TIME Companies

Net-a-Porter Founder Resigns Suddenly Ahead of Merger

Natalie Massenet, founder and chairman of Net-A-Porter Ltd, pauses during an interview at the company's head office in London on June 18, 2015.
Matthew Lloyd—Bloomberg/Getty Images Natalie Massenet, founder and chairman of Net-A-Porter Ltd, pauses during an interview at the company's head office in London on June 18, 2015.

Natalie Massenet was set to be chairperson of a new company formed after a merger

The founder of fashion e-commerce site Net-a-Porter suddenly resigned Wednesday, just after the company announced its merger with Italian online retailer Yoox, scheduled to be finalized in October.

Natalie Massenet was going to be executive chairperson of the combined company, responsible for overseeing editorial content. Her departure means she will not be part of the board, Yoox said in a statement.

Massenet founded Net-a-Porter 15 years ago as a curated luxury goods retailer that was one of the first to enter the online sphere. The founder became an icon in fashion circles, known for her taste and frequent appearances with a bevy of celebrity friends.

Considered by many to be a fashion retailing visionary, Massenet had a turbulent history with her counterpart at Yoox, Federico Marchetti, made worse when initial merger talks crumbled last year, according to Reuters. Marchetti will now lead the company.

Massenet was the subject of a recent, extensive New York Magazine feature, in which she seemed to waver between staying at the company and imagining a possible future without her in it.

“Since the day I started the company, I have thought about what it will take for this business to have momentum and keep going forward regardless of who is in the company,” Massenet said, noting that she saw a future of “being happy and innovating and thriving.”

MONEY salaries

The Coal Industry Is Hurting, But Its Execs Are Still Getting Raises

coal-plant-execs
Luke Sharett—© 2015 Bloomberg Finance LP Conveyor belts crisscross a coal prep plant owned by Alpha Natural Resources Inc. stands in Logan County near Yolyn, West Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, August 5, 2015.

In 2014, CEOs of the top 30 publicly-held oil, gas and coal companies earned 9% more than the average CEO of a S&P 500 company.

The coal industry has had a rough time in recent years. Between late 2010 and the end of 2014, the top ten publicly-traded coal companies saw their combined share price value drop by more than half, as hundreds of plants closed and thousands of employees were laid off. This spring, Alpha Natural Resources, the nation’s largest producer of metallurgical coal, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. And Obama’s new Clean Power Plan, aimed at reducing carbon emissions, isn’t likely to make things any easier for U.S. coal producers.

But according to a September 2nd report from the Institute for Policy Studies, the industry’s problems haven’t put a dent in the compensation of its top executives. In fact, they’re still getting raises.

“The boards of the 10 top coal companies doled out eight percent more salary and annual cash bonus pay to their top five executives in 2014 than in 2010, before the coal meltdown began,” the report reads. In total, these executives have made nearly $6 billion over the past five years.

The executives’ astronomical earnings are bad news for the fight against climate change, IPS points out, because they mean these executives have little incentive to stop fighting for coal over more environmentally-friendly alternatives. What’s more, taxpayers are footing much of the bill: federal subsidies to fossil fuel companies are about $37.5 billion a year.

The higher executive compensation is also likely to be increasing the pay ratio of coal company CEOs to their workers. We’ll find out just how much in 2018, when new federal regulations will require publicly-traded companies to disclose that information.

TIME Apple

Apple Will Likely Debut a Bigger iPad Next Week

Inside A SoftBank Store As Apple Inc. New iPads Go On Sale
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

It will be called the ‘iPad Pro,’ a report says

Next Wednesday, Apple will cram a big crowd of journalists, executives, and other lucky people into San Francisco’s Bill Graham Auditorium, and will reportedly unveil, among other things, a bigger iPad.

The bigger iPad has been rumored for quite some time, but 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman—a prolific Apple news whisperer—reported Wednesday that Apple will almost certainly materialize on Sept. 9. Trip Chowdhry, managing director of equity research at Global Equities Research, also told Fortune that the device will likely debut next week.

Geared toward power users, the “iPad Pro,” as Gurman reports it is actually named, will sport a 12-inch display, run iOS 9.1, support a Force Touch-based stylus, and have speakers on two sides. The iOS 9.1 operating system will reportedly include special versions of the Siri and Notification Center interfaces.

With all that said, there’s still a chance that Apple won’t reveal the bigger iPad next week. Pre-orders are slated for October, and shipments for November, so Apple could be planning a special event for it in October, according to Gurman.

Other rumored announcements for next include new iPhones, a revamped Apple TV, new bands for the Apple Watch, and possibly a new iPad mini.

TIME youtube gaming

Jimmy Kimmel Made Fun of YouTube Gaming and People are Freaking Out

ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" - Season 13
Randy Holmes—ABC via Getty Images Jimmy Kimmel

The gaming community was extremely offended and vocal about it

The Internet is going crazy over a Jimmy Kimmel episode that made fun of YouTube Gaming, a recently launched platform where you can watch people play video games.

Kimmel began the skit by admitting that he “must be getting old” because he simply doesn’t understand the phenomenon. He then proceeded to make jokes, as a late night talk show host tends to do.

In introducing the skit he joked that the gaming channel should be called the “We Should All Be Very Ashamed of Ourselves for Failing as Parents” channel, and compared watching other people play video games to “going to a restaurant and having someone eat your food for you.” The skit featured a God character who reacts to this gaming platform with: “I’ve created a race of idiots!”

The gaming community did not take this well. Kimmel’s video, which has been posted on YouTube, is nearing 100,000 dislikes, and some of the comments are brutal. More level-headed commenters likened watching video games to watching sports; others called him an “irrelevant old man” and told him to “get cancer.” Some of them were almost impressively creative and included words I probably shouldn’t repeat here, so find the best ones here.

Kimmel responded to commenters in a more recent episode with the following:

I have been approached, and I’m gonna sit down with people who care very much about this topic and I’m gonna be open-minded. I’ll give these gamers an opportunity to show me what is fun about watching other people play video games.

TIME Sony

This New Sony Phone Has the World’s First 4K Display

GERMANY-IT-SHOW-ELECTRONICS-FAIR-IFA-SONY
JOHN MACDOUGALL—AFP/Getty Images Newly released Sony Xperia Z5 smartphones.

It's even better than the iPhone 6

Get ready for even sharper images when using Sony’s recently unveiled new Xperia Premium smartphones.

The phone will be the first to have a 5.5-inch 4K display, according to The Verge. It’s likely to be released in November.

The pixel density on the upcoming Xperia Z5 Premium will be 806 ppi. Compare that to Apple’s 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, which has just 401 ppi, according to the publication.

The phone will be available in chrome, black, and gold, too, for a luxury feel.

But there are some potential issues with the greatly enhanced screens. One is a lack of footage that actually makes the most of the boosted specs. As The Verge notes:

Sony promises that the Z5 Premium will upscale videos and images to 4K, but upscaling is usually not as good as the real thing. (We didn’t get a chance to try out Sony’s method.) There’s also the issue of battery. Although Sony promises that the Z5 Premium will last up to two days on a single charge just like the Z5 and Z5 Compact, it’s not clear how this figure will hold up to any sustained video use on a 4K display.

The phone is, notably, heavier than the iPhone 6 Plus: It’s 180 grams versus 172 grams for the bigger iPhone.

MONEY Shopping

You Can Already Buy Kanye 2020 Campaign Gear on Etsy

Kanye-West-2020
Michael Tran— FilmMagic Kanye West speaks onstage during the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Yeezus.

Responses to Kanye West’s announcement, “I have decided in 2020 to run for president,” at the VMAs on Sunday were decidedly mixed (read: mostly negative). But whether or not you think Kanye and Kim belong in the White House, it’s hard to deny that his campaign swag could be pretty dope.

In fact, some of it is already on sale, thanks to the fine minds at Etsy. There’s a “West/Swift 2020” T-Shirt, a white varsity “Mr. West 2020” sweatshirt, campaign badges on the cheap, and plenty of Kanye plays on the iconic Obama HOPE poster, among other items. No word on whether Kanye actually had anything to do with the merch.

And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I’m sort of excited.

TIME Taco Bell

Taco Bell Made a Taco Shell Out Of Fried Chicken

Fast Food Workers Nationwide To Demand Higher Wages
Elijah Nouvelage—Getty Images

Of course it did

Imagine a Taco Bell taco, but instead of a crispy taco shell, it’s made with crispy chicken.

Now you don’t have to because Taco Bell just released its new Naked Crispy Chicken Taco. It’s a breaded white meat chicken shell filled with lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese, and avocado ranch sauce. Foodbeast confirmed the existence of this new menu item, finding only two locations in which it’s sold, one in Lost Hills, Calif., and the other in Bakersfield, Calif. There is a 50-cent difference in prices, but each one sells for under $3.

This is one of a few changes that Taco Bell has made in recent months to try to drive in more sales. The chain has also tested home delivery, alcohol sales, and a breakfast menu to compete with McDonald’s and similar restaurants. It has even been catering to consumers’ preferences for healthier foods by removing all artificial flavors and colors from its menu.

MONEY home improvement

This Simple Home Improvement Tip Could Save You a Bundle of Cash

half-bath-full-bath
Getty Images

Think twice before adding another bathroom.

As anyone who’s ever lived in tight quarters can tell you, the general rule of thumb for a happy home is the more bathrooms, the merrier.

Less known is this gem: according to the Wall Street Journal, adding a half bathroom to your home will actually add nearly as much value to your home—and sometimes even more—than adding a full bathroom. This revelation obviously affects decisions made by homeowners, as adding a half bathroom requires significantly less money (and space) than the typical full bathroom.

Based on data gathered in the last week of July by Realtor.com, the WSJ reported Wednesday that while adding a half bathroom to a one bathroom home will raise the median list price about 5% less than adding a full bathroom, in homes with more than five bathrooms a half bath actually increases the median list price almost 10% more than another full bathroom.

The takeaway, according to Stephen Melman, who spoke to the Wall Street Journal as the director of economic services for the National Association of Home Builders, is that the law of diminishing returns definitely applies to full baths.

An extra powder room on the first floor, on the other hand? That’s very likely to pay off handsomely.

TIME Careers & Workplace

This Email Formula Can Help Speed Up Your Boss’s Response

TIME.com stock photos Computer Keyboard Typing
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Provide context

The Muse logo

I know, I know, your manager can be the worst. You’d totally be able to do your job perfectly, if only she gave you the answers you asked for when you asked for them. Well, take it from me, as both a former consultant who had dozens of managers and as a manager of many teams now, if you’re not getting answers quickly, it’s likely that you’re partially to blame.

Hear me out. Your manager isn’t totally off the hook here. However, there is something you can do to get a faster response (that doesn’t involve sending “just following up on this” emails). And it’s as simple as these three letters: C+A+O—context, alternatives, and outcomes. All three are needed to make any decision, so putting them all together in an email works like magic.

Let’s use an example: You want to shorten the client onboarding process, and you need your boss to approve spending money on a third-party scheduling tool to realistically make that happen. The catch—your boss usually says no to big budget requests.

In this situation, you can send one of two emails:

1: “Can we get extra budget to get third-party tools?”

or

2: The bad boy outlined below:

Context

Before anything else, you need to provide context. It may be obvious to you that this issue is important or urgent, but your manager likely spends less time than you on this particular area. By starting with the big picture, the specific question or challenge, and the impact on the company, you will put him or her in the right mindset to be engaged and consider your request. Make sure you explain why he should care:

As discussed in our last meeting, shortening client onboarding is a departmental goal to support the company-wide initiative to increase profitability. I’ve noticed that one of the biggest bottlenecks is the back-and-forth involved in scheduling the initial call with clients. Scheduling alone contributes to 30% of the average onboarding time, so shortening this could make a big impact.

Now that you’ve laid out the situation so clearly, your manager’s ears should perk up. “A way to help me reach my goals and look good in front of my boss? Tell me more…” she’ll say.

Alternatives

Careful now, because here’s where many well-intentioned professionals trip up. Just laying out the problem isn’t enough—you need to lay out the solutions, too. And not just one solution, but a few. Research show that too many choices can paralyze the decision maker, but having only one option puts you at risk of proposing a solution your boss doesn’t like or that’s hard to justify. With two to four options, your manager can compare and contrast—and will frequently come to the same solution that you did.

So, back to our email:

There are three possible solutions, with varying costs and speeds of implementation. First, we could try different email scripts or switch to phone conversations, which would cost nothing but require time up front to train the team.

The second option would be testing out a low-cost third-party tool to give clients real-time options to choose from, eliminating the back-and-forth. The tools I’ve looked at range from $15 per user per month (which would be $3,060/year for a team of our size) to an $8,500 license, and I expect implementation would be comparable to option one.

Finally, we could consider building scheduling into our onboarding flow, which would require engineering team resources internally and may take a little more time to get approval for and execute.

Now, a manager who’s worried about the budget would better understand why you’re suggesting a paid option—when it comes to resources and time (in addition to budget), spending the money suddenly makes more sense.

Outcomes

Here comes the close: Tell her what she gets for each of these options. Don’t be afraid to use this space to give your recommendation and show off your thought process and judgment.

My estimates are that with option one, we could cut one to two days from the process, while options two and three could drop it by as much as five to six days. My recommendation would be to start with one of the cheaper third-party tools, which would be a $3,000 investment and could be implemented within 10 days. If this works for you, I can set that up and train the team on how to use this new tool.

If I were your boss, I’d say yes to that immediately because you’re making the decision easy.

Compare this email exchange to one from the beginning that just straight-up asked for money. The C+A+O version certainly takes longer to write, but the latter requires several back-and-forth emails, which—going back to your original problem—only delays your ability to move forward.

I can (almost) promise that once you supply your manager with enough information, you’ve shortened the process and gotten much closer to get a yes. Or, at the very least, a genuine “I’ll think about it.”

This post is in partnership with The Muse. The article above was originally published on The Muse

More from The Muse:

TIME Companies

Everything to Know About eBay in One Graphic

The auction site turns 20 on Thursday

Like Amazon and Yahoo, auction website eBay is one of those old guard Internet companies that’s still having a big impact today. On Thursday, eBay celebrates its 20th birthday, meaning it’s a great time to look back at the site’s history.

Check out the infographic below for more on how eBay started and what’s happened since, —. There’s fun facts, too: Did you know, for instance, a pair of shoes is sold every two seconds in the U.S.?

ebay

 

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com