Weekly reading – 10th December 2022

Business

Who will be Disney’s next CEO? Here are the top contenders to succeed Bob Iger. Disney is a textbook case of a company’s failure to make succession right. Bob Chapek was fired unceremoniously after a bit more than 2 years on the job. Bob Iger is back for what seems to be like the 100th time. None of the internal candidates mentioned in the article seem to have the skillset that emulates that of Bob Iger. The ones that do were passed over for the CEO job. If they weren’t picked then, why would they be this time around after 3 years away from the company?

TSMC to up Arizona investment to $40 billion with second semiconductor chip plant. This TSMC plant is the largest foreign investment in Arizona and one of the largest in the US history. Once completed, it will have enough capacity for chip demand in the US and produce the most cutting-edge chips (3 and 4 nanometers). In my view, this is a great move. TSMC can bring supply closer to the largest market in the world and reduce the geographical risk of being close to China. The US will house a strategic investment on its soil and also decrease its exposure to a take-over of Taiwan by China. Additionally, this will bring hundreds of jobs to Arizona and the US

In-store bakery is becoming a consumer magnet. “In-store bakery is becoming increasingly attractive to consumers, according to a new report. A whopping 95% of shoppers consume products from the department at least occasionally and 63% do so weekly, according to the “Power of In-Store Bakery 2022” report, published by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI). Among the shoppers who visit the in-store bakery weekly are Millennials (35%), urban dwellers (42%); large households of three or more persons (49%); and households with an income of at least $120,000, the report says.”

Disney’s CEO drama explained, with Julia Alexander. Julia Alexander is the Twitter account that I go to for anything media-related. This is a great interview and there are a lot of important nuances that media coverage on Disney and the Bobs missed

($) Former Apple Executive Says Company Blundered by Firing Him After TikTok Video. This should be a good case to be discussed in Ethics and Business Management classes. Apple was in a “I’ll be damned if I do, and I’ll be damned if I don’t” situation. Tony Blevins played an integral role in the Apple empire and to be frank, there was an argument to be made that his firing was too harsh. On the other hand, as he held a high-level position, the expectation on him was much higher. How would Apple maintain the culture if employees thought they were partial to Tony because he was higher up on the food chain?

Other stuff I find interesting

Why wind energy isn’t living up to its pollution-preventing potential. Wind energy has become increasingly important across the US, making up 10% of the country’s electricity mix today. A new research has proven that wind energy is linked to improved air quality, but such benefits are not the same to different communities. “Only 32 percent of those benefits reached low-income communities. And just 29 percent reached racial and ethnic minority populations. People of color are 3.6 times more likely to live in counties with multiple failing air pollution grades. Low-income communities in the US have also been consistently exposed to more particulate pollution than more affluent neighborhoods.”

($) Where Does All the Cardboard Come From? I Had to Know. A long interesting piece on the cardboard economy. “Cardboard manufacturers broke production records in 2021, and they’ve been breaking them basically every quarter since. By 2025, according to one estimate, the size of the international market for corrugated packaging will reach $205 billion, commensurate with the gross domestic product of New Zealand or Greece. In 2020, for example, the world’s paper and cardboard factories produced an estimated 400-million-plus metric tons of product; by 2032, analysts have predicted, that number will rocket to 1.6 billion metric tons, the weight of 16,000 aircraft carriers. Safe to say that never in human history have we relied on one kind of mass-produced packaging material for so much, and certainly not at such scale. “

A $100 Billion Lesson In Why Building Public Transportation Is So Expensive in the US. Pete Buttegig and The Department of Transportation should look at this article and take appropriate actions to address what I consider a national embarrassment.

Face to face with ancient Egyptians. Scientists use technologies to craft ancient Egyptians’ portraits based on mummies. Fascinating!

Uruguay is plotting to poach Argentina’s tech sector. “As the infrastructure of cities from Bali to Mexico City creaks under the strain of new digital-nomad arrivals, Uruguay’s luring of Argentines is different. Uruguay, whose population hasn’t grown significantly in 30 years, has opted to leverage its own labor shortage — which, for years, has contributed to holding back its burgeoning tech scene — with the economic upheavals of neighboring Argentina. Between 2020 and 2021, more than 21,415 Argentines applied for permanent or temporary residency in Uruguay, six times more than the requests accumulated in the previous two years combined. Starting in mid-2020, Uruguay’s center-right government extended tax breaks for foreign earners living in the country, and lowered residency requirements. Software companies pay no income taxes. “

Nigeria limits ATM withdrawals to boost digital payments. “The central bank has sent out a circular to lenders cutting the daily cash machine withdrawal limit from 150,000 naira to 20,000 naira, according to Bloomberg. Weekly cash withdrawal limits of 100,000 naira for people and 500,000 naira for corporations have also been set. The limit is the latest effort by Nigeria to discourage cash usage. The country is set to redesign high-value notes and is giving people until January to switch out their old paper money.

Stats

US-based small businesses had $1 billion in sales on Amazon between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday

According to an EU-funded survey, one in four 16-19-year-olds in Europe engaged in online trolling last year

In 2021, U.S. corn was worth over $86 billion

Source: Science.org

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