1. Apple – Apple said on Monday all its 270 U.S. stores have been opened, the first time in almost a year after it was forced to shutter several outlets because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company has been cautious in re-opening its retail stores, using a team that includes medical experts to make its own calls on a county-by-county basis and sometimes shuttering stores again when local rules would otherwise allow stores to operate.
The iPhone maker has also expanded its ‘Express’ format, a wall built in front of the main store with sales counters protected by plexiglass and a few shelves of accessories such as phone cases and AirPods.
2. AMZON:-A manager at Amazon.com Inc sued the online retailer for discrimination on Monday, saying it hires Black people for lower positions and promotes them more slowly than white workers, and that she was subjected to harassment.
The lawsuit from Charlotte Newman, a business development head at Amazon Web Services who is Black, said the company suffers from a “systemic pattern of insurmountable discrimination,” despite its pledge to fight racism and statements of solidarity from Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos.
Seattle-based Amazon said it was investigating the claims. It said it strives for an equitable culture and has no tolerance for discrimination: “These allegations do not reflect those efforts or our values.”
The complaint was filed in Washington, D.C., federal court.
Newman, a Harvard Business School graduate and former adviser to U.S. Senator Cory Booker, said Amazon delayed by 2-1/2 years her rise to senior manager by hiring her in 2017 for a more junior role for which she was overqualified, a “de-leveling” that reduces awards of company stock.
She also accused a male supervisor of using racial tropes by calling her “aggressive,” “too direct” and “just scary,” and another male co-worker of sexually harassing her and once pulling on her braids while saying, “You can leave this behind.”
Both men were also named as defendants, and according to the lawsuit the supervisor was required to undergo training while the co-worker was terminated. The co-worker’s lawyer could not immediately be identified.
Newman is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is represented by Douglas Wigdor, who also represented women suing the former movie producer Harvey Weinstein and Fox News over alleged harassment or discrimination.
Amazon has worked to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement. In September its cloud computing chief Andy Jassy, who will succeed Bezos as Amazon CEO, gave the keynote address at a Black Employee Network entrepreneurship conference.
The news site Recode last week reported allegations of racial disparities in Amazon promotions and performance reviews.
Amazon also faces lawsuits claiming it mistreated workers in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic at its facilities.
3. NIKE :–Nike Inc on Monday announced the departure of North American business general manager Ann Hebert, days after a report that her son used a credit card in her name to purchase sneakers for his resale company.
The company said the departure of Hebert, vice president and general manager of Nike’s North America business, is effective immediately and that it plans to announce a new head for the geography shortly.
Bloomberg Businessweek last week reported that Hebert’s son Joe Hebert used a credit card in her name to purchase sneakers for his resale company, West Coast Streetwear. (https://bloom.bg/304NpkK)
The report said Joe Hebert used bots to purchase the most sought-after sneakers after they were released online, spending over $132,000 on the credit card to stock up on the limited edition sneakers for reselling them at a higher price.
Hebert told Bloomberg he had never received inside information from his mother while she was at Nike.
West Coast Streetwear could not be immediately reached for a comment.
Nike in a statement said Hebert had made the decision to resign.
4. DISNEY :Surprisingly strong interest from adults who do not have kids at home has helped increase subscriptions to Walt Disney Co’s Disney streaming service beyond initial projections, Chief Executive Bob Chapek said on Monday.
Disney+ debuted in November 2019 and growth has exceeded Wall Street expectations and Disney’s forecast. While Disney is known for family entertainment, Disney+ also features movies and TV shows from Marvel, “Star Wars” studio Lucasfilm and others.
As of Jan. 2, Disney+ had signed up 94.9 million customers worldwide. Half of those live in households without children, Chapek said, a higher proportion than expected.
“What we didn’t realize was the non-family appeal that a service like Disney+ would have,” Chapek said via online video to the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference.
“In fact, over 50% of our global marketplace don’t have kids,” he added. “When 50% of the people in Disney+ don’t have kids, you really have the opportunity now to think much more broadly about the nature of your content.”
The service has generated buzz for current Marvel show “WandaVision” and “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian” featuring the character known as Baby Yoda.
Chapek, who became Disney CEO a year ago, refocused Disney’s media and entertainment businesses to make streaming the priority as customers gravitate to options such as Netflix Inc .
In December, Disney raised initial projections and said it expected to attract as many as 350 million global subscribers across all of its streaming services, which include Hulu and ESPN+, by the end of fiscal 2024.
5. ZOOM- Zoom Video Communications Inc forecast current-quarter revenue above expectations, as the company expects millions of people to continue using its video-conferencing platform to work remotely and attend online classes, sending its shares up 10%.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Zoom was a relative upstart founded by a former Cisco executive that had gone public on a promise to make video conferencing software easier to use.
However, businesses around the globe took to the company’s video conferencing services during the virus outbreak. Zoom has since seen a meteoric rise over the last year, with investors keen on knowing if the firm can maintain this level of growth.
Eric Yuan founder and chief executive officer of Zoom, said the firm was “well positioned for strong growth” in the coming year.
The company forecast current-quarter revenue between $900 million and $905 million, compared with estimates of $829.2 million, according to IBES Refinitiv data.
Zoom has seen its user numbers surge in the past year, while its shares more than quadrupled during the same period. The platform said it has 1,644 customers contributing more than $100,000 in trailing 12 months revenue, more than double from a year earlier.