Posted by Dale Buss on April 25, 2013 05:02 PM
It’s been a long time since IBM was the safe default option for any company purchasing computer hardware or software. When Virginia "Ginni" Rometty was promoted to CEO 16 months ago, her charge was to put the once-indominable business services giant back onto a smoother path in a world that has been invaded by the likes of Apple, smartphones, apps and the cloud.
There’s just one big problem, Rometty recently told IBM’s 434,000 employees in a five-minute internal video message: Them.
All employees at IBM were told by their leader to "step up" by working faster and better, so that they more proactively and productively engage customers and stop letting potential deals slip away.
“Where we haven’t transformed rapidly enough, we struggled,” Rometty said in the video published on the internal IBM website and reviewed by the Wall Street Journal. “We have to step up with that and deal with that, and that is on all levels.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 5, 2013 11:12 AM
One comic book hero (Spiderman) was inspired by creator Stan Lee watching a spider climb up a wall. Another (The Incredible Hulk) came about when Lee combined the story of Frankenstein with The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Now comes one that is based on a coffee-swilling businessman who has no superpowers but managed to create one of the world’s most well-known brands.
Howard Schultz: The Man Behind Starbucks chronicles the life and times of the brand’s CEO as he takes the company from a hippiefied java joint in Seattle's Pike Place Market to a global behemoth in just 32 pages—or the time it takes to consume a venti skim latte and a cinnamon swirl coffee cake.
"After reading (autobiography) Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul by Howard Schultz, I thought he would be a great subject for a comic book,” Darren G. Davis, the head of publisher Bluewater Productions told Ad Age. “I love telling stories of people who are inspirational like Schultz and have a great back-story."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 25, 2013 07:19 PM
With the hiring away of Tim Mahoney from Volkswagen as Chevrolet's global chief marketing officer, General Motors appears to be moving one more step closer to a long-discussed goal of obliterating the GM "brand" altogether.
Mahoney—who has helped VW achieve strong double-digit sales gains in the U.S. in each of the last three years—has been named to the newly created post of global CMO for Chevrolet and of global GM marketing operations leader.
Because Mahoney, a three-decade veteran of automotive marketing, will report to GM's interim CMO, Alan Batey, his addition bulks up the Chevrolet brand that Batey also has been heading up for the last year, including recently replacing the "Chevrolet Runs Deep" tagline with the "Find New Roads" positioning.
Batey was vice president of U.S. sales and service and then took over as interim CMO for the corporation when GM's global CMO Joel Ewanick departed abruptly last year.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 18, 2013 01:49 PM
Fresh from his Reddit "Ask Me Anything," Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates appeared on CBS This Morning. In his interview with Charlie Rose, Gates takes Microsoft to task for not being more innovative on mobile, calling the strategy taken "clearly a mistake."
Gates made comments during his chat about tech and philanthropy such as, "There's a lot of things like cellphones where we didn't get out in the lead early. We didn't miss cellphones, but the way that we went about it didn't allow us to get the leadership." Watch the interview below.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Dale Buss on February 15, 2013 06:14 PM
Crises beget winners as well as losers. One of the winners seems to be Ian Davis—if you can call leaping from the frying pan into the fire a way of coming out on top.
The non-executive chairman of BP has been hired by another stalwart of UK business, Rolls-Royce, to help the embattled luxury-car brand deal with allegations of possible bribery by some of its people overseas.
Davis has had experience dealing with "challenging situations" like the one facing Rolls-Royce. In fact, Davis was chairman of BP's Gulf of Mexico Committee, which was in charge of the energy company's overall, long-term response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizons disaster in the Gulf.
It's taken a lot of advertising (and an Olympics sponsorship) by BP, a $4.5 billion fine and billions more in outlays for cleanup in Gulf states, but BP seems to have survived the disaster—and Rolls-Royce believes Davis had a lot to do with it. Continue reading...
ready for takeoff
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 14, 2013 11:53 AM
After more than a year’s worth of rumors, plenty of negotiations and three earlier attempts at merging, US Airways and the bankrupt American Airlines—which made a last-ditch effort to revamp their image earlier this month—have finally agreed to come together and be one. While they're now moving in together and sorting through their stuff, the actual marriage and formal union won't be completed until the third quarter of this year.
In an $11 billion all-stock deal, the two big brands are joining to create the world’s largest airline—but investors and consumers alike are pondering if bigger is indeed better. The new company, which will fly under American’s name and revamped logo but be run by US Airways CEO Doug Parker, is predicting that it “will produce annual savings and new revenue totaling more than $1 billion by 2015,” Bloomberg reports.
"American Airlines is one of the world’s most iconic brands," Parker stated in the merger announcement press release. "The combined airline will have the scale, breadth and capabilities to compete more effectively and profitably in the global marketplace. Our combined network will provide a significantly more attractive offering to customers, ensuring that we are always able to take them where they want to travel, when they want to go."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 28, 2013 04:06 PM
The Sundance Film Festival has a solid history of showcasing interesting films that have gone on to be big hits, like Little Miss Sunshine, Reservoir Dogs, The Usual Suspects, Clerks, and Hoop Dreams.
But it's looking like Jobs — which stars Ashton Kutcher portraying Apple founder Steve Jobs' quest for glory — may not be one of them.
The film, which closed out the 2013 festival last week, received mixed reviews. The Guardian's Ed Gibbs gave it two out of five stars, calling it “an overly reverential and saccharine view” of Jobs, who died more than a year ago.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on December 10, 2012 02:19 PM
Take that, Hamburglar and all your little mischief-making fiends: McDonald's may already be back in the U.S. just one month after poor sales brought about the departure of the head of its U.S. operations.
McDonald's surprised the restaurant world by announcing a 2.5-percent jump in comparable-store sales in the United States, after analysts had expected a U.S. drop in sales of as much as 1 percent for the month.
The chain attributed the unexpected rise to the "ongoing popularity" of its breakfast in the U.S. along with "balance across everyday value offerings, premium menu options including the limited-time Cheddar Bacon Onion sandwiches, and the beverage lineup," according to McDonald's press release. Holiday cheer, despite stepping up around Thanksgiving, didn't really move the needle on sales.Continue reading...