Execs: Schultz ends four-decade run at Starbucks
Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz announced this week he is stepping down at the end of June, said Zlati Meyer in USA Today. Schultz joined the Seattle-based coffee chain in 1982, when it had just four stores, and as CEO beginning in 1986 “shepherded it into a global heavyweight,” with more than 28,000 outposts in 77 countries. The 64-year-old, who handed off his CEO duties to Kevin Johnson in April last year, plans to write a book on Starbucks’ “social impact work” and consider whether to pursue a rumored run for elected office.
Media: British regulators approve Fox’s Sky deal
After 16 months of deliberation, U.K. regulators said this week that 21st Century Fox can proceed with its bid for control of the British satellite-broadcasting giant Sky, said Michael de la Merced in The New York Times. The approval of the deal, which is predicated on Fox selling Sky News, the broadcaster’s 24-hour news channel, is likely “a prelude to a bidding war over Sky—and to a larger fight.” Disney is trying to purchase Fox, “which already owns part of Sky and has offered to buy the rest.” But Comcast is attempting to play spoiler, bidding for both Fox and Sky, “all with the goal of causing trouble for Disney.”
Tech: Microsoft buys code site GitHub
Microsoft this week acquired the code-hosting site GitHub in an all-stock deal for $7.5 billion, said Tom Warren in TheVerge.com. The sale is the second significant acquisition of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s tenure, following the company’s $26.2 billion purchase of LinkedIn two years ago. GitHub, “a large code repository that has become popular with developers and companies hosting entire projects, documentation, and code,” was valued at $2 billion as recently as 2015. Used by Apple, Amazon, and Google, “its popularity among developers could see Microsoft earn some much-needed trust and respect from developers.”
Retail: Lord & Taylor landmark to permanently close
“Looking for another sign of how tough it is in the world of retail?” asked Paul La Monica in CNN.com. Fashion conglomerate Hudson’s Bay is shuttering Lord & Taylor’s century-old Manhattan flagship early next year, along with 10 other Lord & Taylor stores. Although WeWork purchased the landmark site last year, Hudson’s Bay held an option to lease several floors for Lord & Taylor, but will now decline. The company this week also offloaded the “once hot” website chain Gilt Groupe—owner of Gilt.com—which it purchased for $250 million in 2016. It had already written down the acquisition by $116 million.