In an earnings call, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the Quest 2 VR headset has launched to considerable success.
Apple management took a few moments during the company’s record-setting Q4 earnings call to mention iOS device deployment at Vestas. Here's how Apple’s solutions are being used at one of the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturers.The future for power production Based in Aarhus, Denmark, Vestas employs over 25,000 staff worldwide building turbines that generate over 117GW of power across 76 countries. It has installed wind turbines in a variety of terrains, from Mongolia’s Gobi desert to the arctic winters of Lapland.To read this article in full, please click here
"I decided to give Epstein a second chance," Black said Thursday on an Apollo earnings call. "This was a terrible mistake."
No Slack in the system amid the irresistible rise of Redmond's collaboration platform Microsoft broke out the collaborative backslappery during its Q1 FY21 earnings call and revealed some actual usage numbers for one of its platforms: Teams has more than 115 million Daily Active Users (DAU).…
Microsoft saw some big growth in Microsoft Teams at the beginning of the pandemic, and it has kept accelerating over the past six months. During an earnings call with investors today, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reveled Microsoft Teams now has 115 million daily active users. That’s a more than 50 percent rise from the 75 million that Microsoft reported almost six months ago. It’s difficult to compare Microsoft’s numbers to its rivals, though. Both Zoom and Google report daily active participants, which means a single user could be counted multiple times through different meetings during a day. Google revealed it has 100 million daily active participants earlier this year, and Zoom said it had 300 million daily active participants. Slack... Continue reading…
When Tesla first unveiled its all-electric pickup called the Cybertruck, the design was polarizing, to say the least. The pickup has a body made of stainless steel and is highly angular and strange looking compared to any other vehicle on the market. Some people loved the design; others hated it. Tesla recently had a Q3 2020 earnings call, and during … Continue reading
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Tesla sent out the first “Full Self-Driving” beta software update to a select group of customers this week, CEO Elon Musk tweeted Tuesday. On an earnings call Wednesday, Musk said more Tesla owners would get the update as the weeks progress, with the goal of a “wide release” by the end of the year. Only those customers in Tesla’s Early Access Program will receive the software update, that will enable drivers to access Autopilot’s partially automated driver assist system on city streets. The early access program is used as a testing platform to help iron out software bugs. FSD beta rollout happening tonight. Will be extremely slow & cautious, as it should.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 20, 2020 Musk said that Tesla was approaching... Continue reading…
On IPG's third quarter earnings call today, CEO Michael Roth said nearly all of its agencies and disciplines showed improved growth from the prior three-month period, a sign that it's beginning to recover from the economic impact of Covid-19. The holding company's organic net revenue dipped 3.7% during the third quarter, an improvement from the...
Tesla‘s Battery Day is one of the most anticipated days in the yearly calendar of electric vehicle fans, tech investors, and Musketeers. This year’s event was supposed to be in July, but after a number of delays and vague rescheduling it happened yesterday, and it feels like a bit of a damp squib. On a shareholder earnings call in January Musk urged the public to “wait until Battery Day” to have their minds “blown.” However, on Battery Day Eve, Musk tempered expectations with a series of tweets that suggested nothing big was really coming until 2022. Important note about Tesla… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: Tesla
The iPhone launch will be delayed a "few weeks" relative to last year's late September launch, Apple said on its most recent earnings call.
Disney owes part of its early streaming success to its expansions into India and Western Europe — proving, as Netflix did, how crucial global audiences are in the streaming wars. Business Insider broke down what we know about how the various legacy-media companies are expanding their streaming businesses internationally, and what hurdles they'll face. Players including Disney and WarnerMedia will have to navigate pre-existing distribution deals and figure out which brands to peg their platforms to, experts told Business Insider. Disney and its rivals are also learning that some streaming markets may be more valuable than others. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. Disney Plus is winning the early race among legacy media's nascent streaming services with 60.5 million paying subscribers in its first nine months. A chunk of Disney Plus' growth this past quarter came from its combined offering in India with Hotstar, a locally established streamer, and growth in the prior period came partly from Disney Plus' expansion into Western Europe. The international impact on the platform's early success shows how crucial global audiences are in the streaming wars. Netflix first proved this in 2017 when its international subscriber base overtook its US audience. International viewers still fuel Netflix's subscriber growth. With streaming competition heating up in the US, Disney, ViacomCBS, and WarnerMedia shared in recent weeks new plans to expand their services internationally. Legacy media will face challenges their tech rivals didn't when pushing overseas, experts told Business Insider, including navigating pre-existing distribution deals and figuring out which brands to peg their platforms to. But these players need to the lay out the groundwork now for what will likely be a long road abroad. "We're talking about services that are only profitable at scale," said Eric Haggstrom, forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence. "Growing user base and brand early on is very important." Here's what we know about legacy media's international streaming plans, so far:  Disney's Disney Plus is available in more than a dozen countries, and is pushing into the Nordic regions, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Indonesia, and Latin America later this year. The media company is also pegging to its Star brand an upcoming international streaming offering that will house Disney-owned content that isn't a fit for the family friendly Disney Plus, including ABC Studios, Fox TV, FX, Freeform, Searchlight, and 20th Century programming. No international plans have been announced for Hulu and ESPN Plus. ViacomCBS's free, streaming-TV service, Pluto TV, has already expanded into parts of Europe and Latin America. The company is also planning to launch in 2021 an international streaming service that will feature programming from all its brands, including Showtime, starting in Australia, Latin America, and the Nordic regions. WarnerMedia's flagship streaming service HBO Max is eyeing entry into Latin America, as Bloomberg's Lucas Shaw reported. The company has yet to reveal a timeline or concrete details on the expansion. Discovery said it will soon announce a streaming service that will encompass much of it non-fiction programming, including HGTV, Food Network, and Animal Planet programming. Like its legacy-media competitors, it'll probably roll out stateside first, but few details have been revealed. The company also has US-based apps for some of its media brands, like its Food Network Kitchen subscription. Lionsgate has been expanding its domestic pay-cable network Starz internationally through platforms like Prime Video Channels, internet providers like Orange and Vodafone, and direct-to-consumer apps. Its international direct-to-consumer service, StarzPlay, launched in the UK, France, Germany, Brazil, and Mexico last year, and is slated to launch in 20 more territories this year. Through a joint venture, the Starz brand also streams in the Middle East and North Africa with StarzPlay Arabia.  NBCUniversal plans to expand Peacock internationally but hasn't yet shared details. Disney and WarnerMedia are constrained by their legacy operations in ways their tech rivals aren't Apple TV Plus demonstrated the advantage tech companies have in streaming when it launched in November, around the time Disney Plus debuted in a few countries, in more than 100 territories around the world. As a tech company, Apple had the infrastructure in place to move into much of the world overnight.  Disney is building that infrastructure, but it's also encumbered by pre-existing international licensing deals in ways Netflix and others streamers aren't. Since Netflix started releasing originals, it has hustled to secure the global rights to that content where possible, while also distributing or coproducing local projects, such as India's "Sacred Games," Spain's "Money Heist," and the UK's "The Crown," to appeal to audiences around the world. "Netflix did a lot of things right, particularly in terms of reaching out to local directors and producers to make sure the programming they're making is appropriate for the market," Alan Wolk, analyst at TVREV, told Business Insider. "That was a great lesson for everybody else on how to roll things out internationally." Before Disney follows Netflix down that road with its forthcoming international streaming service, it'll have to claw back the rights around the world to its own programming, such as ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" or Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale," which air and stream on local channels in the UK and other parts of the world.  "The biggest issue in general for these services is they've already sold a lot of their content into longterm deals internationally," Haggstrom, the Insider Intelligence analyst, said.   In the UK, Comcast's Sky airs and streams shows from both WarnerMedia's HBO and ViacomCBS's Showtime. Some HBO and Showtime shows also stream in India on Disney's Hotstar. That doesn't mean WarnerMedia's HBO Max and ViacomCBS's forthcoming streaming service can't expand into the UK or India. But it does make their entries a tad more complicated. Legacy media had to deal with this before launching in the US, too, by the way; Disney, for one, had to retrieve the rights to the Star Wars films for Disney Plus.HBO's existing distribution deals may be part of why HBO Max is looking to Latin America first. WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, who was the founding CEO of Hulu, knows how crucial it is for streaming services to get their international rollouts right. Hulu pushed into Japan, but never expanded more broadly. Netflix, on the other hand, aggressively pursued international expansion, and overtook Hulu's audience by a wide margin. "I'd say it was a mistake, and one of my biggest regrets was not being able to persuade the board of Hulu to go international," Kilar told Bloomberg's Lucas Shaw in August. Netflix had 193 million subscribers as of June, where Hulu has 35.5 million. Some international markets may be more valuable than others as legacy media charts its streaming expansion As legacy media expands streaming internationally, Disney, ViacomCBS, and others will also need to consider which markets are the most lucrative. Netflix started reporting its financials by international region this year, which gives more insight into streaming markets globally. The US and Canada, and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, bring in the most revenue per paying subscriber. In regions like Latin America and Asia-Pacific, Netflix's average revenue per subscriber has declined as its audiences have grown. Disney Plus' average revenue also dropped last quarter to $4.62 because of its price point in India, where it launched as part of the bundle with Hotstar. Excluding Disney Plus Hotstar, the service's average revenue was $5.31 per paying subscriber, the company said. "Netflix is a major player in all those markets," Haggstrom said. "The newcomers are going to have to look at, how concentrated is the market? And what is the revenue opportunity in the market, both in terms of ads and subscription options?" Some markets, like India, may be more accepting of ad-supported services if it keeps down the costs of subscriptions, Haggstrom said. Starz first established its brand internationally in the Middle East and North Africa, through its joint-venture, StarzPlay Arabia. After the service gained traction — and Starz was acquired by Lionsgate in 2016 — Starz starting expanding in 2019 its own StarzPlay offering in parts of Europe and Latin America, as a home for Starz dramas, Lionsgate movies and TV shows, and premium programming licensed from third parties. It plans to push into more territories this year. Lionsgate said it had 11.4 million streaming subscribers globally as of June, including StarzPlay Arabia and the Spanish-language service, Pantaya. Legacy players are pegging their services to their strongest international brands Legacy streamers like Disney may have advantages moving into international markets where their brands are well known. Disney is a behemoth at the international box office with Marvel, Disney, and other films, and has international touchstones through its theme parks in Europe and Asia. Warner Bros. and DC films are also big at the global box office. ViacomCBS has an international TV footprint, as well as its movie studio, Paramount. And Lionsgate's Starz, which had been licensing programming to TV networks around the world, has found success bringing its brand name to more parts of the world. The challenge for these legacy players then becomes which brands to peg their streaming services to. In some cases, it means making tough choices. Disney is putting Star, which is more established in Asia, at the forefront of its international general-audience service, and not Hulu. Hulu has a robust streaming audience in the US, but it's virtually unknown outside of the country. "Hulu also, I must say, has no brand awareness outside of the US and nor does Hulu have any content that's been licensed to it internationally," Bob Chapek, Disney's CEO, said on the company's latest earnings call. Wolk, the TVREV analyst, also pointed to Hulu's roots as a joint venture between major US broadcasters as a possible reason for its stalled international push.  "I suspect the name Star is more Disney-ish than Hulu," Wolk said. "They're still in the process of Disney-fying Hulu." ViacomCBS, meanwhile, has yet to name its upcoming streaming service, but said it will feature both CBS and Showtime content. It's likely that one or both brands will have to play second fiddle to the broader streaming brand. "It may be that some of the content is valuable but it doesn't have much brand equity," Haggstrom said of brands like CBS. "This is something that all these companies are going to have to deal with."Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A cleaning expert reveals her 3-step method for cleaning your entire home quickly
Apple CEO Tim Cook has led the company for nine years as of today, and under his leadership it has grown from a $400 billion firm into corporation valued at $2 trillion.The Cook Doctrine In 2009, when then-CEO Steve Jobs had to take an extended leave of absence to try to address pancreatic cancer, Cook presided over the Q1 2009 financial call.To read this article in full, please click here
Lyft said it's planning to shut down its app in California Thursday at midnight.  The move comes after Uber and Lyft lost a lawsuit brought by the state's attorney general. A judge said drivers must be classified as employees.  California accounts for about 16% of Lyft's overall business, the company said this month.  Lyft's stock price plummeted as much as 8% after the announcement.  Uber has also threatened to shut down in the state, but had made no decision at the time of Lyft's announcement.  Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Lyft will shut down its app in California at 11:59 p.m. local time Thursday unless a judge grants its request for more time to appeal a ruling that and Uber must classify their drivers as employees.  "Lyft cannot comply with the injunction at the flip of a switch," John Zimmer, Lyft's president, said last week during an earnings call. "Reclassifying tens of thousands of self-employed drivers would be a significant challenge in normal times. And in the current pandemic environment, that would be nearly impossible."  The move comes after the two ride-hail companies lost a lawsuit brought by California's attorney general, accusing them of not complying with AB-5, the recently passed law that codifies how companies can delineate contractors from employees. The state said drivers must be considered employees; the companies maintain they are independent contractors.  It's not clear when Lyft might resume service in the state, and it's still possible a judge could rule in the company's favor on Thursday. Shares of the Lyft sank about 4.5% in trading Thursday after the announcement.  "This is not something we wanted to do, as we know millions of Californians depend on Lyft for daily, essential trips," the company said in a blog post. In November, Californians will vote on Proposition 22, which Uber and Lyft, alongside other gig-work firms, have supported as an alternative to current labor laws. The measure would create a pooled fund to pay for healthcare, overtime, and other benefits for workers that would follow them between apps and jobs. It would also allow workers to retain the flexibility that an overwhelming majority of them say is the biggest plus of the work.  Uber has also threatened to shut down in California if the court does not rule in its favor on Thursday.  "We can't go out and hire 50,000 people overnight," CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said at an event hosted by Recode on Thursday. "All of our model, everything that we have built, is based on this platform that brings earners and people who want transportation and delivery together. You can't flip that stuff overnight. It'll take time and we're going to figure out a way to be in California. "We want to be in California, but if the court case comes in then we'll have to shut down," he continued. "We've got the best engineers in the world figuring out how we can rebuild this thing."  This story is developing. Check back for updates....SEE ALSO: Uber and Lyft are threatening to shut down their operations in California, and experts warn that 'drivers are the ones who get screwed' Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How waste is dealt with on the world's largest cruise ship
Elon Musk has made more money than any other billionaire throughout the course of the coronavirus pandemic, more than tripling his net worth in the past five months. He is now the fourth-richest person in America. Musk and Canadian recording artist Grimes welcomed a baby boy named X Æ A-12 in May. A notorious workaholic, Musk doesn't spend his money on lavish vacations or expensive hobbies; he even said he planned to spend his 48th birthday improving Tesla's logistics. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The coronavirus pandemic has been an economic disaster for most Americans, but not for Elon Musk. The Telsa CEO has made more than $48 billion between March 18 and August 13, an increase of more than 197%, according to a new analysis by left-leaning think tank the Institute for Policy Studies released Monday. That's significantly more than any other billionaire made during the same time period. Remarkably, Musk made his billions without ever taking a paycheck from Tesla. The CEO refuses his $56,000 minimum salary every year. In January 2018, Tesla announced it would pay Musk nothing for the next 10 years — no salary, bonuses, or stock — until the company reaches a $100 billion market cap. If and when that happens, Musk could potentially overtake Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as the richest person in the world. Keep reading to find out what we know about how Musk amassed his fortune and how he spends it.SEE ALSO: A look at the demanding schedule of Elon Musk, who plans his day in 5-minute slots, constantly multitasks, and avoids phone calls DON'T MISS: Meet secretive Nutella billionaire Giovanni Ferrero, who built a $32 billion fortune off Tic Tacs, Butterfingers, and his namesake chocolates Decades before becoming a father of six and amassing an $84.8 billion fortune, Musk taught himself to code as a child growing up in South Africa. By the time he was 12, he sold the source code for his first video game for $500. Source: MONEY Just before his 18th birthday, Musk moved to Canada and worked a series of hard labor jobs, including shoveling grain, cutting logs, and eventually cleaning out the boiler room in a lumber mill for $18 an hour — an impressive wage in 1989. Sources: MONEY, Esquire - Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Musk got a pay cut to $14 an hour when he started a summer internship alongside his brother, Kimbal, at the Bank of Nova Scotia after cold-calling — and impressing — a top executive there. Sources: MONEY, Esquire - Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future After he arrived for his freshman year at Queens University in 1990, Musk quickly picked up a side hustle selling computer parts and full PCs to other students. "I could build something to suit their needs like a tricked-out gaming machine or a simple word processor that cost less than what they could get in a store," Musk said. Sources: MONEY, Esquire - Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Within two years, Musk transferred to the University of Pennsylvania on a partial scholarship. Sources: MONEY, Esquire - Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future To cover the rest of his tuition, Musk and a buddy would turn their house into a speakeasy on the weekends, charging $5 at the door. "I was paying my own way through college and could make an entire month's rent in one night," Musk said. Sources: MONEY, Esquire - Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Musk graduated with a bachelor's degree in physics and an economics degree from the Wharton School and moved to Stanford to pursue his PhD. Source: MONEY He left the program within days to found an internet startup with his brother. They started Zip2, a city guide software for newspapers, with $28,000 in seed money from their father. Source: MONEY Four years later, in 1999, they sold Zip2 for $307 million, earning Musk $22 million. He invested more than half of his earnings to cofound, an online banking service. Source: MONEY The company quickly merged with its rival and became PayPal, with Musk as the majority shareholder. In 2002, eBay bought PayPal and Musk walked away with $180 million. Source: MONEY Musk turned his attention to his new space exploration company, SpaceX, after leaving PayPal. A few years later he cofounded electric-car maker, Tesla, and then SolarCity, a solar power systems provider. The success of these companies eventually launched him into the billion-dollar club — but not before he went broke. Source: VentureBeat In late 2008, Musk divorced his first wife and it took a toll on his finances. A year later, Musk said he "ran out of cash" and had been living off loans from friends while trying to keep his companies afloat. Sources: VentureBeat, Forbes, TechCrunch But when Tesla debuted on the stock market in 2010, Musk's fortune sky rocketed. By 2012, he appeared on Forbes' richest list for the first time with a net worth of $2 billion. Source: Forbes Over seven years later, Musk has amassed an $84.8 billion fortune — and he's not shy when it comes to spending it. Source: Bloomberg The CEO bought more than $100 million worth of residential property in California. He has since offloaded much of his real estate after vowing to sell it all and "own no house" on May 4. Source: The Real Deal, Variety, Business Insider Musk went on a buying spree in Los Angeles' ritzy Bel-Air neighborhood starting in late 2012, when he purchased a 1.67-acre estate for $17 million. The mansion has a two-story library, a home theater, a gym, and 1,000-bottle wine cellar. He also listed the neighboring ranch-style home he owns, which once belonged to Gene Wilder, at the same time. Source: Variety, CNBC, Business Insider As the leader of one of the preeminent auto-makers, it's no surprise Musk has an affinity for cars. Back in 2013, he paid $920,000 at an auction for the Lotus Esprit submarine car used in a James Bond movie. Source: MONEY, CNBC In addition to driving Teslas, Musk owns two gas-powered cars: a Ford Model T and a Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Roadster. Source: MONEY, CNBC Despite having funds to spare, Musk isn't a fan of lavish vacations — or any vacations for that matter. In 2015, he said he'd only taken two weeks off since founding SpaceX about 12 years earlier. Sources: Inc., Quartz Musk has five children with his ex-wife Talulah Riley. In a 2014 tweet, Musk said he takes the kids on an annual camping trip. "I'm a pretty good dad," he said. "I have the kids for slightly more than half the week and spend a fair bit of time with them. I also take them with me when I go out of town." Sources: Twitter, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Musk and Canadian singer Grimes, his on-again, off-again girlfriend, welcomed a baby boy on May 4. They named the child X Æ A-12 Musk. Source: Business Insider But by August 2018, Musk told The New York Times that he had taken to working 120 hours a week. "There were times when I didn't leave the factory for three or four days — days when I didn't go outside," he told The Times. "This has really come at the expense of seeing my kids. And seeing friends." Source: The New York Times Musk said on an earnings call in 2017 that he doesn't have a desk at the Tesla factory: "I always move my desk to wherever — I don't really have a desk actually — I move myself to wherever the biggest problem is in Tesla. I really believe that one should lead from the front lines, and that's why I'm here." Sources: Business Insider, Fortune Musk admitted to spending "many late nights" at Tesla's Nevada Gigafactory re-writing software during a production sprint for the Model 3. Source: Fortune For a story published in August 2018, Business Insider reporters spoke with 42 Tesla employees, who said Musk is a visionary, but also unpredictably demanding. Source: Business Insider Musk said in June 2019 that he even planned to spend his 48th birthday on June 28 at work, improving the company's "global logistics." Source: Business Insider Musk told CBS' "60 Minutes" that he is, in fact, "somewhat impulsive" and doesn't "really want to try to adhere to some CEO template." Source: Business Insider Not only does Musk spend a ton of time at Tesla, he also spends a lot of his money on the company. In the first six months of 2018, he bought more than $35 million worth of shares in Tesla. Source: CNN Musk also invests a lot of time, energy, and resources into SpaceX. Source: Business Insider SpaceX has raised more than $2.2 billion to develop, build, and launch Starlink, an effort to cover Earth in ultra-fast broadband internet and build the prototype of Starship, a gargantuan reusable space vehicle designed to bring people to Mars, reported Business Insider's Dave Mosher. The company was valued at $33.3 billion in June 2019. Source: Business Insider, CNBC Musk also helms The Boring Company, which he founded in 2016 to develop and construct an underground tunnel in Los Angeles in an effort to mitigate traffic. In December 2018, Musk debuted the first prototype. Source: Business Insider According to The New York Times, The Boring Company raised over $112 million in 2018 — and more than 90% of it came from Musk. Source: The New York Times In 2012, Musk signed The Giving Pledge, vowing to donate the majority of his wealth during his lifetime. Though he's already in the business of improving our environment and the future during his day job, Musk has made sizable donations to causes he cares about, including a $10 million gift to the Future of Life Institute to regulate artificial intelligence. Sources: Twitter, Business Insider Musk found himself in legal trouble with the SEC in 2018 after he tweeted that he had obtained the funding to take Tesla private, which moved the company's stock price. Musk reached a settlement with the SEC in April 2019. Source: Business Insider Musk moved Tesla share price again on May 1, sending it down 13% after tweeting "Tesla stock price is too high imo." Source: Markets Insider At the end of the day, the multibillionaire says he enjoys inexpensive hobbies like listening to music, playing video games, and reading books. "Hang out with kids, see friends, normal stuff," he said. "Sometimes go crazy on Twitter. But usually it's work more." Source: Quartz Musk's Twitter habits once again got him into legal trouble after Musk called the British cave diver who helped rescue a Thai soccer team a "pedo guy"; the diver sued Musk for defamation. A jury ruled in Musk's favor in December 2019. Source: Business Insider Musk has had plenty of headline-making outbursts both on- and offline. When a metal ball shattered the "armored glass" of Tesla's Cybertruck during a demonstration in November, Musk said "oh my f---ing god." Source: Business Insider The billionaire has more than tripled his net worth in 2020 so far, despite the coronavirus pandemic. Source: Business Insider
With the luxury car space dominated by German and Japanese brands, Cadillac is trying to reclaim some space with an all-electric SUV.  CEO Mary Barra is not opposed to a name change for the General Motors brand to reflect its new focus on electric and autonomous vehicles. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Long the self-proclaimed "standard of the world," Cadillac has spent the last several decades struggling to find a formula that could help it regain momentum in a luxury car market today dominated by German and Japanese brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus. Now, it's quite literally hoping to electrify potential buyers with the debut of its next all-new model, the Lyriq. With its distinctively lit front grille and Cadillac crest logo, Lyriq will become the first all-electric model for General Motors' flagship brand, taking direct aim at the Tesla Model Y. The SUV will be joined by an assortment of high-line battery-electric vehicles, such as the limited-edition Celestiq. Cadillac chief Steve Carlisle confirmed earlier this month that the brand's entire line-up is scheduled to go electric by 2030. GM's other brands won't be far behind. CEO Mary Barra is fond of saying the largest domestic automaker is "on a path to an all-electric future." It's spending over $20 billion on electric and autonomous vehicles by 2025, with "more than 20" battery electric vehicles (BEVs) due out by 2023 alone. It's a risky strategy, according to Joe Phillippi, head of AutoTrends Consulting. He questions whether GM can meet that aggressive schedule – and then find buyers for products like the Lyriq, GMC Hummer pickup, or any of the other BEVs in the GM pipeline to make it pay off. Barely 1% of U.S. shoppers have plugged into the all-electric market and Tesla overwhelmingly dominates the emerging niche. For her part, however, Barra was so upbeat that, during the company's earnings call this month, she declined to rule out the idea of changing GM's name to reflect its focus on electric and autonomous vehicles. Searching for the Ultium solution Not far outside Lordstown, Ohio, home of the old Chevrolet Cruze plant GM abandoned last year, GM is rapidly framing up a new factory, part of a $2.3 billion joint venture with Korea's LG Chem, that will produce GM's new Ultium line of lithium-ion batteries in 2021. There are plenty of valid reasons why motorists are skeptical of electric propulsion. There's mileage, which was barely 100 miles between charges before Telsa vehicles hit the market. BEVs cost, on average, thousands of dollars more than comparable, gas-powered vehicles. There's also the lack of a public charging infrastructure, and the reality that it can take hours, rather than minutes, to recharge once you find a place to plug in. GM's battery chief, Tim Grewe, says there is rapid progress being made on all fronts. When Chevrolet launched its Volt, the world's first mass-market plug-in hybrid, a decade ago it paid $1,000 a kilowatt/hour for batteries. That dropped to $145 when the Chevrolet Bolt EV debuted four years ago and GM is targeting $100 for Ultium. "The cost side is improving" rapidly, Grewe said. "I can't say we're already reaching $100 but it's happening quicker than I thought it would. Once we cross $100 it will keep going down." To put the numbers into perspective, at a planned 300-mile range Caddy's Lyriq will need around a 100 kWh pack. In 2010, that would have cost $100,000. At $100 per kWh, that plunges to $10,000, and GM President Mark Reuss has told Business Insider "We're not done there." If the price of batteries goes down to $70 or $80 then BEVs may be more affordable than gas-powered models, said Mark Wakefield, head of the auto practice at AlixPartners. That doesn't even factor in the plus side of BEVs, electric motors making maximum tire-spinning torque instantly, unlike internal combustion engines that need to rev up. The GMC Hummer is slated to deliver 1,000 horsepower, twice that of a Corvette.  All charged up Finding a place to plug in remains a problem in much of the country.  Pat Romano, CEO of ChargePoint, notes 80% of BEVs today recharge at home or office, "and that's likely to continue. Thousands more charging stations still will be needed for long-distance travelers and, he concedes, if nothing else, to give "confidence" to potential buyers they won't get stranded. Like competitors Volkswagen and Ford, GM wants to resolve this chicken-and-egg issue. Last month, GM announced a partnership with EVgo, America's largest EV charging network operator. Together, they'll add 2,700 high-speed public chargers over the next five years, tripling EVgo's current count. "We know how important the charging ecosystem is for drivers, one that includes access to convenient and reliable public fast charging," said Barra during a media conference call. As for charging times, GM's Ultium batteries and electric "architecture" should yield an 80% recharge in under an hour for Lyriq. In an exclusive interview, Reuss said the goal is reaching 90% in 10 minutes – little more than the time needed to fill an empty gas tank – though it will take a few years to get there. A rose by any other name There are plenty of "ifs" in GM's electrification playbook – and plenty of skeptics. Pointing to the new Lyriq, Sam Abuelsamid, principal auto analyst with Navigant Research, said it's "an important launch for Cadillac. They clearly need to be in the electric vehicle market. My main concern is that it seems like it's going to be late," as are so many of the other BEVs GM is working on. While Hummer will be in showrooms late this year, and the stretch version of the Chevy Bolt will soon follow, Lyriq and other models are pushing towards 2022 and 2023, by when scores of competing models will be available. GM is aware of that risk. "The company has made this program a key priority," said battery-chief Grewe, something former Chief Financial Officer Dhivya Suryadevara echoed during a second-quarter earnings call during which she insisted that even the coronavirus pandemic isn't slowing work down. The question is whether the demand will be there for EVs, in general. For his part, ChargePoint CEO Rmano said he is confident the slow ramp-up of EV demand has been limited by the lack of product, rather than a lack of consumer interest. With so many new models coming, he said, "you're going to see a massive uptake of those vehicles." Whether GM can benefit from that anticipated boom is far from certain. A new report from LMC Automotive warns Lyriq may not do much unless Cadillac can revise an image of being "an old-school luxury brand" and connect with trendier, younger buyers. For her part, GM CEO Barra is more upbeat. If anything, she is betting that an array of appealing new BEVs will help transform the automaker's image. Indeed, if that's the case, asked an industry analyst during a Q2 earnings call, might it make sense to abandon the aging GM name? Perhaps call the company Ultium Motors? "We're going to make any changes necessary to drive the shareholder value because I still strongly believe in the technology and our future product plans as it relates to electrification," said Barra. "So that's something we evaluate and look at when's the right time and what are the proof points that everybody looks at" to take any type of massive action like a name change.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: July 15 is Tax Day — here's what it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time
Uber Eats has helped the ride-hailing perform better than Lyft this year. Eats is also one of three reasons Uber has a long-term advantage over Lyft, Mark Mahaney, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, told Business Insider. Also key: Uber's international presence and its dominant share of the North America ride-hailing market. Are you a current or former employee of Uber or Lyft? Do you have an opinion about what it's like to work there? Contact this reporter at [email protected], on Signal at 646-768-4712, or via his encrypted email address [email protected] Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The rapid growth of Uber Eats between in the first half of 2020 has given the ride-hailing giant an edge over Lyft during what has otherwise been a brutal year for the companies. That lead could widen even after the pandemic subsides, according to RBC Capital Markets Analyst Mark Mahaney. At the beginning of this year, Lyft's stock was trading at $43, while Uber lagged behind at $30, but that gap has closed in the past eight months. When markets opened on Friday, Uber's shares were selling for $31, while Lyft's had fallen to $29. "I think it's almost entirely due to the fact that they have this Eats business," Mahaney told Business Insider. Eats is one of the three pillars of what Mahaney considers to Uber's long-term advantage over Lyft. The others are Uber's international presence (Uber operates in 69 countries, while Lyft has confined itself to North America) and dominant share of the North America ride-hailing market. Combined, they give Uber a broader revenue base that creates the potential for higher profits in the future. Neither company has ever been profitable for a full quarter, but Mahaney believes Uber's size and diverse business approach gives it the potential to earn bigger profits in the future. "There's a larger revenue and a larger profit pool that Uber can tap into," Mahaney said. Before the pandemic, Mahaney believed Uber's long-term prospects were better than Lyft's. But the crisis has only strengthened his opinion of Eats, which has counterbalanced lower ride demand. A Lyft representative pointed Business Insider to comments made by Lyft CFO Brian Roberts during the company's second-quarter earnings call. Roberts said he expected Lyft's narrower business model to earn higher profit margins than those of its ride-hailing competitors in the long run. "We expect that the margins of a North American pure-play transportation network will exceed conglomerate models that include lower-margin businesses and geographies," he said. Lyft's management team has performed well this year, Mahaney said, as it has found more ways to cut fixed costs than he thought possible. Amid uncontrollable shelter-in-place orders and health concerns that have cut ride demand, they have been smart about preserving financial resources and protecting the health of drivers and riders, Mahaney said. "I just don't know what they could have done differently," he said.  Are you a current or former employee of Uber or Lyft? Do you have an opinion about what it's like to work there? Contact this reporter at [email protected], on Signal at 646-768-4712, or via his encrypted email address [email protected] Read more: Self-driving cars could boost margins for Uber and Lyft — and open the door to competition from Amazon and Tesla Uber and Lyft just lost their bid to delay a court order in California that says their drivers must be classified as employees Dara Khosrowshahi's controversial plan to make Uber the 'Amazon of transportation' is paying off while the pandemic wipes out his core business Lyft sinks 6% after reporting worst quarterly revenue since 2017 SEE ALSO: This Russian-made Mustang look-alike is really a Tesla Model S in disguise — take a closer look Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: The rise and fall of Donald Trump's $365 million airline
Cisco's shares tumbled more than 11% on Thursday after the company posted a weaker-than-expected outlook and announced a plan to slash over $1 billion in costs amid a deepening crisis that has hurt key segments of the enterprise tech market. "The past six months have unquestionably reshaped our world," Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins told analysts on the company's quarterly earnings call on Wednesday. Wall Street analysts agreed Cisco's report pointed to more uncertainty ahead for the company and the enterprise-tech market as a whole. "Tone around enterprise was clearly more reserved than we would have liked," a Morgan Stanley analyst told clients in a note. Click here for more BI Prime stories. Cisco got an unexpected lift from the COVID-19 crisis, which triggered a sharp pivot to remote work that led to a spike in demand for the tech giant's networking and cybersecurity products. But that's turning out to be a short-term boost for the tech giant, which is now bracing itself for the longer-term impact of the pandemic. Cisco shares plunged more than 11% to about $42 apiece on Thursday after the company reported a weaker-than-expected outlook and announced plans to slash over $1 billion in costs. "The past six months have unquestionably reshaped our world," Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins told analysts on the company's quarterly earnings call on Wednesday. Cisco beat estimates for its fiscal fourth quarter, posting a profit of $2.6 billion, or $0.62 a share, compared with a profit of $2.2 billion, or $0.51 a share, for the year-ago period. Revenue slipped 9% over the same period to $12.2 billion. Adjusted income was $0.80 a share. Analysts were expecting a profit of $0.74 a share on revenue of $12.1 billion. But for the current quarter, Cisco said it expected a profit of $0.69 to $0.71 a share — a forecast coming in below Wall Street's consensus projection of $0.76 a share. "We saw some strength in the very high end of enterprise and then sort of as you go down in the marketplace, the weakness got a little bit worse as it just sort of went straight down," Robbins said. "As you would expect with small and medium-sized businesses and even smaller-sized enterprises." He said the plan to cut costs, which will be focused mainly on operating expenses, was part of Cisco's strategy for adapting to what has morphed into a deeper crisis. But Robbins also said Cisco would "accelerate" investments in key areas including cloud security and collaboration, and technologies geared toward key industries such as education and healthcare. Long-term influence The report quickly sparked a sell-off on Wall Street, though analysts offered mixed views on what it meant for the tech giant long term. "Tone around enterprise was clearly more reserved than we would have liked," Morgan Stanley analyst Meta Marshall told clients in a note. Cisco's report appeared to reinforce an increasingly downbeat view of the enterprise-tech market six months into the coronavirus crisis. Last month, IBM, another tech behemoth, opted to give a full-year financial guidance because of economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic. CEO Arvind Krishna told Wall Street analysts that "the economic recovery is looking to be longer and more protracted then we might have hoped for back in March." But Marshall called Cisco's "cost-savings efforts" encouraging as she affirmed her overweight, or buy, rating on Cisco, saying that the tech giant's "earnings resilience is being underestimated by the market." But William Blair analyst Jason Ader, who has a "market perform," or neutral, rating on Cisco, had a more downbeat view of the tech giant which, like other traditional enterprise-tech companies, has grappled with the rapid rise of the cloud. The fast-growing trend allows businesses to set up networks on web-based platforms, making it possible to scale down or even abandon private in-house data centers. This has hurt the business of traditional vendors that sell hardware and software used for private data centers. Like other tech giants, Cisco is pivoting to more cloud-focused products, even as it struggles to maintain its traditional businesses focused on private data centers. "Cisco is facing a crossroads moment in its business that was not caused by the pandemic but is being exacerbated by it," Ader told clients in a note. "The pandemic is spotlighting that despite some progress in recent years in transforming its business toward higher-growth software and cloud revenue, Cisco remains heavily dependent on hardware and on-premises revenue." Got a tip about Cisco or another tech company? Contact this reporter via email at [email protected], message him on Twitter @benpimentel, or send him a secure message through Signal at (510) 731-8429. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop. Claim your 20% discount on an annual subscription to BI Prime by clicking here. SEE ALSO: Enterprise tech salaries revealed: How much Oracle, IBM, SAP, Cisco, Dell, VMware, ServiceNow and Workday pay engineers, developers, data scientists and others DON'T MISS: Tech sales and marketing salaries revealed: How much enterprise giants IBM, Oracle, Dell, Cisco, and VMware pay sales reps, managers, and consultants Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: We tested a machine that brews beer at the push of a button
Foxconn chairman Young Liu said Trump's trade war against China means its "days as the world's factory are done," Bloomberg reported Wednesday. Foxconn, the largest iPhone maker globally, said it plans to diversify production lines to avoid tariffs the Trump administration has imposed on Chinese-made goods, according to Bloomberg. Liu told Bloomberg that the company is looking to a variety of regions including India, Southeast Asia, and the Americas. Trump has waged a years-long economic battle against China, imposing extensive tariffs and targeting a range of Chinese companies, though evidence strongly suggests that most of the burden has fallen on Americans. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Over the past 50 years, China has become a global economic powerhouse, due in large part to the rise of its manufacturing industry. But the CEO of one of the largest companies in that space, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., predicted that era could be coming to an end. Young Liu, chairman of Hon Hai, which is more commonly known as Foxconn, told investors this week that China's "days as the world's factory are done," Bloomberg reported Wednesday. Liu said during Foxconn's latest earnings call that Trump's trade war with Beijing has forced electronic device makers to diversify their supply chains to other countries so they don't get hit with tariffs on Chinese-made products, according to Bloomberg. Foxconn, the largest global manufacturer of iPhones, plans to do the same. Liu told Bloomberg that 30% of the company's production capacity is now outside China, a 20% increase from the previous June and that it's interested in expanding in a variety of regions. "No matter if it's India, Southeast Asia, or the Americas, there will be a manufacturing ecosystem in each," Liu said, according to Bloomberg. Trump has imposed expansive tariffs on goods imported from China as part of his years-long trade war against the country, but most evidence points to a net negative impact for US companies, individuals, and the overall economy. An analysis from Bloomberg Economics previously estimated that the Trump administration's punitive measures will end up costing the US $316 billion by the end of 2020, and independent researchers from the New York Federal Reserve, Princeton, and Columbia estimated that the tariffs would cost Americans roughly $831 per household over the course of 2019. Tensions temporarily deescalated last December when Trump and China reached an interim trade deal, but a survey from the US-China Business Council this week found that only 7% of businesses viewed the gains from the deal as outweighing the costs incurred by two years worth of tariffs. Trump recently reignited tensions with China with two executive orders seeking to ban viral video app TikTok and messaging app WeChat, which are owned by Chinese-firms ByteDance and Tencent, respectively, from operating within the US.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Here's what it's like to travel during the coronavirus outbreak
Lyft president John Zimmer said that the company may pause all operations in California if forced to comply with a recent court ruling ordering it to reclassify drivers as employees. Zimmer told investors during its earnings call Wednesday that California accounts for about 16% of its total rides. Regulators said the state's gig work law requires ride-hail companies like Lyft and Uber to treat drivers as employees and took them to court over their refusal to comply, and a court handed the companies a major defeat earlier this week. Both Lyft and Uber, whose CEO made a similar claim about suspending operations earlier Wednesday, have a long history of threatening to stop doing business in places where they oppose regulations. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Lyft president John Zimmer warned that the company may temporarily stop operating in California due to a court ruling earlier this week ordering the ride-hailing giant to reclassify drivers as employees. "If our efforts here are not successful it would force us to suspend operations in California," Zimmer told investors during Lyft's quarterly earnings call Wednesday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Zimmer's comments echoed a similar warning from Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who told MSNBC earlier on Wednesday that "it's hard to believe we'll be able to switch our model to full-time employment quickly." On Monday, a California court ruled that Lyft and Uber must treat their California drivers as employees rather than independent contractors under the state's  gig work law, AB-5. The ruling dealt the companies a major blow in their legal battle with the state over drivers' status. The judge in the case issued a 10-day stay on the ruling in order to give the companies time to appeal. Both have argued that reclassifying drivers would significantly hurt their business. "Lyft cannot comply with the injunction at the flip of a switch," Zimmer said, according to the Chronicle, adding that doing so during the coronavirus pandemic would be "nearly impossible." He told investors that rides taken in California account for roughly 16% of the company's total trips. Lyft and Uber have refused to reclassify drivers as employees under AB-5, initially arguing the law doesn't apply to them. But the state's top rideshare regulator determined the opposite in a June ruling, and a group of city attorneys from California cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego filed suit against the companies over the issue in May. Lyft and Uber have made similar kinds of threats in the past — and it's worked Uber and Lyft have a long history of making — and in some cases acting on — similar threats about leaving markets when faced with regulations they don't like. Researchers from the University of California Berkeley noted in 2018 that Lyft and Uber used similar tactics in Chicago, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio in response to the cities' efforts to require drivers to undergo more rigorous background checks in order to work for the platforms. Both companies temporarily left Austin, and Uber also left San Antonio, before the regulations were revised or overturned with legislation supported by the companies. "Uber's threats to leave a market have been an effective tool of overturning regulations," the researchers concluded. The researchers also pointed to Uber's regulation-busting strategies such as leveraging its app to mobilize drivers and consumers in support of legislation or ballot initiatives it supports and "manipulation of public opinion data available to regulators." Uber and Lyft have deployed similar approaches in their effort to avoid having to comply with AB-5. The companies poured $30 million each into a ballot measure that would exempt rideshare and food delivery companies from the law. Zimmer used Wednesday's call as an opportunity to push the Lyft and Uber-backed measure, telling investors that "California voters can make their voices heard by voting Yes on Prop. 22 in November," according to the Chronicle. The companies argue that, in addition to helping their own bottom lines, drivers also benefit from the flexibility of working as independent contractors. They have also said that new benefits that they would provide under Proposition 22 will give drivers the best of both worlds. But driver advocacy groups have pushed back on those talking points, saying that it lets Lyft and Uber off the hook for denying drivers more robust pay, benefits, and labor protections guaranteed to traditional employees in California, and that it's the companies' own fault if they curb flexibility in response to regulations. The state's labor commission brought a separate lawsuit against the companies earlier this month on similar grounds, claiming that Lyft and Uber have committed wage theft by misclassifying drivers. Driver advocacy group Rideshare Drivers United, which has been rounding up driver wage theft accusations, claimed that Uber and Lyft owe more than $1.3 billion in payments to drivers in California.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Here's what it's like to travel during the coronavirus outbreak
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Lyft said it would shut down operations in California if forced to classify drivers as employees, the company’s executives said in an earnings call with investors on Wednesday. Lyft joins Uber in threatening to pull out of one of its most important US markets over the question of drivers’ employment status. At issue is the classification of ride-hailing drivers as independent contractors, which Uber and Lyft say most drivers prefer because of the flexibility and ability to set their own hours. But labor unions and elected officials contend this deprives them of traditional benefits like health insurance and workers’ compensation. Earlier this week, Uber and Lyft were ordered by a California superior court judge to classify their... Continue reading…