As part of a sprawling package that neatly rounds up the whys, wherefores and from-whence-they-cames of the two at-odds bids for Sprint Nextel Corp., the Wall Street Journal's lede story this morning characterizes the action as a "an old-fashioned merger brawl that puts two maverick billionaires with designs on the U.S. wireless industry on a collision course."
Warren Buffet didn't get that cat-ate-the-canary smile by sitting around and letting the companies he owns just plod along, doing what they've done to burnish their brands. And so it is that anybody at H.J. Heinz Co. who thought that it was going to be business as usual under Berkshire Hathaway's and 3G Capital's corporate umbrella must have had his or her illusions dispelled yesterday.
Plunge. Sink. Plummet. Collapse. Those are some of the verbs used to describe the "free fall" in personal computer sales, based on two differing but similarly downbeat research reports, in stories across the web today. The lackluster debut of Microsoft's Windows 8 is being held to blame but the rapid transformation of the cybermarket towards more nimble devices -- particularly tablets -- is probably the more fundamental reason for the data.
The Ford Focus -- "Your friend at the pump and your love on the road" -- is also now your No. 1 bestselling car worldwide with 1.02 million units moving off dealers' lots last year, according to R.L. Polk & Co. figures released yesterday by a self-celebratory company in Detroit. But not everyone agrees.
As happy as existing shareholders may be that Ron Johnson has been axed as J.C. Penney's CEO, as Sarah Mahoney reports below, feelings are mixed about the man who will be taking his place. Myron E. Ullman III has not only been there and done that, he did it with such lackluster results that he was nudged aside for Johnson 17 months ago.
The story of designer Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau, who died yesterday at 81, is nothing less than a fairy tale of making lemonade out of lemons. And it's right out of the Kennedys' Camelot, too.
It could be argued that no one person sold more movie tickets over the last generation than Roger Ebert, who died yesterday at 70. It could also be argued that no one was responsible for the tanking of more blustering multimillion-dollar movie campaigns from the late '60s right up until his final tweets earlier this week when he announced he was taking "a leave of presence" to undergo radiation for a recurrence of cancer that had taken most of his jaw and would henceforth only write about "the vulnerability that accompanies illness."
As recently as last summer, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seemed to be telling analysts that it would be somewhat daffy for his social network to get into the hardware business, yet here he is poised to take the stage with HTC later today to, a plethora of reports tell us, not only show off its "New Home on Android," as the media invites have it, but also to unwrap a Facebook smartphone.
Maybe, just maybe, in the halcyon future when one of the three winners of the Federal Trade Commission's "Robo Challenge" competition is actually protecting heads of households across the Consumer Republic, you may really, really receive "your final notice as it relates to the financial stimulus."
All it takes to get Apple to flat-out say it's sorry about something, it turns out, is to get the full force of the Chinese Communist Party behind a "Strike Down Apple's Incomparable Arrogance" campaign.