As any kid knows, it's not wise to spring an unwelcome surprise on your parents while they are preparing their income taxes. Intuit's TurboTax, of all entities, has just learned the lesson.
Steve Easterbrook, who returned to McDonald's as global chief branding officer in June 2013 after brief stints at the top of UK-based chains Pizza Express and Wagamama, will take over as CEO in Oak Brook, Ill., on March 1. Don Thompson resigned yesterday after fewer than three years at the helm of the world's largest fast-food company. Stock shot up 3.4% in after-hours trading.
It was meant to be a send-up of a "heartwarming" Budweiser lost-puppy spot that we'll all see in full on Sunday but it outraged so many people so quickly after its preview on the "Today" show yesterday that GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving soon tweeted a hasty retreat from the other side of the line: "Thank you @animalrescuers for the candid feedback. What should have been a fun and funny ad clearly missed the mark and we will not air it."
He not only didn't come up with any breakout products and failed to help Barbie get her groove back this holiday season, it appears that Bryan Stockton's ban on meetings without a purpose didn't do much to change the lethargic culture at Mattel either. He resigned as chairman and CEO over the weekend and Christopher Sinclair, who has been on the Mattel board since Tyco's Tickle Me Elmo was the top toy of the year - that's 1996 - took over his duties on an interim basis.
Cablevision will offer a WiFi-only mobile-phone service called Freewheel to customers in the New York metro area starting next month with unlimited data, talk and text that will cost $9.95 for its broadband Internet subscribers and $29.95 for anyone else.
As it rolls out ambitious plans for Mobile Order & Pay and ramps ups plans for mobile delivery, Starbucks yesterday named technology industry veteran Kevin Johnson, who has been a director of the company for six years, to be its president and COO starting March 1. Profits were up 82% on a global comparable store sales rise of 5% for the quarter ending Dec. 28.
Melvin Gordon, who led Tootsie Roll Industries on a highly successful, fiercely independent and obsessively tight-lipped journey for more than 50 years after his wife Ellen inherited the candy maker from her father, William Rubin, died Tuesday at 95. Ellen, 82, was named to succeed him as CEO and chairman in a document filed with the SEC yesterday; she is also COO of the company.
In another expansion of its financial services offerings, Walmart says it will dole out cash to consumers for both federal and state tax refunds of up to $7,500. The Walmart Direct2Cash program is a partnership with 25,000 tax-preparation locations nationwide that "allows consumers to 'skip the check,'" according to the retailer.
Amazon said yesterday that it would produce about a dozen movies a year for theaters that it will then release to its Amazon Prime subscribers a mere month or two later, upending the traditional Hollywood window of 39 to 52 weeks from larger than life to streaming device.
Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper" took in $90.2 million domestically over the weekend - with another $15 or so million expected today - setting records for a January opening and for a drama in any month. Disparaging tweets by director Michael Moore and actor Seth Rogen, meanwhile, garnered more headlines and touched off culture-war skirmishes that, if nothing else, will sell even more tickets.