Perhaps the most comprehensible rationale proffered over the past few days for Kraft's decision to rename its global snack company Mondelez International, Inc. is that the domain name Mondelez.com was available. Judging by the reaction of many commentators to the announcement made on Wednesday, JustPlainIdiotic.com would have fit the bill quite nicely, too.
No "Stayin' Alive" is not the new theme song of Burger King, which formally found itself in third place in the hamburger wars this week. It's the stick-in-your-head beat from the No. 2 bestselling soundtrack of all time, 1977's "Saturday Night Fever," and you can listen to a clip this morning at, of all places, the Wall Street Journal. Wendy's is the new No. 2 burger joint, but both chains are being whupped by McDonald's, which announced last night that CEO Jim Skinner is retiring and that president and COO Don Thompson will succeed him this summer.
The announcement never formally came yesterday, as All Things Digital's Arik Hesseldahl predicted it would, but several many other news organizations have confirmed his exclusive report that Meg Whitman is about to merge the printing and PC businesses at Hewlett-Packard.
"Mad Men" Mania is upon us this week as Newsweek devotes this week's issue to a retro look at the watershed 1960s, the era in which the long-awaited Season Five of the drama is situated. We learn from coverage elsewhere that everybody from Este Lauder to the Grand Central Oyster Bar to books with Mad Men (and Women) themes hope to hop aboard the express when it pulls out of the station a week from tonight.
The federal government may have recently lost a battle over requiring that tobacco companies place graphic warnings on cigarette packs but its war on smoking took an aggressive surge forward yesterday with the Centers for Disease Control's unveiling of a $54 million campaign targeting teenagers under the banner "Tips From Former Smokers."
He didn't really say that, did he? Clients are known as "muppets"? And "if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence"? And the firm he represented a dozen years has "lost its moral fiber"? With a culture that is "toxic and destructive"? And you can become a leader "by persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit..."? Talk about a public …
Facebook says that its revamped brand pages introduced late month, which offer advertisers "more capabilities to create splashy, media-rich pages" at no cost, are "off to a strong start," reports Reuters' Alexei Oreskovic. Eight million brands -- "from carmakers to rock bands" -- already have taken advantage of the new format, which allows advertisers to offer coupons and promotions on their pages, and encourages customized pages highlighting milestones and achievements.
The voice of a new generation of executive at PepsiCo turns out to be the return of an old hand. Under pressure from Wall Street to pay more attention to earnings than to transforming PepsiCo into a do-good evangelist for healthier nutrition and booster of developing economies, it announced the appointment of Brian Cornell as CEO, PepsiCo Americas Foods.
Edward D. Shirley, who departed Procter & Gamble as vice chairman of beauty & grooming last year, is taking the reins at Bacardi Ltd., the largest privately held spirits company in the world and the third largest overall. Founded in Cuba in 1862, it has been based in Bermuda, with a distillery in Puerto Rico, since its assets were seized during the Cuban revolution in 1960.
Who knew there was a huge market out there for yet another way to make, literally, a simple cup of coffee? The news that Starbucks is "pushing into the single-serve coffee market in a bigger way with a brewing machine of its own" sent Green Mountain Coffee Roasters stock tumbling in after-hours trading we learn from the Wall Street Journal's Julie Jargon this morning -- further evidence that the single-serve phenomenon is not just a one-shot Johnny-come-lately.