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Ginni Rometty Out As IBM Chairman

Ginni Rometty, the former longtime CEO and Executive Chairman of IBM, will now step down from her role as Chairman effective on the 31st of December, 2020, IBM has announced . The role will be transferred to IBM's current CEO Arvind Krishna who has held his position for less than a year. Rometty had been IBM's chief executive officer since 2012 before she stepped down in January this year. During her tenure, she oversaw major changes and initiatives at IBM including the $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat that marked IBM's biggest acquisition in its 200-year plus history. Rometty stepped down from her CEO position and handed the role to Krishna, an IBM veteran who has been with the company for three decades. Before becoming CEO, he had been a senior vice president at IBM and helped steer the company's acquisition of Red Hat. Recently, Krishna made a landmark decision, announcing a spin-off of IBM's $19 billion Managed Infrastructure Services business as a separate pu

Oracle Moves HQ To Texas

The enterprise software giant Oracle has indicated in a filing to the SEC that it's relocated its headquarters from the state of California to Texas, making it the latest among a handful of companies that have moved their headquarters out of California this year. Oracle has changed its corporate headquarters from Redwood City in California to Austin in Texas. Oracle already has a huge campus in Austin with thousands of employees so it doesn't seem that the company will be making extensive employee relocations as it's moved to the city. The company has simply changed its corporate headquarters from Redwood City, where it houses 6,500 employees and is the largest employer in the city, to Austin where it opened a campus in 2018 that it said would house 10,000 employees. Oracle's move comes in a year wherein a Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated remote work across the US and provided more flexibility for employees, particularly those from the tech industry, to work from vary

Elon Musk Said To Plan Move To Texas

The Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has told several of his close associates and friends that he's looking to officially move to the state of Texas, CNBC reports , whereas such a move wouldn't be surprising, given that Musk has hinted at moving to the state in the past. Earlier this year and in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, Musk notably tweeted that the electric maker he chairs, Tesla, will move from California to Texas after he got into a spat with regulators in California over Covid-19 restrictions. Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependen on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2020 Also this year, Musk put up his seven California homes for sale  after tweeting that he's selling "almost all physical possessions" and "

Tanium, HPE Move HQ From California

The cybersecurity company Tanium and the IT giant Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) are the latest companies to announce the move of their headquarters away from the state of California, with Tanium departing from the city of Oakland to Kirkland in the state of Washington and HPE departing from the city of San Jose to Houston in Texas. The move from Tanium and HPE comes as the acceleration of remote work spurred by the Covid-19 pandemic have made companies to reconsider staying in higher-cost cities. Tanium will now move to an office building in Kirkland that'll serve as its headquarters while HPE will maintain its already-large office presence in Houston but now as its headquarters. For HPE, the company says no layoffs will be made as part of its move and that it'll retain its Silicon Valley campus as a major R&D center. HPE notably employs tens of thousands of people worldwide with a majority in the US while Tanium employs a much lesser 1,500 people globally, also majorly

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai To Leave Next Year

Ajit Pai, the current Chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has formally announced plans to leave the commission when the next US administration led by President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on the 20th of January. He'll leave after three years as the FCC's Chairman and eight years in total serving at the commission. “It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve at the Federal Communications Commission, including as Chairman of the FCC over the past four years,” Pai said in a statement. “To be the first Asian-American to chair the FCC has been a particular privilege. As I often say: only in America.” Pai joined the FCC under the administration of then-President Barack Obama in May 2012. He was appointed five years later as the commission's Chairman under the [now outgoing] Trump administration.  As Chairman under Trump, Pai oversaw landmark events including the merger of the two telecom giants T-Mobile and Sprint. He notably put into place new measur

More Tech CEOs Decamp From SF

The CEOs of technology companies Splunk, Brex, and Dropbox are set to leave the city of San Francisco for other cities including Austin and Los Angeles, The Information reports . According to the technology news site, the CEOs of Dropbox and Splunk both recently purchased homes in the city of Austin, Texas and plan to make there their permanent residence.  Likewise, Brex's 20-something co-founders Pedro Franceschi and Henrique Dubugras have decamped to Los Angeles and don't plan to renew their fintech company's San Francisco office lease next year, The Information reports. The reported decampments from San Francisco point to a broader trend whereby a significant number of companies and entrepreneurs have left San Francisco, which is famous for housing numerous technology companies, to other cities. For such people, the city of Austin in Texas seems to be a major attraction and just recently took in a newcomer who is the Palantir co-founder and the founder of venture capi

Ezra Klein To Depart Vox Media

Ezra Klein, a Vox Media executive and co-founder of the popular news site Vox.com, has announced that he's departing Vox Media after six years at the company to join The New York Times, where he'll primarily work on their 'Opinion' segment "writing a reported column on policy and the policymaking process, and hosting an interview podcast," by his own words. Klein announced his move from Vox Media on Twitter, where he termed helping build Vox.com as being "the great privilege of my journalistic life". He co-founded the popular left-leaning news site [as regards American politics] in 2014 together with journalists Melissa Bell and  Matt Yglesias. Notably, Yglesias announced his departure from Vox.com just last week, with Klein now following.  Helping to build @voxdotcom has been the great privilege of my journalistic life. It is so much more than I ever could have imagined, and that’s because of the insanely creative, committed people who work the

Robinhood Co-CEO Baiju Bhatt Leaves Role

Baiju Bhatt, a co-founder and Co-CEO of the popular stock trading app Robinhood, has announced that he'll relinquish his role as Co-CEO of the company and now leave the sole CEO position to its other co-founder Vlad Tenev. Bhatt will remain at the company as a co-founder and lead strategic business initiatives, Robinhood noted in a statement. Bhatt's relinquishing of his Co-CEO role follows rumors of Robinhood having sought banks to lead an initial public offering that could come as soon as next year. It's possible that Robinhood decided to put away its dual-CEO in preparation for a public debut and in line with its expansion plans. Currently, only a few public companies maintain a dual-CEO structure, one notable one being Netflix which appointed a Co-CEO just this July. In the past, companies like Salesforce and Oracle tried the dual-CEO structure but later backed away from the arrangement, in Salesforce's case seeing its Co-CEO depart from the company entirely whil

Twitch Co-Founder Kevin Lin Departs

Kevin Lin, a co-founder of the popular streaming service Twitch, has announced that he's departing the company after 12 years working there right from the start through its near-$1 billion acquisition by Amazon in 2014. His departure now leaves only one Twitch co-founder remaining at the company, being its current CEO Emmett Shear. Lin co-founded Twitch together with a team that includes Emmett Shear, Justin Kan, Kyle Vogt, and Michael Siebel. Apart from Shear, the three other co-founders have all departed, with Vogt leaving to found the self-driving company GM Cruise; Kan leaving to found Atrium, a legal-tech startup that shut down early this year ; and Siebel now the CEO of startup accelerator Y Combinator. Twitch's founding team. (Starting from left) Justin Kan, Kyle Vogt, Emmett Shear, and Michael Siebel. Photo credit:  miss karen ,  licensed under  CC BY 2.0 Lin served as Twitch's Chief Operating Officer from April 2008 to January 2018, according to his LinkedIn profi

US Army General Joins Splunk Board

  Photo credit:  401st_AFSB ,  licensed under  CC BY 2.0 Data analytics company Splunk has added a new board member who's a retired  four-star   US Army General by the name of Dennis Via. Via had a 36-year military career where he rose to the role of US Army General before leaving the military to join IT consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. He currently serves as an Executive Vice President with the Booz Allen Global Defense Group and has now added a new role as a board member at Splunk under his belt. General Via is bringing more than 40 years of experience in the military, technology, and public sector to Splunk. His appointment now brings the number of board members at the data analytics company to 11.  Via served in the US Army from 1980 to 2016 and in the last four years of his career was the Commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. He retired as a four-star General which is the highest rank that's normally achievable in the US Army. It's a coveted rank that's

Python Creator Joins Microsoft

  Guido Van Rossum. Photo credit:  User:HarJIT ,  licensed under  CC BY-SA 4.0 Guido van Rossum, a Dutch programmer that's best-known for creating the popular Python programming language, has joined software giant Microsoft in its Developer Division. He announced his move to Microsoft in a recent Twitter post, stating that he'll "make using Python better for sure" at the company. Van Rossum has taken the role of 'Distinguished Engineer' at Microsoft, a high-level role that's usually reserved for a few numbers of personnel in the low double-digits.  I decided that retirement was boring and have joined the Developer Division at Microsoft. To do what? Too many options to say! But it’ll make using Python better for sure (and not just on Windows :-). There’s lots of open source here. Watch this space. — Guido van Rossum (@gvanrossum) November 12, 2020 Before now, Van Rossum seemingly retired from the usual work-life after spending six years at cloud

SoftBank Drops 4 Board Members

Marcelo Claure, COO, Softbank.  Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank has announced a restructuring that'll see four of its current board members step down from their positions, the four members being Marcelo Claure, SoftBank's Chief Operating Officer; Rajeev Misra, head of the SoftBank Vision Fund; Katsunori Sago, SoftBank's Chief Strategy Officer; and  Yasir Al-Rumayyan, a representative of the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. The restructuring leaves nine board members at SoftBank including CEO Masayoshi Son. Three of the board members who stepped down will retain their roles as corporate officers at SoftBank. SoftBank's restructuring coincides with the release of its quarterly earnings results that showed investment gains of $6 billion thanks to lucrative bets on companies such as Chinese real estate brokerage Beike . The company bounced back from a $2 billion loss in the second quarter of this year to a $6 billion gain in the third quarter as it bought big pos

Bob Iger Joins Perfect Day Board

"Disney CEO Bob Iger"   by  glennia  is licensed under  CC BY-NC 2.0 Bob Iger, the former Chief Executive and current Executive Chairman of Disney, has been announced as a new board director at Perfect Day, a company that makes animal-free dairy product substitutes. Iger has taken the first founder-designated board set at Perfect Day, marking his first non-Disney board position since he left the board of tech giant Apple in September last year.  As a board member, Iger will help grow Perfect Day, which is a six-year-old company that's looking to champion sustainability by utilizing fermentation to create dairy protein rather than get them directly from cows as is usually done. Perfect Day is among a cohort of companies that are offering alternatives to protein and meat products usually gotten from animals by getting them through other non-traditional ways, other notable names in this cohort including Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. Founded in 2014 and based out of the B

Ex VW CEO Joins Swiss Startup

Matthias Müller.  Photo credit: Volkswagen Matthias Müller, a former chief executive of German auto giant Volkswagen, has been appointed as the new Chairman of Piëch Automotive, a Swiss electric car startup co-founded by Anton Piëch who is himself the son of ex Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piëch and grandson of Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche. Müller's appointment comes on the heels of Piëch Automotive closing its first outside funding round from investors including tech veteran Peter Thiel and further embarking on another funding round that's being arranged by investment bank UBS. At Piëch Automotive, Müller is joining a group of employees that include veterans from other automakers such as BMW and Tesla. For reference, Piëch's previous Chief Technology Officer and now Co-CEO, Klaus Schmidt, was the former chief engineer for the BMW Motorsport. The Swiss company's other newly appointed Co-CEO, Andreas Henke, was a former marketing director at Porsche. Piëch Automoti

Tertill Names iRobot Veteran As CEO

Helen Greiner. Photo credit: Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch, licensed under Creative Commons Tertill, a gardening robot startup, has named a new Chief Executive and Chairman by the name of Helen Greiner, who is herself notably a co-founder of robotics powerhouse iRobot and also a founder of Aria Insights, a now-shuttered company that worked on drones for the commercial and military markets. Tertill, a startup that's best known for its garden weeding robot, will now be led by Greiner, a robotics veteran with high standing in the industry.  Tertill (formerly Franklin Robotics) is still a small upstart, founded five years ago and backed by a relatively little $1 million in funding so far. The company's flagship product is a solar-powered plant weeding robot that's tailored for use in small gardens, as demonstrated in the video below;   Greiner seems like an ideal candidate to lead Tertill, having previously co-founded a robotics powerhouse and stayed at the com

Compass Adds New Board Member

Charles Phillips. Photo credit: Oracle PR Compass, the digital real estate brokerage, has announced that it's added a new board member by the name of Charles Phillips, a long-time technology executive that previously served as president of software giant Oracle and chief executive officer of cloud software company Infor. Phillips is the third independent director to have joined Compass' board this year. With his addition, Compass now has six board members, including co-founders Ori Allon and Robert Reffkin, SoftBank partner Justin Wilson, former Bridgewater Associates co-CEO Eileen Murray, business veteran Pamela Thomas-Graham, and now Phillips. “Phillips has led software companies whose primary purpose is to make other businesses more productive,” Ori Allon, co-founder and executive chairman of Compass, said in a press statement. “His depth of leadership experience provides Compass with an authoritative voice as we continue to enhance our platform.” Phillips is a long-time tec

Nikola's Trevor Milton Steps Down

Photo credit: Nikola Trevor Milton, the Founder and Executive Chairman of electric vehicle company Nikola, has announced his resignation from the company, notably on the heels of fraud allegations recently leveled against Nikola by short-seller Hindenburg Research. Milton said he asked Nikola's board to allow him to step aside on the heels of the fraud allegations, stating of his intention to "defend myself against false allegations leveled against me by outside detractors." He's stepping down six years after founding Nikola and leading the company through a public listing that raised money for its operations despite the company having close to revenues yet. Exactly on the 10th of September, 2020, Hindenburg Research, a short-seller, published a report that accused Nikola of various actions of fraud and deception, among them making false statements, misling partners into signing agreements, and making outsized claims on its battery technology and energy production c

SiFive Poaches Qualcomm Veteran As CEO

  Patrick Little. Photo credit: ETC-USC on Flickr , under Creative Commons license SiFive, a fabless semiconductor upstart, has announced that it's appointed a new President and Chief Executive Officer by the name of Patrick Little, who is joining from semiconductor giant Qualcomm where he served as a Senior Vice President and General Manager. Little is taking over from Naveed Sherwani, who has relinquished his CEO role at SiFive but will continue as Chairman of the company's board. The leadership change comes on the heels of SiFive closing a $61 million Series E funding to further its development of RISC-V based chip designs for high-growth markets such as artificial intelligence, computational storage, and automotive design. Since its inception, SiFive has raised a total of $190 million in equity funding. SiFive's leadership change notably comes on the heels of Arm, the leading developer of RISC-V chip designs, reaching a deal to be acquired by chipmaker Nvidia for a wh

New TikTok CEO; Kevin Systrom?

  Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom. Photo credit: JD Lasica on Flickr , under Creative Commons license Following the resignation of TikTok's former chief executive last month, the Chinese social media company is pursuing the appointment of a new chief executive, with Instagram co-founder and former chief executive Kevin Systrom considered as a viable candidate, according to a report [paywall] from the New York Times . According to the Times, TikTok and its parent company ByteDance Technologies have approached new potential candidates for the chief executive role, among them Kevin Systrom, who's best known for co-founding Instagram in 2010, selling it to Facebook for $1 billion in 2012, and overseeing the app's growth to over half-a-billion users before abruptly stepping down in September of 2018, reportedly due to conflicts with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.  A scenario where TikTok is led by Systrom would mark an interesting one, possibly pitching him in rivalry agains

eBay Founder Steps Down From Board

Pierre Omidyar. Photo credit: Joi Ito on Flickr, under Creative Commons license E-commerce company eBay has announced that its famed founder, Pierre Omidyar, will be stepping down from board responsibilities at the company, notably 25 years after its founding. Omidyar is set to step down from the company's board and transition to the role of Director Emeritus, a kind of advisory role. Omidyar's step-down also coincides with that of another board member by the name of Jesse Cohn, who is a senior investor at activist hedge fund Elliott Management. eBay has already replaced both their seats with two new independent directors by the names of Carol Hayles, a veteran of financial services company Citigroup, and Mohak Shroff, the current Senior Vice President of Engineering at Microsoft-owned LinkedIn.  Omidyar founded the predecessor to eBay, then named AuctionWeb, in 1995. He served as chairman at the company from 1998 to 2015. Sometime in 2013, Omidyar shifted focus from majorly e

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Apple Appeals Ruling Of Legal Brawl With Epic Games

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LG To Pay GM Up To $1.9B For Supplying Faulty EV Batteries

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AR Startup Magic Leap Is Back, With $500M In Funding

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Personal Finance Startup NerdWallet Files For IPO

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Tether Fined $41M For Lying About Fiat Reserves

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At KKR, Historic Private Equity Barons Step Down

Two of the godfathers of modern-day private equity investing, Henry Kravis and George Roberts  of the famous leveraged buyout firm  KKR (NYSE: KKR), have handed in the reins by stepping down as Co-CEOs from their firm. Replacements have been named for them, effectively . Henry Kravis and George Roberts, together with the late Jerome Kohlberg, pioneered America's industry of "leveraged buyouts (LBO)" where Wall Street firms bought companies using borrowed money, with the companies themselves used as collateral for debt and their future profits used to pay it down.  LBOs built a reputation as a form of "ruthless" capitalism that continues to this day, because of some strong-arming tactics by which Wall Street firms chased after them. This tainted reputation made LBO firms rebrand to what we currently call private equity firms. At KKR, Kravis and Roberts' landmark deal was acquiring RJR Nabisco , a tobacco and food giant, for $25bn , mostly borrowed money,  in

Deal: Mindbody Buys Fitness Startup ClassPass

Mindbody , a leading maker of software for managing gyms and fitness studios, is buying one of the hot startups in its industry. It's buying ClassPass , a popular subscription platform for widespread gym access and online fitness classes. Mindbody will buy Classpass for an undisclosed amount . The company, owned by private equity firm Vista, also announced a strategic $500mn investment along with its ClassPass deal. The acquisition was all with privately held shares, Mindbody said. ClassPass is a celebrated startup in the fitness space. It began as a simple website to book fitness classes with registered studios but morphed into a subscription platform for access to such studios and their fitness classes, with many users paying recurring fees as a steady revenue source.  ClassPass was valued at $1bn from a funding round last year. Given the acquisition's pricing terms weren't disclosed, we can't say for sure if it was higher or lower than the $1bn mark, but for a hint,

Fast Fashion E-Tailer Lulu's Files For IPO

Lulu's , an online retailer of women's apparel, is headed towards the public markets. It's filed an S-1 document for an initial public offering (IPO), showing its intent to list on the Nasdaq exchange. As expected from S-1 filings, Lulu's has provided great insights into its business, with information not publicly disclosed before. Something very noteworthy is that the online shopping boom of this year emanating from the Covid pandemic has largely favored the company. By The Numbers For its most recent fiscal quarter, the three months ended October 3, 2021, Lulu's brought in between $105mn to $106mn in revenue. Its net income for the same period was at the $3mn-$4mn mark. The estimations are because the final, audited results haven't yet been posted. For the fiscal year ended January 3, 2021, Lulu's posted $249mn in revenue and a net loss of $19mn. It shows that the company has swung from losses to profitability this year, with the net profit of between $3m

Analysis: Dissecting GitLab's S-1 Filing

This week, one startup caught us off guard with a filing for an initial public offering that was unveiled late on Friday . It was GitLab , a popular code repository hosting service that's the main rival to GitHub .  GitLab recently unveiled its S-1 filing with the US Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) as is usual for companies taking the IPO route on the US markets. The S-1 filing provided great insight and detail into GitLab's business with information not publicly disclosed before, and we're here to dissect some of the most important information extracted from the bulky filing. Firstly, we'll be focusing on revenue and sales numbers which is of course the primary statistic for every business. Let's start with the fact GitLab has a solid business model bringing in solid sales and growing steadily, but the company is racking up significant losses.  Business Model : GitLab makes money by charging enterprise customers for paid features and integrations of its