By Francesca Fontana
Can John Donahoe 'Just Do It'? The former eBay Inc. CEO was named late Tuesday as the new boss of Nike, succeeding longtime leader Mark Parker. The change marks a strategic shift atop the world's biggest sportswear brand. Nike has posted strong apparel and sneaker sales, but it has also faced public relations crises like the ban of Nike's top running coach amid doping allegations and concerns about the company's workplace culture. Mr. Donahoe will take over in January and Mr. Parker will become Nike's executive chairman. Nike shares fell 3.4% Wednesday.
SoftBank Group Corp.
WeWork and its CEO Adam Neumann found a rescuer in SoftBank, which agreed to take control of the floundering office-space startup. The arrangement hands Mr. Neumann nearly $1.7 billion and severs most of his ties with the company. The Japanese conglomerate said Tuesday it agreed to provide Mr. Neumann a $185 million consulting fee, a $500 million credit line and the ability to sell up to $970 million of his stock. Thousands of WeWork staff are slated to be laid off soon, The Wall Street Journal reported. American depositary shares of SoftBank fell 1.8% Wednesday.
Tesla found a new gear late Wednesday when it delivered a surprising profit for the third quarter, easing investor fears that the electric car maker's pursuit of growth and record production figures would come at the expense of the bottom line. Tesla's trial production of its compact Model 3 car has started at a new facility in China, the company said, and production on its new Model Y compact sport-utility vehicle is ahead of schedule with a launch set for next summer. The company cautioned that new products could affect its margins. Shares added 18% Thursday.
The nation's capital is preparing for war with Silicon Valley. The top U.S. prosecutor investigating tech giants like Facebook and Alphabet Inc.'s Google made clear Tuesday that breaking up the Silicon Valley companies is "on the table." Makan Delrahim, head of the Justice Department's antitrust division, said at the WSJ Tech Live conference that while consumers have benefited from greater convenience made possible by technology "the big question is: Are companies abusing the market power that they have gained?" Facebook shares fell 3.9% Tuesday.
Walt Disney Co.
Can "Thor: Ragnarok" hold its own against "Goodfellas" and "The Godfather?" Robert Iger thinks so. Disney's chief executive, speaking at the WSJ Tech Live conference on Tuesday, countered criticism from "Goodfellas" director Martin Scorsese and 'The Godfather" director Francis Ford Coppola about Marvel Studios' superhero movies. Mr. Scorsese compared the movies to "theme parks" and Mr. Coppola called them despicable. "I reserve the word 'despicable' for someone who committed mass murder," said Mr. Iger on Tuesday. "These are movies." Disney shares added 1.6% Tuesday.
Amazon.com's performance in the third quarter wasn't exactly 'prime.' Profits fell 26% from a year ago, weighed down by the heavy investment required to reduce shipping times for retail customers. The third quarter is typically when spending rises ahead of the all-important holiday season, and the company expects to spend more in the fourth quarter on its one-day free shipping for Prime subscribers. CFO Brian Olsavsky said late Thursday that speedier shipping is causing Prime members to shop more. Amazon shares fell 1.1% Friday.
Procter & Gamble Co.
Consumers are paying higher prices for household essentials like laundry soap and toothpaste. That is good news for companies like Procter & Gamble, the maker of everything from Tide detergent to Bounty paper towels. P&G said Tuesday that it posted another quarter of strong sales. Kimberly-Clark also said higher prices were largely responsible for its latest quarterly sales increase. P&G shares gained 2.6% Tuesday.
Write to Francesca Fontana at firstname.lastname@example.org