Welcome to Tuesday.
1. A second executive is out at McDonald’s following the resignation of CEO Steve Easterbrook over “a consensual relationship with an employee.” Chief people officer David Fairhurst is also out the door – but despite the timing, McDonald’s claims it has nothing to do with the firing of Easterbrook. In a post to LinkedIn, Fairhurst dropped a fairly standard platitude which you’re free to interpret any way you like. “I have decided the time has come for me to move on to my next career challenge,” he wrote.
2. Facebook has changed its corporate logo. The standard blue one is still in use for Facebook the website, but the parent company – which also operates Instagram and WhatsApp – has gone for something a little different. Quite frankly, it looks like a 10 minute job in MS Paint, but I have no doubt it went through thousands of iterations and cost millions of dollars in consultations and expert analysis.
3. Big day for logo changes, apparently. It looks like the iconic ‘e’ logo for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer – which might inspire either feelings of fuzzy nostalgia or pure rage, depending on your perspective – is gone. It’s being described as “the most significant change to its browser logo in more than 20 years.”
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) November 3, 2019
4. The big goal for tech unicorns these days appears to be burning through VC cash at a marginally slower rate than Wall Street anticipates. Sadly, Uber could not meet that lofty standard. Uber reported its third-quarter earnings on Monday, and the ride-sharing giant lost more money per share than analysts expected. Though the company made more revenue than the forecasts – $3.8 billion versus an expected $3.4 billion – it lost about 68 cents a share. Shares sank as much as 6% in after-hours trading as a result.
5. Microsoft’s Japanese subsidiary experimented with a four-day work week, and found that it boosted productivity by 40%. The trial was part of Microsoft’s “Work-Life Choice Challenge,” a project which examined work-life balance and aimed to help boost creativity and productivity by giving employees more flexible working hours.
6. Optus has officially launched its 5G network in Australia, making it the second telco after Telstra to do so. It had been running tests in select areas prior to this, but now you can log on and grab yourself a 5G home internet plan if you so desire – and, of course, if it’s actually available in your area. The coverage map on the Optus website indicates availability is still limited to certain parts of select suburbs.
7. The Woolworths underpayment scandal – which might leave the supermarket chain owing $300 million – has unsurprisingly led other big retailers to check their own books. Both David Jones and Metcash, which owns IGA, have confirmed that they are going over their own processes with a fine-tooth comb to ensure they are compliant with the relevant awards. You’d certainly hate to find yourself $300 million in the red, an experience I’m sure we can all relate to on a personal level.
8. A federal appeals court has ruled Donald Trump needs to turn over his taxes to New York prosecutors. The three-judge panel on the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York rejected Trump’s argument that he is immune from criminal prosecution because he’s the president, which was a bold play to begin with. Trump’s legal team say they’re prepared to take this one all the way to the Supreme Court.
9. The president of Blizzard told fans at the gaming company’s annual convention that it failed in its response to the scandal which engulfed the “Hearthstone” finals last month. You might recall that Blizzard penalised pro player Chung Ng Wai – professionally known as “Blitzchung” – for expressing support for the Hong Kong protests. “Blizzard had the opportunity to bring the world together in a tough Hearthstone e-sports moment about a month a ago, and we did not,” J. Allen Brack told fans at BlizzCon.
10. Evan Spiegel, the founder and CEO of Snapchat, says he doesn’t regret the 2018 redesign which tanked the company’s stock and caused celebrities like Kylie Jenner to ditch the app. Spiegel says the design, which reorganised the app into three windows and changed the messaging system, has actually led to higher engagement in the long term.
There’s controversy afoot in the world of running shoes. The winner of the New York marathon and the fastest marathoner in the world have one thing in common: Both wear Nike Vaporfly shoes. Now there are investigations into whether the shoes confer an “unfair advantage”.
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