Autos: Tesla seeks financial help from suppliers
Tesla is asking its suppliers to refund portions of what it has already spent, “to help it become profitable,” said Tim Higgins in The Wall Street Journal. The electric carmaker wants “a meaningful amount of money” returned on what it has paid certain suppliers since 2016. The attempt to renegotiate agreements for work currently underway comes as Tesla tries furiously to meet a pledge to turn its first profit this year. An internal memo described the “surprising” request as “essential to Tesla’s continued operation,” adding that it would be an investment in the company’s long-term growth. One industry expert described the request as “ludicrous.”
Tobacco: Juul Labs hit with multiple lawsuits
Juul Labs is facing at least three lawsuits from users contending that the company’s e-cigarettes lead to nicotine addiction, said Nitasha Tiku in Wired.com. The buzzworthy San Francisco startup has previously been accused of pandering to young users, “who have gravitated to Juul’s discrete rechargeable vaping device and nicotine pods in flavors like mango.” Two suits seek monetary damages and an injunction that would rein in Juul’s marketing. One complainant says Juul “deceptively marketed the product as safe, when it contains more potent doses of nicotine than cigarettes.” Juul says it will defend the suits “vigorously.”
Companies: Fiat Chrysler chief dies
Sergio Marchionne, the chief executive frequently credited as the architect of Fiat Chrysler’s “dramatic turnaround,” passed away this week, said Tommaso Ebhardt in Bloomberg.com. The 66-year-old executive’s health had rapidly declined following complications from a shoulder operation at a Zurich hospital. Marchionne took the helm at the Italian automaker in 2004, steering it “from the brink of bankruptcy to the New York Stock Exchange.” During his time as leader Marchionne “boosted the company’s value more than 10-fold.” Fiat Chrysler named Michael Manley, head of the Jeep and Ram brands, as its new CEO.
Sports: Nike hikes pay after outcry from female staff
More than 7,000 Nike employees will be handed raises following an internal review, said Stacy Cowley in The New York Times. The review was “undertaken after claims of workplace misconduct and discrimination against women shook the company and forced out several of its top executives.” The Oregon-based firm said its review would impact roughly 10 percent of its 74,000-strong workforce. The company has apologized “for missing signs of discontent” among female staff.