Companies: Nike execs depart over harassment
Five more Nike executives left the company this week, part of a sweeping overhaul of management amid “widespread allegations of harassment and discrimination against female employees,” said Julie Creswell and Kevin Draper in The New York Times. Six Nike executives had already left or announced their departure; those leaving now include the expected successor to CEO Mark Parker, and managers of high-profile departments such as footwear and sports marketing. The company has been rocked by an internal investigation detailing how women at the company have felt marginalized, harassed, and thwarted in their careers.
Food: Nestlé and Starbucks strike coffee deal
Nestlé and Starbucks are partnering to create a “global coffee alliance,” said Rishi Iyengar in CNNMoney.com. Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company, will pay Starbucks $7.2 billion for exclusive rights to market, distribute, and sell the U.S. chain’s packaged coffees and teas in supermarkets around the world. With Nestlé’s massive global reach, the deal will give Starbucks more exposure in international markets, while handing Nestlé, which already owns Nescafé and Nespresso, a bigger stake in the coffee business.
Mergers: Comcast seeks to disrupt Disney’s Fox bid
Cable giant Comcast is preparing a $60 billion hostile bid for 21st Century Fox’s entertainment division, hoping to secure an “arsenal of shows and movies to combat growing digital rivals Netflix and Amazon,” said Greg Roumeliotis and Liana Baker in Reuters.com. Fox has already agreed to sell those assets to Disney for $52.4 billion in stock, and Comcast hasn’t yet made its offer, which would be all cash. But if a federal judge approves AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner on June 12, Comcast will see the ruling as a signal that it wouldn’t face its own antitrust hurdles, freeing it to make a move.
E-commerce: Walmart challenges Amazon in India
In a major bet “on a vibrant but risky new market,” Walmart announced this week it will take a majority stake in India’s leading e-commerce platform, Flipkart, said Vindu Goel in The New York Times. The $16 billion deal will “plunge America’s largest operator of physical retail stores into direct competition with Amazon.” In India, Flipkart is the online market leader, but Amazon is rapidly gaining steam there. The move is a gamble for Walmart, which has stumbled in its e-commerce efforts in the U.S. The number of people in India “with enough income to shop online is still tiny.”