Warning that Sears Holdings Corp. is running out of time and money, CEO Edward Lampert is making his biggest push yet to restructure the retailer to avoid a bankruptcy filing, as a debt payment looms next month.
Mr. Lampert, who is also Sears’s chairman, controlling shareholder and biggest creditor, wants creditors to restructure about $1.1 billion of debt coming due in 2019 and 2020, according to a proposal made public on Monday.

The proposal also calls on the Sears board to sell another $1.5 billion of real estate and divest some $1.75 billion of assets, including Sears Home Services and the Kenmore appliance brand, which he has offered $400 million to buy himself.


A group is pushing for heavier regulation of tech giants. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Silicon Valley tech giants can’t be trusted to police themselves and should be subject to tougher regulation, including around their pattern of acquiring competitors to accumulate ever-larger stores of user data, according to a critical new report released Monday.

The business models powering digital advertising platforms like Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google still undermine user privacy and incentivize disinformation campaigns despite recent efforts by tech companies to prevent abuse, says the report from Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy and New America, a left-leaning Washington-based think tank.

Crude oil prices jumped above $80 a barrel. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Global oil prices surged to their highest close in nearly four years on Monday after OPEC left production steady over the weekend, fueling fresh bets that U.S. sanctions against Iran and outages in Venezuela will lead to supply shortages.

The decision by members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and major producers like Russia to hold supply constant comes amid a rebound in investor confidence in the global economy. Analysts said that combination, with many anticipating compromises on global trade policy and a stabilization in emerging-market assets, lifted oil prices after months of rangebound trading.

Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) is set for a reorganization. According to The New York Times:

Starbucks plans to thin out its executive ranks as part of a corporate reshuffling that it hopes will help revitalize sales and hasten its growth overseas.

The global coffee behemoth will lay off some non-retail employees at the vice president and senior vice president level, a spokeswoman said on Monday. In a memo last week, the chief executive, Kevin Johnson, notified employees of a reorganization meant to help the company expand internationally, particularly in fast-growing markets like China.

Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) will cut hundreds of jobs. According to CNBC:

Drugmaker Novartis will cut about 2,200 jobs in Switzerland over the next four years as it consolidates production and shifts positions elsewhere to boost profitability, the Swiss company said on Tuesday.

Novartis now has about 13,000 employees in its home country.