Tesla Hires Musk Handler; Google Bringing More Jobs To NYC; Monster Energy Drink Is Suing Coca-Cola
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Apparently, Travis Kalanick was busy.
Tesla has named Robyn Denholm as chairwoman of the board. Replacing Musk as chairman was an SEC sanction handed down as part of Elon’s settlement with the commission related to the tweet heard round the world. Tesla had until November 13th to name a replacement.
Ms. Denholm, currently the CFO of Australian telco Telstra, will exit her role down under within the next 6 months but will take over as head of Tesla’s board immediately. Denholm’s resume includes stops at Toyota Australia, Sun Microsystems and Juniper Networks.
Her job duties at the EV maker will include childproofing the medicine cabinet, putting parental controls on Musk’s Twitter account, and making sure that the eccentric billionaire doesn’t brand any weapons of mass destruction with Tesla’s logo. She’ll also run point on making sure he maintains the proper corporate title. BTW, we aren’t kidding … part of the SEC settlement dictated that a system had to be put in place to oversee Musk’s public statements.
Denholm’s role as an “independent” advisor may be a shock to the board that can best be described as “friends and family.” Elon’s brother, Kimbal, acts as an independent advisor as does James Murdoch, the CEO of Fox (and son of the equally batsh*t billionaire, Rupert Murdoch). Murdoch, in fact, appeared to be the leader in the clubhouse until Denholm won the job.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “Let’s be honest, Denholm will ‘advise’ Musk like Luke Walton ‘coaches’ Lebron James.”
FOLLOW THE LEADER
Not to be outdone by Amazon, Google announced that it will be expanding its NYC operations. Just days after news broke that Amazon’s HQ2 would likely be split between Northern Virginia (don’t you dare call it DC) and NYC, the search giant/data dealer revealed plans to make room in NY for up to 20k employees.
Rumor has it that Alphabet is close to finalizing a deal to rent or buy a 1.3M square-foot office space in Manhattan’s West Village. The building won’t be ready until 2022, but once it is, it will be home to some 8.5k Owen Wilsons and Vince Vaughns (think: “The Internship”, not “Wedding Crashers”).
Meanwhile, in Chelsea Market, where Google currently operates (the Ask Jeeves knockoff bought for $2.4B back in March), an expansion project is well underway. More than 300k square feet will be added, while plans are in the works for another 250k square feet at Pier 57.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “If Googlers thought the commute in SF was tough, just wait until they experience their first hobo exhibitionist on the NYC subway.”
Coca-Cola is unleashing a new line of energy drinks as it continues to branch out from its classic fizzy soda product (we see you, CBD infused coke). The new products, “Coca-Cola Energy,” and a “No Sugar” variation will be coming soon to a gas station near you, that is unless Monster has something to say about it.
Coke bought a 17% stake in Monster Energy Drink in 2015 as it looked to dip its toe into the energy drink pool. Monster, the preferred morning elixir of people with neck tattoos, was, of course, more than happy to tap Coke’s distribution network. There was just one agreement: Coke wouldn’t dabble in the energy drink space. But based on the company’s plans to create a Minotaur of its own, it would seem Coke DGAF about no stinkin’ contract.
Not one to sour a good relationship in a growing industry (expected to be $15B), Coke believes it is operating under an exception in the agreement. Of course, Monster does not. As a result, the maker of the go-to energy drink component of homemade Four Loko has sued Coca-Cola. The two frienemies are currently in arbitration.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “Never f*ck with a brand whose faithful make the trailer park boys look soft.”
IN OTHER NEWS
- Time to start stockpiling JUUL pods like they’re original Four Loko (and the haters said we couldn’t reference Four Loko twice in one newsletter). Allegedly, the FDA will order most retail outlets to pull flavored pod-style e-cigs from their shelves amid worries about underage use. Online sales would be heavily regulated. JUUL, which owns a roughly 75% market share would be completely devastated should the official announcement come next week.
- The Federal Reserve will leave rates unchanged following its most recent meeting but has indicated that rates will increase as soon as December and multiple times in 2019. The Fed emphasized the economy’s strength a number of times but mentioned a pullback on business investment as of late compared to the rapid pace earlier this year. The unemployment rate held at a nearly fifty year low (3.7% in October) and the economy expanded at a 3.5% annual rate.
- US oil prices hit an eight-month low of $60.67 a barrel thus entering *gasp* a bear market. Sliding for the ninth straight session (no Jeff), investors are worried about rising global output and decreased demand. On the bright side, the US became the world’s largest crude-oil producer a few weeks ago. Suck it Russia.
- *Insert Spider-Man pointing at Spider-Man meme* Morgan Stanley is suing Morgan Stanely and one of these companies had an employee named Morgan Stanley. Confused yet? Morgan Stanley (the one you know and love) is suing Morgan Stanley Capital LLC for infringing upon the 83-year-old investment bank’s trademark and name. MSC filed for a charter in Delaware in 2015 and tried to register itself in China.
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