Taco Bell CEO Leaves For Chipotle; Blue Apron In Trouble; Farfetch IPO

The Water Coolest

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Brian Niccol, the man who single-handedly trivialized an entire culture will vacate his post as the top dog at Taco Bell, to take the open CEO role at Chipotle Mexican Grill.

It’s widely understood that without Niccol America wouldn’t “quiero Taco Bell.” He transformed the home of fourth meal from a production line of low-grade dog food to a bonafide lifestyle brand. Viral stunts like Taco Bell weddings helped him gain notoriety but ushering in the age of Taco Bell breakfast and delivery is the stuff of chain restaurant lore. Sales at Taco Bell were up 5% in 2017.

Chipotle on the other hand continues to be haunted by a spat of food borne illness outbreaks … and the addition of queso that was best described as “a crime against cheese.” Shares of the fast-casual Mexican grill were down 39% over the past year, but jumped 12% after hours on Tuesday.

The home of over-priced guac hopes that Niccol brings over a few packets of “secret sauce” to help right the ship.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Talk about pigeonholing your career. Literally the only possible career move left for Niccol would be Chairman of Qdoba. But kudos to him for knowing what he’s good at. I wonder if there are LinkedIn endorsements for Stoner Brand Building.”



It’s hard to believe that there is an e-commerce niche left on earth that Amazon hasn’t “disrupted.” But the luxury shopping market is a fickle one, and companies like Farfetch, Yoox and Net-a-porter have made their names bringing luxe brands together online.

Farfetch catalogs over 700 brands, from Gucci to Yeezy. ‘Fetch’s mission is to provide curated name brand and boutique offerings, seamlessly, overnight and presumably to be the preferred marketplace of aspiring hip-hop artists. They’ve inked distribution agreements with JD.com and The Chalhoub Group ensuring access to the lucrative Asia and the Middle East markets.

Rumor has it that the high-fashion retailer is planning an IPO as soon as this year and the company will seek a $5B valuation. So how will the company justify this seemingly far fetched valuation? Simple. Farfetch finds itself in the same “marketplace” category as eBay and Alibaba, limiting overhead by not carrying any actual inventory.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “The fact that any company can actually operate in e-commerce at a higher level than Amazon is incredible. I just don’t get it though. How did they draw the Eye of Sauron out of Mordor? Is the CEO secretly Gandalf?”



Blue Apron has a going concern … as in their customers are going away and never coming back. Despite an uptick in stock price after reporting earnings, the meals on wheel’s customer count is down 15% from a year ago and those still purchasing meal packages are spending less per order. And that isn’t the only bad news available at this all you can eat buffet of investor regret: revenue fell 13% year over year.

These problems are nothing new for the Hellofresh competitor. When filing for their IPO Blue Apron issued the financial equivalent of a food allergen warning, noting that they had issues attaining and retaining customers … which as it turns out, is kind of important.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Sorry about all the negativity, you guys. I’m just still salty about the time they forgot my turnip for my ginger-scallion meatballs and rice dish. That is, until they send me another free trial box offer.”




  • Nelson Peltz is leaving the Mondelez board for a director role at Procter & Gamble. He once mocked the name Mondelez, which is a bold move coming from a guy named Nelson Peltz.
  • Kevin Durant is getting a scripted series based on his life, and Apple will be helping to develop the show. It’s the second high profile deal for Durant this month, so it’s only a matter of time before Lebron gets his own cable TV channel. 
  • Viewers for the winter Olympics are down 6%, but NBC comes out on top as the 24M viewers mean that NBC doesn’t need to give away free ad space to sponsors. Instead, their ads will just have to air during a biathlon race between Ecuador, Ghana, and Bermuda. 
  • US indices were up yesterday:
    • DOW: +0.16%
    • S&P 500: +0.26%
    • NASDAQ: +0.45%



Professional motivation, tips, tricks, hacks & resources carefully-curated by yours truly. Something you’d like to see featured? Shoot me an email at team@thewatercoolest.com



Somewhere along the line (read: since the beginning of time) Microsoft Word resume templates got a bad rap. Maybe it was the mind-numbing monotony of the templates themselves. Or the stifling conformity of the Times New Roman font. Or maybe, just maybe it was the overuse of “synonyms” to find five words similar to “utilized.”

So when Microsoft released its LinkedIn (Microsoft owns LinkedIn) resume helper there were undoubtedly a lot of skeptics. But the AI-powered integration promises to sift through LinkedIn for relevant work experience phrases and skill listings to include in your resume. Because copy and pasting buzzwords into your resume is so 2017.