WEEK’S OVERVIEW – CORPORATE

Teamwork

Items of interest that might have been missed with the press of events:

  • Nissan has experienced a tumultuous time recently – The company now has new members on its board of directors who want to turn up the pressure on the company’s CEO Hiroto Saikawa and are asking him to “revive the fortunes” of the company.  Saikawa faces tough sledding as the company grapples with a slowdown in the U.S. and tighter emissions standards globally.  Nissan had tried to respond to the U.S. down-turn by cutting out low-margin sales to rental agencies but couldn’t find enough retail customers to keep up the needed volume.  Thus, in an initial effort to respond to board pressures, the auto maker is planning to cut its global workforce by 9% in the coming months, or approximately 12,500 jobs.
  • The downsides of GPS – A family built their dream house at the end of a quiet dead-end road in Jacksonville, FL.  And, then, GPS systems came into play – with as many as 8 drivers per day pulling up after being shown on their GPS that the road went through – it doesn’t.  So, that meant that they all had to turn around – generally on the lawn, sometimes breaking sprinklers and doing other damage.  The partial solution has been to contact Google maps and apps to have them adjust their algorithms.  Apparently, the problem is still being worked on – good luck with that.  When GPS systems tell drivers how they can traverse streets, they typically follow that advice blindly.
  • Amazon is currently eyeing a property on 5th Avenue in NYC (the 12-story Lord and Taylor store) as an alternative to the massive location that they had once planned.  Amazon’s record-setting profit streak has ended with their recent quarterly reporting of a 3.6% rise over a year ago.  The change is said to be due to higher shipping costs, slowing growth from its cloud computing business (more competition), and a steeper loss in its  oversews retail business.  Amazon had posted its best-ever profit the past four quarters.
  • Not anything to do with corporations, but interesting nonetheless, is the fact that computers are now the favored basketball coaches.  Shot-tracking technology which allows camera attached to the baskets to calculate the angle and the ball’s position in the hoop.  Which, in turn, can tell players when their shot trajectories are too high as well as a wide variety of other suggestions for better playing.  Which also can turn into a profound shift in the making of a professional athlete.

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