1. Google: – The judge hearing the Texas antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc’s Google put limits on what the search giant’s in-house lawyers can see in an order aimed at ensuring that confidential information used in an upcoming trial remains secure.
The issue is a key one for companies that have not been identified but that gave information to the Texas attorney general’s office for its investigation and fear that their confidential data, like strategic business plans or discussions about negotiations, could be disclosed to Google executives.
The order issued by Judge Sean Jordan of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas allows Google’s in-house counsel to see information deemed “confidential” but they are then limited in advising on some competitive and other decision-making for two years regarding the companies whose data they see.
2. Shopify: – Three of e-commerce platform Shopify (NYSE:SHOP)’s seven top executives will be leaving the company in the coming months, chief executive officer and founder of Canada’s most valuable company Tobi Lutke said in a blog post on Wednesday.
The company’s chief talent officer, chief legal officer and chief technology officer will all transition out of their roles, Lutke said, adding that they have been “spectacular and deserve to take a bow.”
“Each one of them has their individual reasons but what was unanimous with all three was that this was the best for them and the best for Shopify,” he said.
The trio follow the departure of Craig Miller, chief product officer, in September. Lutke took on the role in addition to CEO.
3. Ford: – Ford Motor Co on Wednesday outlined another series of plant shutdown due to the global semiconductor chip shortage, with five facilities in the United States and one in Turkey affected.
The No. 2 U.S. automaker did not outline how many vehicles would be lost in the latest actions, and reiterated it intends to provide an update on the financial impact of the chip shortage with its quarterly earnings on April 28, suggesting the hit could be bigger than initially forecast.
Ford said in March it expected the semiconductor shortage to cost between $1 billion and $2.5 billion. While the company has prioritized chips for its highest-profit vehicles, it has been forced at times to idle production of its top-selling F-150 full-size pickup, and it has sparked some of those trucks for final assembly later when enough chips are in hand.
4. Amazon: – Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) said on Wednesday it was aiming to double the number of Black employees in senior leadership roles and hire 30% more Black people as corporate employees in the United States this year.
Amazon data shows U.S. Black employees in leadership roles accounted for 3.8% last year.
The Seattle-based firm is also targeting to have 30% more women in tech and science related senior leadership roles in 2021.
A manager at the online retailer sued the firm last month for harassment and discrimination, saying it hires Black people for lower positions and promotion comes later for them than white workers.
At the time, 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.”
5. Dell: – Dell shares rose as much as 9% in extended trading on Wednesday after the company announced its plan to proceed with the spinoff of its 81% ownership of enterprise software maker VMware. The deal should close in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The move isn’t a surprise. Dell is moving forward with a process it has long considered as a means of paying down its debt.
VMware will collectively distribute a cash dividend worth $11.5 billion to $12 billion to shareholders, including Dell, Dell said in a statement. Dell will receive $9.3 billion to $9.7 billion, which will position it well for investment grade ratings, the company said. Dell currently has a BB+ credit rating from S&P Global, giving the company a speculative grade, according to S&P Capital IQ.