Walmart Sells Brazilian Assets, Howard Schultz Steps Down; Microsoft Buys GitHub

The Water Coolest

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Howard Schultz is stepping down from his position as Executive Chairman of Starbucks, ending his 36-year run with the company. While he’s volleyed between CEO and EC positions a few times since 2000, it appears that Schultz is actually sailing off into the sunset this time. Former J.C. Penney CEO, Myron E. Ullman (no relation to Tracy) will be taking over the position.

The “Emperor of the Espresso” has been praised for his socially conscious approach in turning a small Seattle company into an international powerhouse. Schultz attributes the companies success to creating attracting talent by offering benefit programs to employees that included health care, stock ownership, and even college tuition.

Recently, the company has faced some scrutiny amid decreases in same-store sales and one particularly ugly incident in Philadelphia. Lucky for Schultz, that’s not his problem anymore

There is speculation that Schultz will run for President in 2020.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “It’s amazing how one man’s vision could help grow a company from one shop to 28k simply by using bougie size descriptions and playing a variety of Kenny G and Norah Jones songs. Pour a sip of your grande-triple-pump-caramel-soy-chai-low-fat-skim-double-espresso out for the homie!”



It’s officially official. The rumors buzzing around that Microsoft has been interested in GitHub are true, and Microsoft will be scooping up its newest addition for $7.5B in stock. The move comes as Microsoft continues to diversify its portfolio. Mister Softee purchased LinkedIn back in 2016.

GitHub, the cloud-based, open-source code repository had, up until today, raised $350M and in 2014 was worth an estimated $2B. As of March 2018, more than28M developers were using the GitHub community, with 85M code repositories, which makes it the largest online host of source code in the world.

Microsoft’s purchase is an homage to the companies humble beginnings. Before Bill Gates was drinking poop water, he and co-founder Paul Allen created Microsoft as a place for developers to work on programming their own software for the MITS Altair microcomputer.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “I’d never wish ill will on anyone, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t f*cking despise the Jeep wave. Ok, so maybe I’m a bit jealous …”



True to their word, Walmart sells at “Always Low Prices. Always.” The retailer plans to sell an 80% share in its Brazillian operations to Advent International at a $4.5B loss. Walmart will hold onto the remaining 20% of the company.

The departure from the emerging market marks the end of a retail experiment go awry, marred by piss-poor management, political and economic instability and the inability to get the Brazillian populous on board with “Saving Money” and “Living Better.”

Plus, the divestiture more closely aligns with Walmart’s strategy of focusing on growth in the US and Asian markets. Wally World recently purged itself of Asda, its UK supermarket chain.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Didn’t see that one coming. Who would have thought that people in a third world country wouldn’t want to take advantage of incredibly low prices?”




  • McDonald’s is adding self-service stations to 1,000 stores each quarter. At least they won’t demand $15 per hour.
  • A breach of Ticketfly has exposed data of roughly 26M customers. It’s hard to feel bad for a company who charges a convenience fee for making an online purchase. 
  • Cyma Zarghami plans to step down as president of Nickelodeon, a role she has held since 2006. She was slimed by Marc Summers on the way out of the office.
  • Hope you shorted Nektar Therapeutics, as their stock dropped 42% on Monday. This is the largest decrease of a stock in the S&P 500 in the past five years.
  • US indices were up yesterday:
    • DOW: +0.72%
    • S&P 500: +0.45%
    • NASDAQ: +0.69%


The Water Coolest is a daily business newsletter consisting of business news, financial advice, and unfiltered commentary. Delivered fresh in your inbox every morning so you're ready to snap necks and cash checks. Written by Tyler Morrin, AJ Glagolev, Nick Ellis, and Ian Barto.