Ebay And Square To Team Up; Ford Plans Massive Investment In Autonomous Vehicles; Lululemon Hires New CEO
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HIP TO BE SQUARE
Cover your eyes PayPal because this news might sting a bit. eBay and Square are teaming up to expand lending to the auction sites’ small businesses.
The loans will be made available to merchants on eBay who are looking to expand their business operations, ranging anywhere from $500 to $100k. They can be used for payroll, marketing, inventory, or even to open a “We Sell Your Stuff On eBay” brick-and-mortar store.
Small businesses are facing issues finding necessary credit to expand their operations across the board. Despite having reported stronger revenue growth over the past year (because, #SmallBusinessSaturday), over 70% of merchants were not extended the necessary amount of credit to maintain operations.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “It’s a good day to be a Beanie Babies’ PowerSeller.”
If we’re being totally honest, Ford’s autonomous vehicle development “program” was a bit of a clusterf*ck. Teams were segmented and the internal incubator didn’t even have a tech-forward, acronymic name. That is until now. Meet Ford Autonomous Vehicles or FAV.
The consolidation will bring together systems integration, research and advanced engineering and transportation-as-a-service network development as well as Ford’s Argo AI. FAV will be housed at Ford’s hip, new Detroit “Corktown” campus.
Ford may have gotten to the party later but they’re making their presence known, matching GM, who plans to invest $1B this year alone in the technology.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “Ford is doing its best absentee-father-who-is-trying-to-win-over-his-kids-by-throwing-money-at-them impression.”
PUT A PIN IN IT
… you hire a new CEO. That’s just what Lululemon has done. The company famous for being the official yoga pants of white girls everywhere has been searching for a new CEO since the departure of Laurent Potdevin, who stepped down in February. Potdevin’s resignation was related to reports that he wasn’t living up to “company standards” (read: #MeToo).
Taking Potdevin’s place is Calvin McDonald, a former Sephora executive who grabs the reins on August 20th. McDonald is stepping into a $1.25M base salary and a seat on the board of directors for one of the hottest fashion brands out there, with shares almost doubling over the past year.
This isn’t McDonald’s first run at CEO either. He was formerly the CEO of Sears Canada and was on the retail front lines with Loblaw Cos. for over 17 years. If that’s not the most Canadian retail name you’ve ever heard, well, I don’t know what to tell you.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “For a long time, I thought Lululemon was all hype — until I tried on a pair of those pants. I can say with full confidence that they’re most certainly on to something over there.”
IN OTHER NEWS
- Verizon beat analysts expectations yesterday, on news that it added 199k net new phone connections in the second quarter.
- Ivanka Trump will shut down her cleverly named clothing brand, “Ivanka Trump.” She is citing her intention to focus on public policy.
- Blockchain startup Tron will purchase BitTorrent, an OG of the file-sharing (read: illegal music and movie swapping) game, for a reported $125M. No word on how Tron plans to change BitTorrent, if it at all, but for now promises that you will not lose access to your extensively curated library of anime adult-films.
- President Trump will earmark $12B to ease the financial burden on US farmers caused by the ongoing trade war. The flyover states haven’t been this excited since the monster truck rally came to town.