Autos: Nissan chairman’s fall from grace
Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn, one of the auto world’s highest-profile executives, was arrested in Japan this week on financial misconduct charges, said Motoko Rich and Jack Ewing in The New York Times. It’s a “remarkable tumble for one of the industry’s most powerful and admired leaders.” Ghosn, whose reported salary was $6.5 million last year, was being held by Japanese authorities after an internal inquiry found he’d been underreporting his pay since 2011. Ghosn was effectively the leader of the world’s largest carmaker, thanks to a three-way alliance between Nissan, Mitsubishi, and French auto company Renault. Fames for his lavish, jet-setting life style, Ghosn is also known as a hard-nosed manager—his nickname at Renault was “Le cost killer”—and he was “widely hailed” for saving Nissan.
Private equity: A payout to laid-off workers
Two private equity firms that bought, then eventually shuttered, Toys R Us will offer laid-off workers payments from a $20 million fund, said Rachel Siegel in The Washington Post. Bain Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, two of the three firms that purchased the company, said this week they will each contribute $10 million to a fund that will pay workers who lost jobs in the store’s June shutdown. Workers’ rights groups have said Toys R Us employees are owed $75 million in severance, promised before the company declared bankruptcy.
Retail: David’s Bridal goes bust
David’s Bridal, the country’s largest wedding retailer, filed for bankruptcy this week, said Nathan Bomey in USA Today. “The company is grappling with a decline in spending on wedding dresses, as more brides choose alternatives, including cheaper ones online, and couples wait longer to get married.” The bridal industry is worth $2.5 billion in America, but faces price pressure from no-frills brands (the average dress costs $1,507). Brides will not lose their dresses; the company will still operate its 300 shops and hopes to exit Chapter 11 by January.
Streaming: The great animation race
Amazon and Netflix are breathing new life into the animation industry, said Wendy Lee in the Los Angeles Times. “Streaming networks are not only taking risks on animated shows oriented toward adults, they are green-lighting a host of new cartoons for children.” Netflix, which says that 60 percent of subscribers watch kids’ shows, will spend $1.1 billion on animation this year, rising to $5 billion in 2022; Amazon’s animation budget will rise from $300 million in 2018 to $1.1 billion in 2022.