News Of The Week


How bacteria are killing Chipotle’s brand promise

Every once in a while, we all get to see a highly visible, extremely popular brand go up in flames. It seemed to happen a lot this year (think VW
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What the Fed’s rate increase means for your borrowing and customer demand in 2016

The Federal Reserve announced this week it was raising short-term interest rates for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis. The hike in rates is capped at a very
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Doubts raised about Jack Dorsey’s leadership in wake of Twitter character count reports

Twitter is reportedly planning to expand its famous 140-character limit to 10,000 characters. The news has some wondering whether new leadership at the company is going too far in reinventing
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State of the Union

State of the Union: Will paid family leave and higher minimum wages really happen this year?

In his last State of the Union address Jan. 12, President Barack Obama touched on a number of agenda items that would affect businesses if they are implemented before his
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Crashes and crackdowns: Does it still make sense to do business in China?

You’ve heard the news: China’s economy is growing at its slowest pace in 25 years, and the stock market is in turmoil. But what does all this mean for your
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What the spat between Donald Trump and Fox News teaches us about PR

In a blizzard of tweets and sarcasm-dripping press releases, Donald Trump and Fox News have shot to the top of the week’s headlines, perhaps providing a welcome distraction from the
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Can Marissa Mayer fix Yahoo by breaking it?

Yahoo has been struggling to regain its former relevance in the internet space for years. Now, CEO Marissa Mayer is making her last stand. On Feb. 2, Mayer announced Yahoo
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Employee travel and Zika: What’s your liability risk?

The sudden appearance of Zika in Latin America and its possible link to a devastating birth defect have understandably caused panic among many adults of reproductive age. But as a
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Supreme Court

Will Antonin Scalia’s death change the balance on key business decisions in 2016?

Antonin Scalia, the famously combative and rigorously conservative Supreme Court Justice, has left a gaping power vacuum in his wake. With the court set to decide a number of key
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Will Apple give in to FBI demands to hack into a San Bernardino shooter’s phone?

The FBI has asked Apple to hack into an iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, on the presumption that the phone contains important evidence that could help prevent
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Donald Trump_Flag

Should a CEO be in charge of the federal government?

Following major wins by Republican contender Donald Trump on Super Tuesday, the prospect of a CEO in the White House is edging closer to reality. But do corner-office skills really
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Marriott, Erin Andrews and the risks of franchising

The illicit videotapes of TV sportscaster Erin Andrews and the resulting $55 million award have kept the Marriott International hotel chain in the news this week. Marriott quickly pointed out
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Is the U.S. headed for isolationism? Free trade and the 2016 presidential campaign

Voters disillusioned about the effects of free trade on American workers have played a significant role in boosting the presidential bids of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders this election
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Does your business need terrorism insurance?

The news was once again grim this week, with shocking images from Brussels broadcast around the world. It’s just the latest in a string of recent attacks in Paris, Istanbul,
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America’s most reputable companies: What Amazon’s doing right that Apple isn’t

A new report out this week ranks the companies American consumers view most favorably. Unsurprisingly, Amazon took the top spot. Rather more surprisingly, Apple didn’t even make the top 100.
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Why can’t I just have fun with this? … and other pressing questions about the Panama Papers

The amount of information in the Panama Papers leak is staggering, and so is the amount of news coverage. Here are some straightforward answers to your most pressing questions.
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Tax Day

Filed at last: The best (and strangest) ways to celebrate Tax Day

This week is your last chance to file your taxes, and if you’d like to celebrate after you’ve done the work (or possibly while you’re doing it), the internet has
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Mitsubishi’s emissions cheating: Lessons on transparency and the supply chain

This week, Mitsubishi became the second major automaker in less than a year to confess that its emissions tests had been fudged to make cars look cleaner than they actually
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Chocolate, beef jerky, salads: Hershey and the changing tastes of the American consumer

Hershey announced this week that it would start selling dried meat bars, following a decline in candy revenue. It’s the latest in a line of companies to attempt a strategic
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Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz and John Kasich have quit. Should you?

Ted Cruz surprised pundits this week by bowing out of the presidential race, following a loss to rival Donald J. Trump in the crucial Indiana primary. A day later, John
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Trade secrets

How the new Defend Trade Secrets Act could help protect your intellectual property

President Barack Obama this week signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act, a new law that will allow businesses to sue in federal court to seek compensation for stolen trade secrets
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Changes to overtime pay are coming: Here’s how to prepare

A new rule taking effect Dec. 1 will dramatically expand the number of workers eligible for overtime pay. How will the change affect your business, and how can you get
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Sliced apples

What sliced apples can teach you about consumer research and innovation

Apple consumption has risen dramatically over the past decade, after years of stagnation. Why? It turns out, according to a study by Cornell University economists, that kids prefer their apples
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Whatever happened to Theranos? Lessons from a startup bust

Last year, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was at the top of Forbes’ list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women. When the magazine released its new list on June 1, Holmes had
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Instead of reading this, should you be napping?

This week, a picture of Richard Branson is making the rounds that shows him posing with an employee who is taking a nap on an office couch. On his blog,
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Could Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn change the world of work?

Microsoft this week announced that it had paid a staggering $26.2 billion for professional networking site LinkedIn. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, argues the deal could change what kinds of
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Why Brexit could be a disaster for American companies

After news broke in the early morning hours of June 24 that the British public has voted to exit the European Union, markets went into a nosedive. The outcome of
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What’s next with Brexit, and can the decision still be reversed?

The British electorate’s decision to leave the European Union continues to send shockwaves through the global economy, with little clarity as to what the next few years will bring. Resisting
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Amid a spate of recent recalls, how can you make sure it doesn’t happen to you?

This month has seen a flurry of recalls and fatal accidents involving consumer products, including the tragic death of actor Anton Yelchin, the first fatal accident involving a self-driving car,
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Pokemon Go

How can you make the Pokémon Go craze work for your business?

Welcome to the post-Pokémon Go economy. Seemingly out of nowhere, the augmented-reality app is taking over cities worldwide. The implications for the future of gaming are potentially tremendous, but what
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Melania Trump

Melania Trump and her speechwriter: What to do when trusted employees make big mistakes?

When it became clear that parts of Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention were almost identical to a 2008 Michelle Obama speech, the Trump campaign faced a barrage
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Verizon is set to buy Yahoo’s digital assets, but will the deal pay off?

Former internet giant Yahoo has been troubled for years, and experts had long predicted that the company would be broken up and sold. Given Yahoo’s long decline, why did Verizon
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Meg Whitman, Peter Thiel and the CEO’s dilemma: Is it wise to pick sides in an election?

On Aug. 2, Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman announced she was backing Hillary Clinton in the presidential campaign. On the same day, legendary executive Warren Buffett appeared at a Clinton
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The Olympics: Benefit or burden for the host’s economy?

On the face of it, hosting the Olympics should be a good thing — it’s a major sporting event that has the potential to attract millions of athletes and visitors
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Self-driving cars

Driverless cars are coming. How will they shape the economy of the future?

This week, Ford announced it would mass-produce cars without steering wheels within five years. In addition, Uber said it would launch a fleet of autonomous cars in Pittsburgh as soon
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Second lawsuit against Roger Ailes and Fox News shows the perils of ignoring workplace harassment

This week, former Fox News anchor Andrea Tartaros filed a lawsuit that accuses former CEO Roger Ailes of sexually harassing her, and charges that her career suffered after she rebuffed
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Chipotle’s troubles continue as nearly 10,000 workers allege wage theft

The ill-fated chain restaurant, still reeling from lost sales after an E. coli outbreak, is facing a lawsuit from thousands of workers who allege that managers forced them to clock
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Star Trek

50 years of Star Trek: What Kirk and Picard taught us about leadership

This week marks 50 years since the first-ever episode of Star Trek aired. Both the original series and the highly successful Star Trek: The Next Generation emphasized the importance of
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Clinton presenteeism

The presenteeism problem: The real lesson behind Clinton’s illness

On Sunday, Hillary Clinton left a 9/11 memorial in Manhattan early due to a combination of heat exhaustion and pneumonia. Video of her exit shows a wobbly Clinton stumble into
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wells fargo

Lessons from Wells Fargo: How to spot (and prevent) unethical sales practices

Fallout continued this week from news that thousands of Wells Fargo employees, under pressure to make sales, had set up unauthorized accounts for customers. CEO John Stumpf told the Senate
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Once a giant in mobile phones, BlackBerry will no longer make them. What happened?

This week, BlackBerry announced it would stop making its own phones and rely on other companies for any future hardware projects. Before the iPhone came along, the company dominated the
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Colombia, Brexit and the difficult dynamics of (workplace) democracy

On October 2, a referendum in Colombia narrowly defeated a peace deal designed to bring an end to a five-decade civil war. The shock and scrambling following the decision is
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Nobel prize

What this year’s winners of the Nobel Prize in economics have taught us about contracts and executive pay

On October 10, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced it was awarding this year’s Nobel Prize in economics to two academics with a long record in researching how to
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At the third presidential debate, Trump and Clinton talked about the economy (yes, really)

In a contentious, personal debate that at times descended into name-calling, the two major-party candidates for president did fit in a discussion on their positions regarding some key economic issues,
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How did the Cubs do it? Business lessons from the turnaround of the century

This week, the Chicago Cubs are playing their first World Series since 1945, in the hopes of winning the championship for the first time since 1908. Chicago’s lovable losers have
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Should employees get Election Day off? Hundreds of companies think so

Politicians have long argued that Election Day being on a Tuesday constitutes a barrier to voting for many workers, who may not be able to take sufficient time off to
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Election 2016: A SmartCEO Roundup

As the final results of the 2016 election take shape, we look back on SmartCEO’s coverage of this crucial, unprecedented race and remind you that it’s time to vote.
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What will the Trump presidency mean for the economy?

In a stunning upset, Donald Trump has defeated Hillary Clinton in the race for the presidency. The reasons for this outcome — and why so few polls seemed to predict
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stock market

Which industries will benefit, suffer under a Trump administration? The stock market provides early clues

After an initial slump, stocks quickly rallied as the news of Donald Trump’s victory sank in. Analysts attributed the quick recovery to a realization among investors that the next administration
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Politics, Facebook and pizza: How the rise of fake news and online rumors affects businesses

Facebook and Google have been facing a growing outcry over the proliferation of what’s commonly known as “fake news” on their sites, with some commentators alleging that the widespread sharing
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Trump adds a billionaire investor and a Goldman Sachs alum to his cabinet picks. What does it mean for economic policy?

This week, the Trump transition team announced picks for secretary of commerce and secretary of the treasury — arguably the posts with the most influence over the country’s economic direction.
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Trump wants a tariff on companies that ship jobs overseas. Can it be done, and what’s the potential impact?

In a series of Tweets Dec. 4, president-elect Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs of 35 percent on companies that ship jobs overseas and want to re-import their products to
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Meet Rex Tillerson, the CEO who is set to be America’s top diplomat

President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state. What does Tillerson’s record at Exxon tell us about his leadership abilities and priorities?
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What is ‘universal basic income,’ and why is everyone talking about it?

In 2017, several countries and at least one company are poised to embark on a major social experiment: What if people were simply handed a certain amount of money each
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alphabet soup

Yahoo wants to rename itself Altababa. Here’s a look at some other unusual corporate renaming choices.

This week, Yahoo announced that following the sale of its core business to Verizon Communications, its remaining assets would be combined under a holding company named “Altababa.” The decision prompted
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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey: The latest casualty of the age of the conscious consumer

After operating for nearly a century and a half, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is shutting down. Arguably, the venerable entertainer’s demise was precipitated by the emergence of
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White house

President Trump summoned some of the country’s best-known CEOs to the White House. Here’s what they talked about.

In his first full week as president, Donald Trump held two summits with top CEOs to discuss how his administration would make it easier to do business. However, the new
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Trump’s executive order on immigration spurs CEO backlash

The CEOs of Goldman Sachs, Starbucks, Facebook, Google and a number of other high-profile companies have spoken out against President Donald Trump’s recent executive order, citing moral objections, but also
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Trump takes steps to undo Obama-era banking and investment regulations

President Donald Trump signed two orders Feb. 3 that pave the way for rolling back the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the so-called fiduciary rule, a
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Under Armour

Under Armour, Uber, Nordstrom: 2017 is already shaping up to be the year of the consumer boycott

The aftermath of the hyper-partisan 2016 election has resulted in a highly charged environment where threats of a consumer boycott are never far away. Most recently, such threats prompted Under
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The Kraft Heinz takeover of Unilever looked good on paper. Why did Unilever refuse to consider it?

On Feb. 19, Kraft Heinz announced it was withdrawing its $143 billion bid for fellow consumer-brand conglomerate Unilever, just two days after that bid first became public knowledge. The deal
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PwC’s relationship with the Oscars is at risk over a mix-up on live TV. What can the accounting firm do to mend fences?

An embarrassing envelope mix-up at this year’s Oscars ceremony has suddenly thrust PwC, normally a low-key participant in the awards, into the spotlight. What are the consequences of the accounting
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Why did the federal government raid Caterpillar’s offices, and is it a sign of more raids to come?

On March 2, federal agents working for the IRS’ criminal division, the U.S. attorney’s office of Central Illinois and two other agencies executed search warrants at Caterpillar’s office in Peoria,
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Report: Amid promises of tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure spending, CEOs’ confidence is growing

A new survey shows that CEOs’ projections for hiring, investments and sales growth over the next six months have jumped sharply under the Trump administration.
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Brexit update: As the UK begins negotiations to leave the European Union, banks and manufacturers pack their bags

British Prime Minister Theresa May announced this week that she would initiate proceedings to exit the EU on March 29. The announcement comes as several London-based banks make plans to
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A White House task force wants to tap into Elon Musk and other CEOs to tackle government’s problems. Will it work?

This week, President Donald Trump announced the new White House Office of American Innovation (OAI), which is tasked with using ideas from the business world to solve some of the
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As the reputations of Fox News and YouTube take a hit, advertisers vote with their feet

More than 20 brands, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW and GlaxoSmithKline, have pulled ads from Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor after a New York Times investigation uncovered multiple settlements of sexual harassment
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