Posts by Tim Sprinkle
The life of a corporate CEO can be challenging, filled with endless responsibilities and the kind of pressure the rest of us can’t even imagine. The image of the buttoned-down, stressed-out CEO persists for a reason.
But that doesn’t mean all CEOs fit the mold. Some executives buck the trend by embracing a more casual attitude, cultivating an outsider image or simply by dropping a few “f bombs” during their public appearances.
For example, T-Mobile (TMUS) CEO John Legere raised eyebrows on Tuesday when he crashed competitor AT&T’s launch party at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, complete with a bright-pink T-Mobile t-shirt. He was escorted out by security after about 15 minutes when a CNET reporter tweeted a photo of Legere at the event. Later, Legere told tech news site Re/code that he simply “wanted to hear [rapper] Macklemore,” who was performing at the party.
John Mackey – Whole Foods
It seemed like such a good idea at the time.
Create a new digital currency, name it after rapper Kanye West and delight the online world with this clever, consumer-friendly take on the Bitcoin trend. And it appeared to be working as of last week, when the idea for the cryptocurrency “Coinye West” was first announced, complete with a cartoon version Kanye’s face on its logo and a currency “mining” program called “Gold Digger,” presumably inspired by West’s 2005 hit of the same name.
“We chose Kanye because of his trendsetting abilities and his originality,” the anonymous developers told PC World at the time. Coinye was set to launch on January 11.
Trouble is, nobody asked Kanye about all this, and on Monday his lawyers sent the Coinye developers a cease and desist letter, alleging copyright infringement and accusing the currency’s backers of attempting to profit off of West’s public image.
Times are tough in Flint, Mich.
Unemployment in the struggling Rust Belt city north of Detroit currently stands at 16%, well above the national average of 7%, and about 40% of the local population lives below the poverty line. The metro area’s violent crime rate is a staggering 3,000 incidents per 100,000 residents, making Flint a regular on those lists of America’s “most miserable cities” and “most dangerous cities,” among others.
But, despite its various problems, the residents of Flint still have their pride, which was on full display Monday after an article slamming their hometown as “America’s most apocalyptic, violent city” was posted to PolicyMic, a site devoted to news by and for millennials. The story was written by Laura Dimon, whose father is JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.
Director Martin Scorsese’s latest film, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” opened on Christmas Day with $9.2 million at the box office and has already been nominated for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical. But not everyone is amused by the antics depicted in the movie, a morality tale set against the backdrop of the 1980s stock market bubble and based on the real-life misadventures of convicted stock cheat Jordan Belfort. Christina McDowell, née Prousalis, whose own father, Tom Prousalis, worked with Belfort and was eventually convicted for his own role in their firm's crimes, wrote an open letter to the moviemakers -- and Belfort -- that was published in the LA Weekly on Thursday, taking aim at the film’s backers and accusing them of glorifying Belfort’s actions.
Yahoo Finance has reached out to McDowell for a comment on her post and will update this story with her thoughts if she responds.
What do you think? Does McDowell have a point that films like “The Wolf of Wall Street” glorify the bad behavior of criminals like Belfort?
So long, Colonel Sanders.
Hit the lights on your way out, Mayor McCheese.
The age of the fast-food restaurant mascot is ending, as more and more chains move away from costumed characters to instead focus their marketing efforts on fresh ingredients and healthy menu options.
McDonald’s dropped the McDonaldland gang – including Mayor McCheese, the Hamburglar and Grimace, among others – in 2003, and Burger King hasn’t used its King mascot in advertisements since 2011. Even the Taco Bell Chihuahua has been retired, last appearing in an ad for the Mexican food chain in 2000. KFC's Colonel Sanders was nowhere to be found when the chain unveiled its upmarket KFC eleven concept this summer.
But the truth is, these fast food mascots and many others are all but unrecognizable today when compared to their original versions. For example, Ronald McDonald first appeared in 1963 with a food tray for a hat and a paper cup for a nose (and was played by future Today Show weatherman Willard Scott).
Ronald McDonald, circa 1963
Commercial real estate prices can often be borderline ridiculous, especially in the super-heated New York City market. But that isn’t swaying 73-year-old Louis Gritsipis, who owns and operates a small Greek diner on 42nd street in Midtown Manhattan. In fact, he’s already turned down at least one multimillion-dollar offer for his roughly 4,000 square foot building, which he reportedly bought for just $150,000 in 1980. What’s more, Gritsipis told the New York Times this week that he wouldn’t sell it even for $1 billion. “Where am I going to go?,” he asked. “This is my Park Avenue, my Fifth Avenue.” That must be some diner. The native of Kandila, Greece told the New York Times that the $10 million offer came around 2000, when a developer was in the process of building a luxury condo tower next door. They didn’t want to necessarily use the space, but were instead more interested in controlling the businesses that went in there. “We wanted to control the environment,” Jules Demchick, chairman of J.D. Carlisle which developed the condo project, told the newspaper. “We felt that it would be less than attractive to our buyers.” To this day, Gritsipis says he still fields regular...
Memo to Walmart (WMT): Don’t get mixed up with one of the most-followed people on Twitter if you don't want to fan the flames over your hourly wage policies. Whatever happens, it will get noticed. Following the news earlier this week that employees at a Walmart in Canton, Ohio had set up a food drive in their store for coworkers who couldn’t afford a happy Thanksgiving, “Two and a Half Men” star Ashton Kutcher took to Twitter to scold the company for what he viewed as its less-than-fair employment practices.
Walmart is your profit margin so important you can't Pay Your Employees enough to be above the poverty line? http://t.co/YT8QDmyJ8G
Walmart replied to Kutcher’s tweet with the following:
.@aplusk It’s unfortunate that an act of human kindness has been taken so out of context. We're proud of our associates in Canton.
And the back-and-forth took off from there:
Is this proof that Walmart ( WMT ) doesn’t pay its employees a living wage? The photo above was taken by a Walmart employee at the company’s Canton, Ohio store and sent to the Organization United for Respect for Walmart, or OUR Walmart, an group that supports employee actions at the retail chain’s store. It appears to show a food drive at a Walmart store being organized on behalf of the company’s own employees, suggesting that workers at the world’s largest retailer are unable to support themselves on their wages alone. "Why would a company do that?" Vanessa Ferreira with OUR Walmart asked the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Monday, after receiving the photo from the Walmart employee. "The company needs to stand up and give them their 40 hours and a living wage, so they don't have to worry about whether they can afford Thanksgiving." The employee who took the photo, who asked not to be identified for fear of losing their job, told the Plain Dealer that they had never seen a similar food drive for employees in a decade-plus working for the company, calling the sight of the bins last week “kind of depressing.” However, another associate from the same Canton Walmart ...
Whatever you do, don’t call General Assembly (GA) a trade school.
Sure, it's a school. And, yes, its curriculum is focused on helping students hone job-ready skills and find work in a tough employment market. But the thing that sets GA apart from its competition, according to CEO and co-founder Jake Schwartz, is that its program is about more than just acquiring job skills. It’s also about career creation.
“What we think about is giving people skills that are directly applicable to their current career aspirations,” he says.
The trouble with trade schools – as well as vocational schools and career training in general – Schwartz says, is there's a stigma there, likely because of the way the U.S. education system is organized, from research universities down to community colleges. It’s unnecessary, he says, and a little self-defeating in today’s challenging job market, to relegate job training that actually translates into work opportunities to a second-tier status. But it’s still the reality we face.
Education for employment
A new economy
Eric Gertler, executive vice president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, agrees.