The daily business briefing: November 21, 2022
Bob Iger returns as Disney CEO, Elon Musk is reportedly considering more Twitter layoffs, and more
Disney brings back Bob Iger as CEO
Disney said Sunday that Bob Chapek has stepped down as CEO and former CEO Bob Iger is returning to the position, effective immediately. The Disney board's chair, Susan Arnold, thanked Chapek for his leadership through "the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic," but said Iger is "uniquely situated to lead the company" through "an increasingly complex period of industry transformation." Iger served as Disney CEO from 2005 until 2020, when he resigned and announced Chapek as his replacement. Since then, Chapek's tenure at Disney has been a tumultuous one, and there were questions about whether he would retain his job earlier this year amid criticism over his handling of Disney's response to Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill.
Report: Musk considers more layoffs at Twitter
Elon Musk is considering more layoffs at Twitter, Bloomberg News reported over the weekend. The latest cuts could come as soon as Monday, affecting the social media company's sales and partnership teams. Musk, who acquired Twitter for $44 billion last month, has already fired about 50 percent of Twitter's 7,500 employees. Hundreds of others have quit over Musk's changes at the company. Also this weekend, Musk lifted a lifetime ban imposed on former President Donald Trump over his posts surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol by a mob of his supporters. Musk reinstated Trump after hosting an informal poll in which 51.8 percent of responding Twitter users said Trump's account should be restored.
Collapsing crypto firm FTX owes creditors at least $3 billion
Collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX said in a bankruptcy court filing over the weekend that it owes its top 50 creditors at least $3 billion. The documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware said the company owed 10 of its creditors at least $100 million, underscoring how many lenders and investors stand to lose big as the three-year-old company goes down. FTX owes its biggest creditor $226 million. The names of the creditors were redacted from the document, although it has previously been reported that FTX got money from investment firms Sequoia Capital, BlackRock, and Tiger Global. FTX, once valued at $32 billion, filed for bankruptcy protection on Nov. 11.
Stock futures fall ahead of more retail earnings
U.S. stock futures fell early Monday as investors awaited more retail earnings in a trading week shortened by the Thanksgiving holiday. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were down 0.2 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively, at 6:30 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were down 0.7 percent. The three main U.S. indexes gained on Friday but closed the week with losses. Federal Reserve officials indicated last week that they would continue their aggressive interest rate hikes to bring down high inflation, despite an encouraging October consumer price index reading that raised hopes inflation had peaked and fueled a recent bear market rally.
Ben Affleck, Matt Damon starting independent production company
Actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon announced Sunday that they are launching an independent production company, Artists Equity, to capitalize on the TV and film industry's shift to streaming services. The new venture will give top stars a share of profits as an incentive to work with them. The company has obtained at least $100 million in financing from RedBird Capital Partners. Affleck has agreed to work exclusively for Artists Equity, and Damon has committed to starring in an undisclosed number of films and produce exclusively for the company. "I know what kind of freedoms artists long for and how they can be empowered — treated like grown-ups," Affleck said.