Business Budget for Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Updated at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 UTC)
This budget is now available at TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.
^McVeggie burger? McDonald’s weighs whether to jump on the plant-based burger bandwagon<
MCDONALDS-MEATLESS:TB — McDonald’s is weighing whether to jump on the plant-based bandwagon, as Burger King prepares to roll out meatless Whoppers nationwide.
“Our menu teams are clearly paying close attention to it,” McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said Tuesday. “The key for us is to identify sustaining consumer trends.”
The world’s biggest burger chain, which has 14,000 U.S. restaurants and 38,000 worldwide, is considering whether the complexities associated with rolling out a plant-based burger are worth it, said Easterbrook, during a call with analysts to discuss the company’s first-quarter earnings.
700 by Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz in Chicago. MOVED
^Hydropower bill would sabotage California’s clean energy mandate, critics say<
^ENERGY-CALIF:LA—<The Don Pedro hydropower project, just west of Yosemite National Park, has been churning out carbon-free electricity for nearly a century. As the Tuolumne River flows from the Sierra Nevada to the Central Valley, it passes through Don Pedro Dam, spinning four turbine generators.
None of the electricity is counted toward California’s push for more renewable energy on its power grid. A new bill advanced by state lawmakers last week would change that — and it’s being opposed by environmental groups, who say it would undermine the state’s landmark clean energy law by limiting the need to build solar farms and wind turbines.
^In response to rivals, Lululemon to open store with workout rooms, food and meditation space<
LULULEMON:TB — Lululemon plans to open a first-of-its-kind flagship store in Chicago, offering food, drinks, yoga classes, a meditation room — and, yes, workout apparel for sale — when it opens in the Lincoln Park area in July.
The 20,000-square-foot “experiential store” will become Lululemon’s prototype for big stores offering an array of yoga classes and other activities. Such flagships eventually could make up 10 percent of the Canadian retailer’s stores, CEO Calvin McDonald said during an April 24 event with retail analysts.
350 by Ryan Ori in Chicago. MOVED
^Cub to open its first ‘urban’ concept, a smaller store built for speedier shopping<
CUB-URBAN:MS — Cub’s newest store, opening Thursday in Minneapolis, will be its smallest and fastest, operating out of the ground-level space of a new 148-unit apartment complex.
It will have a dozen grab-and-go concepts, including a popcorn shop, burrito bar, juicery, sushi bar and Refresh, which serves ice cream and Caribou coffee to customers both in the store and at a walk-up window outside.
The store will be the first Cub to have a kombucha tap and the first with a panini bar.
400 by John Ewoldt in Minneapolis. MOVED
^AMN Healthcare, nation’s biggest staffing firm, grows larger with $200 million deal <
AMN-HEALTHCARE:DA — The health care industry’s biggest staffing company is getting bigger.
AMN Healthcare Services Inc., which established a second headquarters in Dallas in 2017, will spend $200 million to buy Advanced Medical Personnel Services Inc., a Florida-based staffing firm that specializes in placing therapists and nurses in contract and permanent jobs.
250 by Paul O’Donnell in Dallas. MOVED
^Tesla hit with wrongful death suit related to fatal Mountain View crash<
^TESLA-SUIT:SJ—<The family of a Foster City, Calif., man who died when his Tesla Model X vehicle crashed in Mountain View last year has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the electric carmaker.
Walter Huang, 38, died on March 23, 2018, shortly after the Tesla he was driving slammed into a traffic barrier on southbound Highway 101 in Mountain View, Calif. The lawsuit, filed by members of Huang’s family, centers around the features of a Tesla that allow the vehicle to operate semi-autonomously, but don’t provide a car with full self-driving capability.
^Tesla Model 3 remains the most popular electric vehicle in the U.S. — by far<
^AUTO-TESLA-MODEL3:LA—<The Tesla Model 3 remained the best-selling electric car in the United States last month by far, according to estimates from website Inside EVs. Tesla sold 10,050 Model 3s in April, the website said; the runner-up, the Toyota Prius Prime, notched only 1,399 sales.
But Model 3 sales were flat compared with the previous month. That presents another challenge for Chief Executive Elon Musk, who pledged that Tesla sales would get a significant boost this quarter.
400 by Russ Mitchell. MOVED
^Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff donates $30 million to study homelessness<
SALESFORCE-HOMELESSNESS:SJ — Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and his wife are donating $30 million to fight homelessness — a record-breaking gift that will launch a new research center to study the issue at the University of California, San Francisco.
UCSF on Wednesday announced the formation of the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, which will convene a group of experts to research the root causes of homelessness and attempt to determine the most effective solutions to the problem plaguing the Bay Area. The effort launches as thousands of residents are sleeping in tent encampments, cars and RVs on Bay Area streets, often a stone’s throw from some of the region’s most valuable tech companies.
400 by Marisa Kendall in San Francisco. MOVED
^Google workers protest ‘culture of retaliation’ with sit-in<
^CPT-GOOGLE-PROTEST:LA—<Google employees staged a sit-in Wednesday to protest what they call a “culture of retaliation” at the company — the latest in a series of demonstrations by tech industry workers.
It’s unclear how many employees participated in the sit-in, but organizer Meredith Whittaker tweeted that hundreds of people protested at the New York office Wednesday morning.
600 by Suhauna Hussain. MOVED
^What are Uber, WeWork and Airbnb worth? Vanguard knows. It already owns shares in these IPO-ready unicorns<
^CPT-UNICORN-WORTH:PH—<Billion-dollar “unicorn” start-ups are rushing to take advantage of the bull market and sell their shares to the public, even if they’re losing piles of money.
And big investors such as Vanguard Group, the Malvern-based $5 trillion-asset fund company, haven’t waited for those unicorns to go public. They acquired preferred shares in firms such as Uber Technologies, WeWork, and AirBnB, sold privately by some of the earliest investors in these hottest names in Silicon Valley.
600 by Joseph N. DiStefano. MOVED
^Apple sees boost in revenue from services — even as iPhone sales drop<
^APPLE-EARNS:SJ—<With its latest quarterly report, Apple’s next big thing — its services business — remained a source of strength for the tech giant as it continues to deal with signs of ongoing weakness affecting iPhone sales.
After U.S. stock markets closed Tuesday, Apple reported services revenue of $11.45 billion for its fiscal second quarter, a 16 percent gain over the same period a year ago. For Apple, services include items such as subscriptions to Apple Music and iCloud storage packages, as well the company’s cut of purchases from its App Store.
^Here’s how GM is leading the way as auto giants prep for a revolution<
^AUTO-AUTONOMOUS:DE—<DETROIT — Can automakers walk and chew gum at the same time?
That’s the challenge facing the world’s giants, from General Motors and Ford to Volkswagen, Toyota and Hyundai.
How do they invest billions of dollars and countless hours of engineering and design talent in electric and self-driving vehicles they won’t sell in meaningful numbers for years and simultaneously develop world-class cars and trucks customers will want until the mobility revolution comes, if it ever does?
700 by Mark Phelan. MOVED
^Augmented writing technology: a writer’s friend or foe?<
CPT-AUGMENTED-WRITING:SE — As a self-proclaimed skeptic of HR technology, Aubrey Blanche was reluctant to compose job posts using artificial intelligence that generates text.
But the software produced by Seattle-based Textio worked, said Blanche, whose title at software company Atlassian is global head of diversity and belonging. Not only did the writing technology help Atlassian diversify its candidate pool, it also identified gender-biased language used in the company’s performance assessments. That’s helped the representation of women in technical roles at Atlassian nearly double to 19 percent since the company started using Textio in 2015, she said.
850 by Melissa Hellmann in Seattle. MOVED
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The 1-column x 4-inch graphic, Wall Street, will be posted by 6:30 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday.
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^Erin Arvedlund: ‘Faking it? Great, you’re a leader,’ and other tips from marketing guru Seth Godin <
^ARVEDLUND-COLUMN:PHI—<Marketing guru Seth Godin offered some pithy prescriptions for a crowd of business folk gathered Tuesday at the Barnes Museum in Philadelphia, including how leaders have to fail often in order to succeed.
Here are seven takeaways from the talk, during which Godin touched on lessons from the inventors of fax machine, the Gutenberg Bible, and Karl Benz, maker of the first automobile.
800 by Erin Arvedlund. MOVED
These features regularly move on Wednesday:
^Tech Q&A: Turning off forced Windows 10 updates<
^CPT-TECHQA:MS—<For the last year, my three-year-old Dell PC has been automatically forced to update its version of Windows 10. The update takes over my PC, but then always fails to install. That forces the PC to reboot. How can I get rid of this continued update attempt?
500 by Steve Alexander. MOVED
CPT-TECHREVIEW:DA — By Steve Rossman of Dallas Morning News. Moving later
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