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Today in business: 5 things you need to know
Walmart writes its own worker-safety plan for Bangladesh, McDonald's announces three new burgers, and more
 
McDonald's is dressing up its old-faithful Quarter Pounder in whole grains and fancy Habanero ranch.
McDonald's is dressing up its old-faithful Quarter Pounder in whole grains and fancy Habanero ranch. McDonald's

1. LARRY PAGE EXPLAINS VOCAL CORD TROUBLES
In a post on his Google+ page last night, Google chief Larry Page revealed why he's been missing company events this past year: He has bilateral vocal cord paralysis, a rare affliction that can cause difficulty in speaking and breathing. Corporate governance experts think it's a "responsible gesture to investors," who criticized Apple for secrecy surrounding Steve Jobs' health. "Sergey says I'm probably a better CEO because I choose my words more carefully," Page wrote in the post. [Wall Street Journal]
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2. WALMART WRITES ITS OWN WORKER-SAFETY PLAN FOR BANGLADESH
After refusing to sign a Bangladesh factory safety agreement following the tragic death of 1,100 low-paid garment workers, Walmart has presented a plan of its own, promising factory inspectors will "conduct in-depth safety inspections at 100 percent" of the facilities it uses in Bangladesh, and publish the results on a website. Walmart would also stop using factories with urgent safety problems. Scott Nova, executive director of the Worker Rights Consortium, called Walmart's plan "a unilateral initiative that's nonbinding and unenforceable." He added, "It's unclear how much transparency there will be." [New York Times]
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3. CONSUMERS COMFORTABLE WITH THE IDEA OF A DRIVERLESS CAR
A new study by Cisco Systems asked 1,514 consumers across the globe, "Imagine a car on the road that is controlled entirely by technology and requires no human driver (i.e. Johnny Cab from Total Recall). How likely would you be to ride in such a car?" The results showed that contrary to industry opinion, 57 percent of consumers would trust a driverless vehicle — though comfort varied widely from country to country. Ninety-five percent of drivers in Brazil said they'd give up control, while 60 percent in the U.S. said the same, and just 28 percent in Japan. [Businessweek]
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4. MCDONALD'S GETS THREE NEW BURGERS
After discontinuing its Angus Third Pounder, McDonald's announced three new Quarter Pounders: Bacon and cheese, deluxe, and Habanero ranch, all served on a whole grain bun. The new burgers will hit restaurants in mid-June, and the burger chain hopes they'll appeal to cash-strapped customers who weren't buying the Angus and other premium menu items. McDonald's is also adding a new McWrap, a Blueberry Pomegranate smoothie, and the Egg White Delight. [Business Insider]
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5. MACY'S WINS MARKET SHARE 
Macy's Inc shares bumped up 1.2 percent to $47.84 Wednesday morning, after the company announced a 20 percent jump in first quarter profits. Macy's Inc, which operates Macy's and Bloomingdale's department stores, also announced an additional $1.5 billion in stock buybacks. Analysts say the company may be benefiting from the difficulties at rival JC Penney, which is expected to announce its fifth straight quarter of losses. [USA Today, Reuters]

 
Carmel Lobello is the business editor at TheWeek.com. Previously, she was an editor at DeathandTaxesMag.com.

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