TIME India

Uber to Invest $50 Million in India’s Technology-Friendly City of Hyderabad

The investment includes the firm's largest office outside the U.S.

Ride-sharing app Uber has enhanced links with India despite months of controversy and legal hassles in the country, declaring on Monday that it would invest over $50 million over the next five years to set up a new office in the southern Indian tech hub of Hyderabad.

The new office — reportedly its largest outside the U.S. — will house hundreds of employees, the San Francisco–based company said in a statement. A memorandum of understanding has also been signed with the government of the state of Telangana, where Hyderabad is located, to “create thousands of jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities, foster technical innovation and research into smart city initiatives and a commitment to make significant investments,” according to the statement.

The mobile service will also partner with the Telangana Academy for Skills and Knowledge to train more than 2,000 new Uber drivers by 2016.

Uber has been under fire in India since the beginning of the year, when one of its drivers in the capital city, New Delhi, was accused of sexually assaulting a passenger. This was followed by a ban across the city, with the New Delhi government alleging that the company had flouted rules governing the operation of taxis.

The taxi aggregator faces similar troubles in Hyderabad and is currently not authorized to operate in the city. Its operations “didn’t fit the regulatory framework,” B. Venkateswarlu, a joint commissioner at Telangana’s transportation department, told the Wall Street Journal. Uber’s response on Monday was that it is working with the government to come up with a “new regulatory framework” within the next four weeks.

Uber continues to expand in the South Asian nation despite its various regulatory roadblocks and currently operates in 18 different cities, making India its second largest market outside the U.S.

TIME technology

Sheryl Sandberg Joins Board of Late Husband’s Company

Allen & Co. Media And Technology Conference
Scott Eells—Bloomberg/Getty Images Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., left, and her husband David "Dave" Goldberg, chief executive officer of SurveyMonkey, arrive to a morning session at the Sun Valley Lodge during the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Wednesday, July 9, 2014.

Her late husband served as CEO for six years

Facebook COO and Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg is joining the board of SurveyMonkey, where her late husband, Dave Goldberg, served as CEO.

Goldberg died in May at age 47 in an accident while on vacation. In his years as chief executive of SurveyMonkey, he helped grow the company to a $2 billion-valuation, the New York Times reports. Sandberg said in a statement that she planned to “help to realize Dave’s vision of building a lasting company that will impact the way we all do business,” noting that the polling platform is meant to help people “make better decisions.”

SurveyMonkey is a private company, but expected to go public sometime soon—though a spokesperson told the Times there were no specific plans currently in the works.

[NYT]

 

TIME Starbucks

Starbucks Is About To Jack Up Its Prices

Operations Inside A Starbucks Corp. Coffee Shop
Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Steep coffee.

Cue groans and grumbles.

On Tuesday, Starbucks, the Seattle-based coffee chain, is preparing to boost its prices, AP reports. The cost of most affected drinks will rise somewhere between a nickel and 20 cents, the company says. The new price amounts to a price increase of roughly 1%.

For most people, this means the price of a brewed coffee will jump 10 cents, bumping the cost of a large coffee in most U.S. shops to $2.45, according to AP, although that figure varies regionally. The company says it will use the extra revenue to offset wage increases and rising rent.

Last year Starbucks raised its prices by a similar amount. Coffee prices had then been on the rise in commodity markets.

Some critics weighed that the last price hike went too far. One commentator decried it a “luxury tax.”

This year’s slate price increase, on the other hand, has nothing to do with the cost of coffee. Arabica futures, notes MarketWatch, have declined to 42% since last year’s high.

The new prices will affect certain brewed coffees, not the bagged variety.

Is the increase all because of rent? Perhaps that claim holds some water. On a recent episode of Fortune Live, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff told host Leigh Gallagher that the the presence of a Starbucks within a quarter mile of a residence increased its property cost by about 96% on average between 1997 and 2014. Perhaps the company is a victim of its own halo effect.

TIME Web

Reddit CEO Ellen Pao: ‘We Screwed Up’

Users are furious at what Pao said is a "long history of mistakes"

Reddit Interim CEO Ellen Pao apologized Monday for a “long history of mistakes,” in an apparent response to the hundreds of thousands of the site’s users who have called for her to step down over management decisions.

“We screwed up,” Pao conceded in an announcement posted on Reddit. “We haven’t communicated well, and we have surprised moderators and the community with big changes . . . The mods and the community have lost trust in me and in us, the administrators of reddit.”

Pao came under fire over the weekend when Reddit moderators — who are community volunteers, not company employees — began protesting the unexpected dismissal of Reddit’s director of talent, Victoria Taylor. Moderators said they had relied heavily on Taylor to host mega-popular Ask Me Anythings (AMAs), in which users can pose questions to influential or interesting people. Users and moderators speculate Taylor’s dismissal was related to a chaotic AMA she hosted with Rev. Jesse Jackson, though Reddit has denied the claim. (Reddit has not given a reason for Taylor’s dismissal.)

Outraged users also flocked to a Change.org petition demanding Pao’s resignation as CEO, which as of Monday afternoon had over 180,000 signatures. The petition, which was posted weeks before Taylor’s dismissal, accuses Pao of censorship and driving the website’s traffic into the ground. It also references Pao’s unsuccessful, high-profile gender discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, which denied Pao’s allegations and claimed Pao is “a manipulative individual who will sue her way to the top.”

In her apology, Pao outlined “three concrete steps” for Reddit’s future: to improve and build new web tools that complement moderators’ work, to improve administrative communication with moderators, and to allow moderators to default to the old version of search.

“I mean it when I say we screwed up, and we want to have a meaningful ongoing discussion,” Pao wrote. “I and the team are committed to talking more often with the community, starting now.”

Pao, formerly a junior partner at high-profile venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, joined Reddit in 2013. She became interim CEO late last year.

TIME Donald Trump

Trump Says His Supporters Are Cutting Up Their Macy’s Credit Cards

Billionaire presidential hopeful says it’s a protest against immigration

When you’re Donald Trump, another rescinded corporate partnership is nothing if not an opportunity to galvanize your supposedly growing base of political supporters.

The billionaire real estate mogul, reality-television personality, and Republican presidential hopeful has spent the past week taking Twitter pot-shots at Macy’s after the department store chain severed ties with Trump and his line of menswear amid the uproar over Trump’s recent derogatory comments about Mexican immigrants.

On Monday, Trump — who, last week, gleefully pointed out on Twitter when Macy’s stock had fallen by less than 0.5% — tweeted out a claim that his supporters have been cutting up their Macy’s credit cards “as a protest” against the U.S. government’s stance on immigration:

Trump has long been a proponent of beefing up American borders to stem the influx of illegal immigrants. But, in his presidential campaign kick-off speech last month, the outspoken billionaire attracted quite a bit of criticism with comments accusing Mexican immigrants of committing serious crimes in the U.S., from rape to murder and drug dealing.

In addition to Macy’s, mattress giant Serta also said it would stop selling Trump-branded products, while both Univision and Comcast’s NBCUniversal have canceled plans to air Trump’s Miss USA and Miss Universe beauty pageants. (Trump sued Univision for $500 million and has threatened legal action against NBC and others.)

While Trump’s corporate partnerships seem to be rapidly evaporating, the presidential candidate has seen a bump at the polls in the past week with decent showings in a recent national CNN poll as well as the New Hampshire primary polls.

TIME american apparel

American Apparel to Cut Stores, Trim Workforce

American Apparel's Board Removes Controversial CEO Dov Charney
Andrew Burton—Getty Images An American Apparel store.

Troubled retailer also warns it is running low on cash

American Apparel is planning to cut expenses by $30 million by closing underperforming stores and laying off staff, but warned it may not be enough to run its business in the near future.

The unprofitable retailer has recently angled to reposition itself as a more responsibly-run company under the direction of CEO Paula Schneider, who took the helm in January. Schneider last month unveiled plans to grow the brand to a $1 billion business by focusing less on sexual innuendo and instead caring more about merchandise. But Schneider has conceded the company has very little cash to play with to undergo this pivot.

American Apparel’s most recent press statement is a reminder of this conundrum. The retailer warned that even if it boosts revenue and cut costs, “there can be no guarantee that the company will have sufficient financing commitments to meet funding requirements for the next twelve months without raising additional capital.” It also warned there is no way it can be sure it can raise such capital.

The cost-cutting moves will occur of the next 18 months and include a smaller work force to reflect the smaller store footprint. American Apparel wouldn’t say how many jobs or stores would be affected. The California-based retailer operated 239 stores in 20 countries and employed about 10,000 people as of the end of March.

American Apparel, which touted its plans for the fall season from a merchandising perspective, also lamented that the company continued to deal with number of legacy issues left behind under the management of ousted founder and former CEO Dov Charney, who has been busy suing the company.

“Today’s announcements are necessary steps to help American Apparel adapt to headwinds in the retail industry, preserve jobs for the overwhelming majority of our 10,000 employees and return the business to long-term profitability,” Schneider said.

TIME Money

Could You Live on $64 a Day If Greece’s Crisis Happened Here?

Imagine if Greece's capital controls were imposed in America

Greece’s banks remained closed on Monday for the sixth straight working day, heightening anxieties over the nation’s cash withdrawal and transfer limit of €60 ($67) per day per account.

What if those same capital controls were imposed in America? As shown in the chart above, our budgets would need a significant downsizing — by over 50%.

It’s true that credit or debit card transactions — for some, the primary mode of payment — aren’t affected by the rules. But many day-to-day Greek businesses and services, like restaurants, have begun demanding cash payments. Other Greeks have found even their credit cards are being rejected with confusion surrounding the capital controls. As a result, for many account holders, it’s truly a $67 per day limit: $67 for food, housing, healthcare and transportation, often to support a family of several people (We should note that some Greek public transportation has been free during the capital control period).

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent report on U.S. consumer expenditures, American households spent an average of $140 per day in 2013. Indeed some of these costs could be eliminated more easily, like leisure ($6.80) and cash contributions ($5.02). But Americans’ three highest daily costs — housing ($49.98 per day), transport ($24.67) and food ($18.09) — aren’t just harder to cut down on, but also far above the $67 limit already.

Read next: Why Greece Matters for Everyone

TIME Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett Donates $2.8 Billion … Again

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. CEO Warren Buffett Interview
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett is giving away $2.8 billion as part of his annual donation pledge.

Five foundations will benefit from his annual gift

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is the gift that keeps on giving.

The Berkshire Hathaway CEO on Monday donated $2.8 billion to five foundations as a part of his annual pledge.

Around 20.6 billion shares of Berkshire Hathaway class B stock will be donated to the Bill and Melinda Gates, Susan Thompson Buffett, Sherwood, Howard G. Buffett and NoVo Foundations, the company announced in a statement.

It marks Buffett’s tenth annual gift to charities. Last year, Buffett set a personal philanthropy record when he donated an equivalent $2.8 billion.

Buffett’s donation follows the recent headline-making news by Alwaleed bin Talal. The Saudi Prince said he plans to give away his entire fortune worth $32 billion to philanthropic causes over the next few years.

TIME greek debt crisis

Greece’s Tsakalotos to Become New Finance Minister

Euclid Tsakalotos Greece's Deputy Foreign Minister Interview
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Euclid Tsakalotos

He was the country’s top negotiator in aid talks with creditors

Greece’s top negotiator in aid talks with creditors, Euclid Tsakalotos, will be sworn in as finance minister on Monday after the resignation of Yanis Varoufakis, a Greek presidency source told Reuters.

“Tsakalotos will be sworn in with the political oath as finance minister,” the presidency official reportedly said in a statement.

Earlier Monday, former Greek finance chief Yanis Varoufakis resigned under pressure from his government and Greece’s creditors. They had seen him as an obstacle to talks on a new bailout after voters rejected lenders’ terms in a referendum on Sunday.

For more on Tsakalotos’ colorful predecessor, read These 7 Yanis Varoufakis quotes show why we’ll miss him.

TIME greek debt crisis

These 7 Yanis Varoufakis Quotes Show Why We’ll Miss Him

‘I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride’

Greece’s finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has resigned from his post to help smooth his country’s negotiations with creditors on a new debt restructuring deal.

In typically flamboyant fashion, the motorbike-riding economist left some parting words to his Eurogroup peers — the ones he has battled with over the last few months. “I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride,” he boasted in a blog post announcing his departure Monday.

We’ll certainly miss one of the Europe’s most colorful figures. Here are seven quotes that show, when it comes to one-liners, there may be no man in global finance better than the former economics professor:

On using the Eagles to show Greece’s dilemma
“Greece is absolutely, irreversibly, committed to staying in the eurozone,” he told CNN. “The problem is that once you’re in, it goes just like the Eagle’s song ‘Hotel California’ – you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

On using poet Dylan Thomas to show Greece’s resolve
“Greek democracy today chose to stop going gently into the night. Greek democracy resolved to rage against the dying of the light,” he wrote in his blog.

On the lengths he would go to negotiate a better deal for Greece
“I’d rather cut off my arm than accept (a) bad deal,” he told Bloomberg.

On the Europe’s ‘troika’ team that was negotiating with Greece
“A committee built on rotten foundations,” he said.

On comparing the eurozone to the Titanic
“(The eurozone) resembles a fine riverboat that was launched on a still ocean in 2000. And then the first storm that hit it, in 2008, started creating serious structural problems for it. We started leaking water. And of course, the people in the third class, as in the Titanic, start feeling the drowning effects first,” he told Channel 4 News.

On how much he sticks out when compared to his peers
“I am being treated as a strange bird because I talk macroeconomics,” he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

On quoting a famous leader to show how much he is disliked
“FDR, 1936: “They are unanimous in their hate for me; and I welcome their hatred.” A quotation close to my heart (& reality) these days,” he said in a tweet.

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