The daily business briefing: November 7, 2023

WeWork files for bankruptcy protection, Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd steps down, and more

WeWork files for bankruptcy
WeWork files for bankruptcy
(Image credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

1. WeWork files for bankruptcy protection

Flexible-office-space company WeWork, which offers sleek workspaces and conference rooms for startups and freelancers, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday after years of losses. The once-hot startup, valued at $47 billion at its January 2019 peak but just $47 million as of Friday, started struggling as the pandemic cut demand for office space. WeWork said in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in New Jersey that it was undertaking a "comprehensive reorganization" and 92% of its creditors had agreed to its restructuring plan. WeWork, which has 660 locations in 37 countries, plans to renegotiate all of its leases and shut down in some places. The New York Times

2. Bumble founder steps aside as CEO

Whitney Wolfe Herd is stepping down as CEO of the female-focused dating app Bumble, which she founded in 2014 at age 24. Lidiane Jones, chief executive of workplace messaging platform Slack since January, will take over at Bumble on Jan. 2. Wolfe Herd will remain as executive chair. "I want to be the person who is able to look around the corner and innovate for the future of Bumble Inc., and to take us 10 years ahead," Wolfe Herd, 34, told The Wall Street Journal. Bumble went public in February 2021. Its stock jumped to more than $70 per share in its first day, but has since fallen to $14. The company reports third-quarter earnings on Tuesday. The Wall Street Journal

3. Starbucks raises pay, benefits for non-union workers

Starbucks announced Monday that it will raise pay and benefits for its employees, but unionized workers won't get some of the perks. The coffee giant, which wrapped up its fiscal year with record sales, has at least 366 U.S. stores that have voted to join a union since 2021, according to the National Labor Relations Board. But Starbucks and the union, Workers United, have not reached a labor agreement at any of the outlets yet. Starbucks has aggressively fought against the drive to unionize its stores. The company has about 9,300 company-operated coffee stores in the United States. CNN, The Associated Press

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4. Biden unveils plan for $16 billion in passenger rail spending

President Biden on Monday announced $16 billion in federal investments in passenger rail projects on the busy Northeast Corridor, where Amtrak handles about 800,000 trips daily. The money, included in the $1 trillion infrastructure law Biden signed two years ago, will go toward modernizing 25 passenger train projects between Washington, D.C., and Boston. "We're finally getting it done," Biden said of the long-delayed plans. Biden, one of Amtrak's most outspoken advocates, noted that if the train line were shut down "it would cost our American economy $100 million a day." Biden made the announcement in his home state of Delaware. He has made infrastructure spending a focus of his reelection campaign. The Associated Press

5. Stock futures edge lower after rally

U.S. stock futures slipped early Tuesday after the recent rally. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were down 0.4% at 7 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were down 0.3%. The Dow and the S&P 500 gained 0.1% and 0.2% on Monday, marking the first time in several months the benchmark indexes have risen in six straight trading sessions. The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.3% and extended its winning streak to seven days, its longest since January. All three of the main U.S. indexes are coming off their best week of the year after the Federal Reserve held interest rates unchanged and Treasury yields pulled back from recent highs. CNBC, Morningstar

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