Papa John Out As Chairman; DOJ Appeals AT&T-Time Warner Decision; J&J Settled Baby Powder Case For Staggering Amount
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BETTER INGREDIENTS, BETTER LEADERSHIP
“Pineapple is a great topping” isn’t the worst thing you can say on a pizza-related conference call, apparently. John Schnatter, former CEO of Papa John’s stepped down from his role as chairman this week after leaked audio of him using a racial slur on a conference call surfaced.
Shares of the Louisville based national pizza chain dropped 5.9% on Wednesday after the news broke, and things were looking bleak for the company whose sales have been steadily dropping since last year when Schnatter blamed his demise on NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem.
The marinara tides changed yesterday, however, after Schnatter resigned from his role as chairman and face of the company. PJ’s announced they’d have new leadership in place within the next few weeks. The stock jumped 12% on news of the Papa’s exit.
Schnatter was also forced to step down from his role on the University of Louisville board of trustees. His tenure was originally set to expire in 2022, and he’d been on the board since 2017.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “There is a certain future-hall-of-fame QB who owns a few franchises that might be worth considering for the role of head honcho, but Papa Peyton’s just doesn’t have the same ring to it.”
DEFINE: SORE LOSER
The US Justice Department is taking the US District Court’s decision to greenlight the AT&T-Time Warner deal about as well as an intoxicated alpha-bro whose credit card just got declined.
Uncle Sam’s Justice League plans to appeal the decision regarding the $85B deal to a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Justice Department will begin Round 2 with limited legal options, given Judge Leon’s decisive decision that the government failed to meet its burden to establish that the deal would significantly decrease competition.
It was widely expected that the government would do what the government does best: say “f*ck it” and give up” after the original decision.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “You hate to see this. Has Chuck Rhoades taught the US government nothing about fighting battles that they can’t win?”
MAKING BABY POWDER ASBESTOS THEY CAN
Johnson & Johnson, the company best known for their baby powder, will pay out $4.7B in damages after twenty-two women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer linked to asbestos in the J&J consumer staple.
The first $550MM is for compensatory damages. Each plaintiff will receive $25MM. The remaining $4.14B is due to be paid out in punitive damages.
J-squared knew that their products were contaminated with asbestos and kept that secret from the public. They also rigged tests that would have shown those asbestos levels and denied any allegations about it.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “This sounds eerily similar to the VW diesel-gate scandal: incredibly greedy execs who falsified test results for their own gain … and won’t face a day behind bars at Club Fed.”
IN OTHER NEWS
- Consumer prices, as measured by the Consumer Pricing Index, rose at the fastest pace in 6 years. In the 12 months through June, the index rose almost 3%.
- Bleacher Report co-founder Bryan Goldberg is channeling his inner Peter Thiel. Goldberg won an auction to buy the Gawker.com domain for $1.35M. Ironically, Goldberg was often a target of Gawker’s trolling. Exhibit A: “Who Gave This Asshole $6.5 Million to Launch a Bro-Tastic Lady Site?“
- Build-A-Bear’s “Pay Your Age” promotion went about as well as Popeye’s Pay Day Special. The teddy bear factory shut down queues only hours after doors opened citing “crowd control” (read: cost concerns).
- Robinhood wants its users to diversify their incredibly risky portfolios. The free trading app will begin allowing traders to transact Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin in addition to Bitcoin and Ethereum.