6 Most Important Things in Business Today: Tesla’s New Chairman

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Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) has a new board chair. According to Reuters:

Tesla Inc said board member Robyn Denholm will replace Elon Musk as its chair, more than a month after the billionaire had to step down as the electric-car maker’s chairman as part of a settlement with U.S. regulators.

Tesla had until Nov. 13 to name an independent board chairman under its agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which said Musk’s tweets about taking the company private were fraudulent and that the billionaire should quit as chairman but could retain his role as CEO.

Samsung has a new foldable smartphone. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Samsung Electronics Co., suffering a handset sales slide, revealed a foldable-screen smartphone that folds like a book and opens up to tablet size.

At a developer showcase event on Wednesday, Samsung said the phone, which is 7.3 inches when opened, would be ready for mass production in the coming months. It boasts a second, smaller display on the outside—which it called a cover window—allowing users to check emails and perform other basic tasks when closed.


Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) bought an electric scooter startup. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Ford Motor Co. is getting into the fast-growing electric-scooter business by acquiring San Francisco-based startup Spin, as more car makers push into services aimed at urban dwellers who may not want to own a car.

Ford said it purchased the two-year-old electric scooter firm, which operates in about a dozen U.S. cities, including Denver, Charlotte, N.C., and Long Beach, Calif.

The deal is valued at around $80 million to $90 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

Vice Media will have layoffs. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Vice Media plans to shrink its workforce by as much as 15% through attrition and cut its selection of digital sites by at least half, according to people familiar with the matter, as growth stalls at the onetime new-media darling.

Revenue at the Brooklyn-based company is expected to be roughly flat this year, the people said, coming in between $600 and $650 million, on par with 2017. That number is more than $100 million below the projection Vice offered private-equity firm TPG in the summer of 2017. TPG’s investment gave Vice a $5.7 billion valuation, the highest of any new-media company.

Vice lost more than $100 million in 2017 and is on track to lose more than $50 million this year, people familiar with the matter said.

Google may expand in New York City. According to The New York Times:

Amazon may not be the only technology giant considering a big expansion in New York.

Google is in discussions to move into a planned 1.3 million square foot office complex at the St. John’s Terminal building on Manhattan’s West Side, according to a person with knowledge of the company’s plans but not permitted to speak about it publicly.

The property, which is expected to be completed in 2022, would allow the internet giant to significantly increase its presence in the city. Google employs around 7,000 in New York, and a space that size could allow it to more than double its local work force.

Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) will launch a new streaming media box. According to CNBC:

Comcast plans to roll out a new product for broadband-only subscribers that will allow customers to aggregate certain streaming apps, including Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube, with a voice-activated remote — a response to the ongoing challenge of navigating video between a variety of sources, according to people familiar with the matter.

The product, which will first be a set-top box and is meant to be an operating platform similar to X1, will launch next year, said the people, who asked not to be named because the internal discussions are private. Comcast hasn’t decided how much it will charge per month for the device, said the people.