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BlackBerry Loses Its CEO, Gets $1B and Yet Another Shot
November 04, 2013
BlackBerry shares fell 13 percent Monday morning on news that the company has abandoned its plan to sell itself to its largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings. Instead, it has entered into an agreement whereby Fairfax and other institutional investors will invest $1 billion in the company. That transaction is expected to be completed within the next two weeks.
Twitter Charts Conservative IPO Course
October 25, 2013
Twitter has set the price range for its highly anticipated initial public offering at between $17 and $20 per share, according to a document filed on Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company plans to raise as much as $1.61 billion by selling between 70 million and 80.5 million shares. This puts the value of the company at $10.08 billion based on an $18.50 average price.
Microsoft Gets a Lift From the Cloud
October 25, 2013
Microsoft on Thursday announced revenue of $18.53 billion and net income of $5.24 billion for its first quarter of 2014. The earnings, which outperformed what analysts had been expecting, were driven in large part by strong sales of Office and the company's server software. They came in spite of the company's search for a new CEO and its larger push to reinvent itself.
Mutiny at Microsoft Over Gates' Future Role
October 03, 2013
Three major Microsoft shareholders are reportedly pushing the board of directors to have the company's founder, Bill Gates, step down from his role as chairman. The push comes at an inopportune time for Microsoft, as it is currently searching for a CEO to take over for newly retired CEO Steve Ballmer.
Pink Slips on the Way for Thousands of BlackBerry Workers
September 19, 2013
BlackBerry is preparing to lay off 40 percent of its workforce in an effort to slash costs, according to a Wednesday report. The news came on the same day that BlackBerry launched its Z30 smartphone, a 5-inch, all-touch smartphone. BlackBerry also confirmed Wednesday it will start offering BlackBerry Messenger, its proprietary messaging service, to Android on Saturday and iOS on Sunday.
Google's Next Search: The Fountain of Youth
September 19, 2013
Google on Wednesday launched Calico, a company that will focus on health and well-being, with a particular emphasis on aging and associated diseases. At the helm of this new endeavor will sit founding investor Arthur Levinson, chairman and former CEO of Genentech, chairman of Apple, director of Hoffmann-La Roche and now Calico's CEO.
Netflix Gives Itself a Personality Makeover
September 17, 2013
Netflix on Monday updated its "long-term view" of the industry to include a far wider range of competitive factors than it has ever had in the past. The company also adjusted its competitive focus accordingly, taking into account a number of players that it had previously ignored. In a nutshell, the company said it expects that Internet TV will replace linear TV over the coming decades.
Investors All Atwitter Over IPO News
September 13, 2013
Twitter is moving forward with its long-awaited initial public offering, and it announced the news in a particularly fitting manner: "We've confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO," it said in a tweet sent on Thursday. For more details, stay tuned. Normally that's not quite the way it works in securities filings, but Twitter qualifies as an "emerging growth company."
Michael Dell Gets the Green Light at Last
September 12, 2013
Dell shareholders on Thursday approved founder Michael Dell's $25 billion bid to buy back the firm and take it private, ending a seven-month battle with a group of investors led by corporate raider Carl Icahn. This is reportedly the largest leveraged buyout since the Blackstone Group took hotel chain Hilton Worldwide private in 2007.
Icahn Concedes Defeat to Dell 'Dictators'
September 09, 2013
Activist investor Carl Icahn has given up his fierce struggle to prevent Michael Dell from buying his namesake company and taking it private. In a letter to shareholders, filed with the SEC on Monday morning, Icahn said Dell would be paying a price approximately 70 percent below its 10-year high of $42.38, and accepting the bid would undermine "Dell's great potential."
Google's Barra Gets the Heck Out of Dodge
August 29, 2013
Google executive Hugo Barra, one of the leading public faces for Android, has left for up-and-coming Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. "In a few weeks, I'll be joining the Xiaomi team in China to help them expand their incredible product portfolio and business globally -- as Vice President, Xiaomi Global," Barra announced. "I'm really looking forward to this new challenge."
Microsoft's Post-Ballmer Comeback
August 29, 2013
Windows 8 is the torpedo that sunk Steve Ballmer, the headlines have been screaming. The news we were all expecting finally arrived last Friday with the announcement that Steve Ballmer would step down as Microsoft's CEO. Now the question is who will replace Ballmer -- and will that person be the right choice? If the company gets this right, it can return to a successful growth track.
BBM May Leave the Nest
August 28, 2013
BlackBerry is looking to spin off its BlackBerry Messenger service into a separate business to compete with other instant messaging apps. The company announced in May that it would make BBM, once available only on BlackBerry devices, available to devices running on iOS and Android. BlackBerry announced two weeks ago that it was looking into ways of revitalizing the company.
Microsoft's Next CEO Will Have a Tough Row to Hoe
August 26, 2013
By now the shock is wearing off and the steely-eyed calculations have begun following Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's announcement on Friday that he will step down from his post some time within the next 12 months. "This is a time of important transformation for Microsoft," Ballmer said in an internal email. "Microsoft has all its best days ahead."
Amazon Dips Its Toe Into the Brisk WiFi Waters
August 26, 2013
Amazon has run tests on WiFi technology that could give Kindle users direct Internet connectivity, according to a recent report. The technology uses spectrum controlled by satellite communications company Globalstar, which is perhaps best known as a global satellite phone service provider. It is possible that the tests were part of a series conducted jointly by Globalstar and Jarvinian.
Former Windows Boss Sinofsky Resurfaces in VC World
August 24, 2013
Former Microsoft executive Steven Sinofsky, who shocked the high-tech industry when he abruptly parted ways with the company shortly after Windows 8 was launched, has joined venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz as a board partner. Sinofsky, a 23-year veteran at Redmond, led the creation of Windows 7 and 8 and six versions of Microsoft Office.
Microsoft Stock Surges on News of Ballmer's Retirement
August 23, 2013
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced on Friday that he will step down from his post some time within the next 12 months, depending on when a successor is chosen. Stocks in the company surged 7 percent in early trading following the news. "This is a time of important transformation for Microsoft," Ballmer said in an internal email that was posted on the Microsoft news center on Friday.
HP Rearranges Chairs in Hopes of Propelling Turnaround
August 23, 2013
Hewlett-Packard announced some changes to its executive lineup on Wednesday -- the same day it posted a quarterly earnings report that fell short of analyst expectations. Revenue for HP's third fiscal quarter was $27.2 billion, the company reported, down 8 percent from the $29.7 billion it posted a year earlier. HP earned about 86 cents per share on non-GAAP earnings.
All Eyes on Mayer as Yahoo Hits Traffic Milestone
August 22, 2013
Yahoo topped Google as the most-visited website in the United States in July, Web analytics firm comScore reported on Wednesday. Specifically, Yahoo received 196.6 million unique visitors during the month, compared with 192.3 million for Google. This is the first time Yahoo has found itself in the top spot for U.S. Web traffic since May 2011. Moreover, this report does not include data from Tumblr.
Icahn vs. Apple: When Did Extortion Become Legal?
August 19, 2013
What Carl Icahn has been doing with Dell -- and now with Apple -- is kind of like a protection racket. These were popular in the 1920s -- you paid the crime syndicate a fee if you wanted to say in business. I'm wondering if Icahn has found a legal way to extort money from companies in trouble. Icahn not only doesn't provide value for the "help" he gives -- he actually drains the firm's resources.
Dismal Quarter Sheds No Light on Dell's Murky Future
August 16, 2013
Dell posted its Q2 earnings report Thursday, reporting a 72 percent drop in net income. The report comes in the throes of a long-running battle for Dell's future. Founder and CEO Michael Dell is leading an effort to take the company private through a $25 billion deal, but activist shareholder Carl Icahn has come out strongly against it, suggesting an alternate plan.
Icahn Salivates Over Apple's Cash Trove
August 16, 2013
Apple shareholders rejoiced when noted corporate raider Carl Icahn tweeted that he'd taken a large position in the company and said it was undervalued. Its shares closed at $497.91 on Thursday, down 59 cents from Wednesday's close. However, that was up 96 cents from Thursday's opening price. Trading was volatile on Thursday, with prices climbing above $500 at least once.
BlackBerry Announces It's Ripe for the Picking
August 12, 2013
BlackBerry has formed a special committee to explore strategic alternatives to enhance its value and increase scale in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment. Among these options are joint ventures, strategic partnerships and even the sale of BlackBerry to another company. "We continue to see compelling long-term opportunities for BlackBerry 10," said CEO Thorsten Heins.
New Groupon Chief Gets Thumbs-Up From Wall Street
August 08, 2013
Groupon stock climbed more than 27 percent Thursday following the release of a quarterly earnings report that beat expectations, and the announcement that cofounder Eric Lefkofsky was officially named CEO. Shares bounced more than 20 percent in after-hours trading following Wednesday's news, cooling slightly Thursday afternoon to close the day at $10.61.

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