THE WEEK’S OVERVIEW – CORPORATE

Items that might have been missed in the press of events:

  • There’s growing concern in Europe and Germany, in particular,  about the economic impact of the automobile industry’s move to electric cars – officials and executives in Germany fear the country’s big car companies and ecosystem of service providers and suppliers are insufficiently prepared for the transition and that sufficient leadership might not be ensured in an electric world, threatening jobs, tax revenue and growth (ref WSJ).
  • There’s some research, although insufficient at this time for definitiveness, that companies with a critical mass of women on boards and in executive positions (rather than just token females in CEO roles and on BODs) may outperform competing companies.  The Catch 22 is that those changes would have to be enacted in order for the research to be performed so that those “suppositions” could be confirmed.  Until that time, it’s just an idea that’s being suggested as a possibility.
  • United Parcel Service’s venture capital division, UPS Ventures, has acquired a minor it stake in self-driving trucking startup TuSimple, which signals UPS’s continued interest into autonomous driving.
  • Quantas Airlines is gearing up to offer a 19-hour nonstop flight from NYC to Sydney and will conduct research on two upcoming flights that will be populated by employees wearing tracking devices that measure sleep patterns, food and beverage consumption, lighting and human movement during the test flights.  The pilots will wears devices to track brain-wave patterns, alertness.  Researchers from Melborne’s Monash University will be working with the crew members and “passengers” to collect and analyze the data, which is expected to help shape the future of air travel.

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