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Cue the Michelle Branch, Jack Ma is riding off into the sunset.
Ma is hanging up his deal sleds and has plans to do what filthy rich people do best: (no, not evading taxes) give away his money. The 54-year-old plans to focus on education and philanthropy, donating his time, and much of his $40B fortune to various efforts.
Ma will be succeeded as chairman by current CEO Daniel Zhang. Real original, guys.
Started from the bottom now we’re here
The Ali Papa’s journey has been impressive, to say the least. Alibaba, which started with a $60k investment in 2000 went on to have the worlds largest IPO in 2014, raising $25B in the process. How’s that for ROI?
Simply comparing Ma to the likes of Jobs or Bezos would be an insult to his legacy. Alibaba dominates the massive Chinese market and has found wild success abroad, in everything from online payments to e-commerce.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “Pour a Tsingtao (bought on Tmall, of course) out for the homie …”
PUFF, PUFF, PASS ON TSLA …
… is the general sentiment on the street following founder Elon Musk’s antics on the Joe Rogan podcast. In case you live under a rock, Musk took a hit of the devil’s lettuce on video. The action was just one more chink in Elon’s armor and was more fuel for naysayers who suggest Musk’s personal behavior is distracting from the company’s performance.
After the interview, Tesla stocks dropped 6.3%, which approached a 52 week low of $244.59. Since Musk announced that he’d secured funding to take the company private in August, the company’s shares are down 31%.
Musk puffing the magic dragon isn’t the only investor red flag. Head of accounting Dave Morton resigned on Friday citing the company’s public attention and pace at which executives were expected to work. Fun fact: he was hired in late July. Tesla also announced that its head of HR, Gabrielle Toledano, wouldn’t be rejoining the company after a leave of absence.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “But did he inhale?”
THAT’S TARIFFUL, CHARLES
Just as tariffs on $200B worth of Chinese imported goods were set to be imposed last week, President Trump announced that another $267B of tariffs could be in the pipeline. That represents $467B of the total $506B of Chinese goods that were sold in the United States last year.
The public comment period for the initial $200B ended on Friday, but it is unclear if the import tax has officially been imposed.
While Chinese tariffs on U.S imports have caused some headaches in certain sectors (we see you soybean farmers), Uncle Sam only exports about one-fifth of the number of goods to China.
Little progress appears to have been made in talks between the two countries. President Trump is asking China to “lower (trade) barriers across the board” according to his Chief Economic adviser, Larry Kudlow. It is “going to be up to China,” on whether or not the trade wars de-escalate.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “See, the plan is a good one because we can just take the money we get from taxing imports and bailout US companies and sectors affected by the trade war. Or, I guess we could have just kept it how it was …”
IN OTHER NEWS
- Talk about Sunday Scaries. Les Moonves, the CEO of CBS has officially stepped down in the wake of more sexual misconduct allegations. The $100M buyout package reported last week was pulled and is now subject to an independent investigation. Moonves and CBS plan to donate $20M of his buyout to charities that support workplace equality and the #MeToo movement.
- Tim Armstrong is in talks to leave (read: given the option to resign before security escorted him out) his role as the head of Oath, Verizon’s feeble attempt at cobbling together an ad giant. Verizon’s experiment has failed to make a dent in Facebook and Google’s commanding lead.
- Almost 400k British Airways passengers had their data stolen as part of a cyber attack occurring at the end of August and the beginning of September. The breach included personal and financial info, including credit card data. Further proof that the US of A is and will always be superior to the blokes across the pond, Equifax’s breach of 145.5M American’s data dwarfs BA’s latest hiccup.
- Who would have thought that you couldn’t trust a company who added the buzzword du jour (“Blockchain”) to its name to help inflate its stock price? Riot Blockchain’s CEO is stepping down in the wake of an “unrelated” SEC investigation.
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