Business briefing

The daily business briefing: November 30, 2021

Twitter announces Jack Dorsey is resigning as CEO, a federal labor official calls for a new union vote at an Amazon factory, and more

1

Twitter announces Jack Dorsey's resignation as CEO

Twitter announced Monday that CEO Jack Dorsey is stepping down and will be replaced by the social media company's chief technology officer, Parag Agrawal, effective immediately. Dorsey, 45, has been serving as chief executive of both Twitter and his digital payments company Square. He will remain on Twitter's board until his term expires at the 2022 stockholders' meeting, the company said. Salesforce President and COO Bret Taylor will replace former Google executive Patrick Pichette as chairman of the board. Dorsey didn't reveal why he was resigning, but said he had "decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders." Twitter shares fell by 2.7 percent on Monday.

2

Federal labor official calls for new union vote at Amazon warehouse

A National Labor Relations Board official, Lisa Y. Henderson, has ordered a second union vote at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, after determining that Amazon improperly pressured workers during the initial vote in the spring. Henderson, the NLRB's Atlanta region director, accused Amazon of "flagrant disregard" for making the union election free and fair, saying its placement of a U.S. Postal Service mailbox in front of the warehouse "essentially hijacked the process and gave a strong impression" the company controlled ballot counting. Amazon, which staunchly opposes unionization, noted that the factory's workers voted more than 2-to-1 against joining the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union. "It's disappointing that the NLRB has now decided that those votes shouldn't count," Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said.

3

Stock futures fall as concerns over Omicron variant continue

U.S. stock futures fell early Tuesday after Monday's rebound as concerns continued about the new Omicron coronavirus variant. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were down by 1.3 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, at 6:30 a.m. ET. Futures for the tech-heavy Nasdaq were down by 0.6 percent. The main U.S. indexes made big gains on Monday, bouncing back from Friday's plunge, after President Biden said a new economic lockdown was off the table. Futures fell Tuesday after Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told the Financial Times that existing vaccines would probably be less effective against the Omicron variant.

4

Eurozone inflation rises to 4.9 percent, highest on record

Inflation hit 4.9 percent across the Eurozone in November, the highest since records began in 1997, according to figures released Tuesday by Eurostat, the European Union's statistics agency. The figure, up from 4.1 percent in October, was higher than the 4.5 percent expected by economists surveyed by Reuters. The surge in consumer prices in the 19 countries that use the European common currency came largely because of a spike in energy costs. Increasing demand and supply-chain bottlenecks due to the recovery from the coronavirus recession also pushed up consumer prices. The data raised questions about how quickly the European Central Bank will tighten its monetary policy as inflation rises but pandemic concerns continue.

5

U.K. competition regulator tells Meta to sell Giphy

British antitrust regulators on Tuesday told Meta to sell Giphy over concerns that the social media giant's recent purchase of the GIF-sharing platform would hurt competition. The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority said Meta's control of Giphy — a search tool for short, looping videos and animations — had already knocked one potential rival out of the advertising market, and concluded that the regulator's "competition concerns can only be addressed by Facebook selling Giphy in its entirety to an approved buyer." Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, said it disagreed with the decision and was considering "all options, including appeal." "Both consumers and Giphy are better off with the support of our infrastructure, talent, and resources," a Meta spokesperson said.

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