Food: Chipotle taps Taco Bell exec for turnaround
Chipotle has hired Taco Bell’s chief executive “to revive the struggling burrito chain,” said Julie Jargon in The Wall Street Journal. Brian Niccol, a 43-year-old fast-food veteran, will succeed Chipotle founder Steve Ells as CEO next month. Ells announced last year he was stepping down “to allow an outsider to address Chipotle’s battles with food-safety problems and a decline in customer visits.” Niccol has run Taco Bell for the past three years, as the chain became the most successful in the Yum Brands portfolio, and won praise for “reviving Taco Bell’s image and financial performance.”
Tech: Twitter turns its first-ever profit
“Twitter finally solved the Twitter problem,” said Elizabeth Winkler in The Wall Street Journal. The social media company turned its first-ever net profit in the fourth quarter of 2017, logging $732 million in revenue and surpassing analysts’ expectations. Most notably, advertising revenue surged 7 percent year over year, signaling the company may have “finally figured out how to monetize its platform.” Although user growth was mostly flat, the company partly attributed that to a “crackdown on fake accounts and malicious activity.”
Companies: Remington files for bankruptcy
Legendary gun manufacturer Remington filed for bankruptcy this week after struggling with a heavy debt load and a collapse in gun sales, said Eliza Ronalds-Hannon and Polly Mosendz in Bloomberg.com. The company, which dates to 1816, experienced a sharp decline in sales last year after Donald Trump’s win “erased fears among gun enthusiasts about losing access to weapons.” In 2007, private-equity mogul Stephen Feinberg purchased Remington and “saddled it with almost $1 billion in debt.” The Chapter 11 filing “will let Remington stay in business while it works out a plan to turn around the company and pay its creditors.”
Economy: Small fraction of tax cuts lands with workers
Companies plan to give “a very tiny piece” of their big tax cut savings to workers, according to a new Morgan Stanley survey, said David Goldman and Jeanne Sahadi in CNN.com. Analysts polled by the company expect just 13 percent of savings generated by the corporate tax cut will go to employee raises, bonuses, and benefits, while 43 percent will go to investors through stock buybacks and dividends. As of this week, more than 300 companies have announced tax cut–related bonuses and raises, covering roughly 3.5 million American workers.