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CEO and co-founder of crowdfunding giant Kickstarter resigns amid staff unionization effort

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 4:56pm

  • Kickstarter's co-founder Perry Chen publicly announced he would step down as the company's CEO hours after the company's staff announced that it would unionize on Tuesday.
  • A Kickstarter representative says that the two events are not related, noting that he made his resignation announcement to the company Monday evening. 
  • Perry will continue to be chairman of the board.
  • Chen had a controversial tenure as CEO, which began in July 2017.
  • Nearly half the company reportedly turned over under his watch, and employees told BuzzFeed News he had a jarring, heavy-handed approach to his leadership.

Kickstarter co-founder Perry Chen announced Monday that he is stepping down as CEO of the crowdfunding platform, but will stay on as chairman of the board. The public announcement came hours after staff at the company announced that they would form a union.

"I’ve decided to step away from the CEO position at Kickstarter to focus on high-level and long-term company needs in my role as chairman of the board," he wrote in a blog post.

Read more: Staff at crowdfunding giant Kickstarter are unionizing in a potential first for big tech in the US

A Kickstarter representative said that Chen's resignation was not related to staff unionization efforts announced earlier on Tuesday. She noted that Chen announced his resignation to the company in an email Monday evening. 

Chen re-joined Kickstarter in July 2017, but his tenure proved controversial.

In April 2018, BuzzFeed News reported that the company was in turmoil under Chen's leadership. At the time of BuzzFeed's reporting, nearly 50 of the company's 120 staff had reportedly left, including seven out of eight members of the company's executive team.

According to BuzzFeed, "employees said Chen strongly exerted his will on the company — making sudden changes to planned-out Kickstarter features, scrapping project timelines at the last minute, forcing out highly respected employees, and trying to shake up office culture in ways that struck the rank and file as simply bizarre."

In his blog post, published shortly following an inquiry from Business Insider, Chen noted that he only intended to serve as interim CEO when he came back to the company:

When I returned as CEO in 2017, I initially intended to spend about six months working to set up a long-term foundation to ensure Kickstarter remained aligned with its mission, and to set the next leader up for success. Those months quickly became two years dedicated to developing a better way to deliver on the core aspects of our service through a robust operating system, a strong product, and the team we have assembled at Kickstarter today. 

According to the blog, Kickstarter’s Design & Product team lead Aziz Hasan will replace Chen as interim CEO.

This post is developing. Check back for updates.

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Here's how much a beer will cost you in 10 of the world's most expensive cities

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 4:21pm

  • The Economist Intelligence Unit recently released its annual report calculating the cost of living across cities worldwide.
  • The report lists the top 10 most expensive cities, including a three-way tie for the No. 1 spot between Singapore, Paris, and Hong Kong.
  • The report also compares city prices for food and drink items, including the average price of one 330 ml bottle of beer.

Three cities currently share the title of most expensive city in the world — Paris, Hong Kong, and Singapore — and, across those cities, the average price for a beer ranges from $1.77 and $2.27.

That's according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's Worldwide Cost of Living Report, which uses over 400 prices across 160 different products and services — including food and drink — to calculate rankings. Among these products is the average cost of a bottle of beer (330 ml).

Read more: Here's how much a bottle of wine costs in each of the world's 10 most expensive cities

Some cities, such as Copenhagen — home to major brewing company Carlsberg — saw price drops when compared to last year's average prices. New York, meanwhile, led the charge with the highest price per beer bottle.

Keep reading for a look at the cost of beer in 10 of the most expensive cities worldwide, along with some of the areas' best-known breweries. All prices are in USD.

SEE ALSO: 11 beers from around the world everyone should try

READ MORE: Singapore is holding on to its title as the most expensive city in the world — but this time, it's sharing the No. 1 spot with 2 other cities

Tel Aviv, Israel: $2.94

City ranking by cost of living: 10

Tel Aviv's price per beer bottle dropped 25 cents from last year's price of $3.19. Though Israel's two major breweries are located farther up the coast in Ashkelon and Netanya, Tel Aviv is home to micro-breweries such as The Dancing Camel Brewing Company.

Source: Time Out, Hareetz, Bloomberg, Tempo, Carlsberg

New York, USA: $3.33

City ranking by cost of living: 7 (tied with Copenhagen and Seoul)

New York has the highest price per bottle. The city is known for its breweries, and while many are upstate, several are located in the city area. Brooklyn especially is infamous for new pop-ups — including Circa Brewing Company and Five Boroughs Brewing Company — along with Williamsburg's Brooklyn Brewery, which was established in 1988. Overall, the price of beer in New York changed only eight cents, rising from last year's price of $3.25.

Source: Time Out, New York State Brewers' Association, City Brew Tours, NY State Senate, Brooklyn Brewery

Copenhagen, Denmark: $2.61

City ranking by cost of living: 7 (tied with New York and Seoul)

Home to the Carlsberg Group, Denmark's capital has been brewing beer for over 170 years. Copenhagen's price per bottle dropped almost 50 cents compared to last year, lowering its cost from $3.06.

Source: Carlsberg Group, Visit Denmark

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here's who's getting rich from Lyft's enormous IPO (LYFT)

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 4:21pm

  • The S-1 paperwork for Lyft's anticipated multibillion IPO is now open to the public.
  • It lists who the major shareholders are.
  • These are the people that will cash in big time should the stock sale go well.

The S-1 paperwork for Lyft's anticipated multibillion IPO is now open to the public, and it lists who the major shareholders are and how many shares they own. These are the executives and venture investors who will reap a huge financial windfall should the public love the stock and drive the share price up.

While we don't know exactly how much this IPO will enrich each one of the early investors until the shares are priced, Lyft has revealed a share price range, giving us a better idea of who will reap the biggest rewards when Lyft goes public. 

The company plans to sell just under 30.8 million Class A shares, which it plans to price between $62 and $68 each. That price could could higher if its roadshow with the initial investors goes well. At $68 per share, Lyft would be valued at roughly $20 billion, up from its last private financing round, which valued the company at $15 billion.

Only Class A shares will be sold to the public. Class B shares, which carry more voting power, are being split between Lyft's co-founders, Logan Green (who will own just over 60%) and John Zimmer (who owns just under 40%). So, even though they hold relatively small stakes of the public Class A shares, they will control nearly one-third, and nearly one-fifth of the total shareholder votes respectively.

If either of them were to sell their Class B shares (except in certain cases, like putting them in trust to a non-profit), they would convert to Class A shares, Lyft says in its documents. Therefore, for the sake of this estimate, we have calculated the value of the Class B shares as if they were Class A.

Here are all the people with sizeable stakes in the ride-hailing company:

SEE ALSO: Lyft kicks off 2019 unicorn IPO spree with public S-1

Logan Green, cofounder and CEO

Green and cofounder John Zimmer began their collaboration in 2007 with a service called Zimride that helped people find carpools via Facebook.

In 2012, they launched a ride-sharing service that used a mobile app called Lyft. It took off from there.

After the IPO Green will own 7,689,182 of Class B shares. At the high end, $68/share, this stake will be worth nearly $523 million.

John Zimmer, cofounder and president

Zimmer spent a lot of time in college finding carpoolers to share his ride as he regularly drove from Cornell in upstate New York to New York City. He was introduced to Green over Facebook by a mutual friend. A week after they met, they were working on Zimride together, so the story goes.

After the IPO, Zimmer will own 5,090,527 shares of Class B stock, which could be worth over $346 million.

Sean Aggarwal: 1.4 million shares

Sean Aggarwal is probably best known in Silicon Valley for his roles as the vice president of finance for eBay, PayPal, and Trulia. But he was an early angel investor and adviser for Lyft (joining the board in 2016).

And he's the Lyft executive with the largest Class A individual stake in the company, with just under 1.41 million shares, worth $95.6 million.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

JPMorgan just named its top cyber executive to run tech for retail banking as it steps up its focus on security (JPM)

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 4:15pm

  • JPMorgan Chase named Rohan Amin, previously the firm's global chief information security officer, the chief information officer of its consumer and community banking division.
  • Jason Witty, who previously served as US Bancorp's CISO, has been named JPMorgan's global CISO and head of cybersecurity and technology controls. 
  • Amin replaced Saul Van Beurden, who left the bank earlier this year for Wells Fargo, where he now serves as its head of technology.

JPMorgan Chase has promoted its top cyber security executive to lead technology for its retail banking division,  Business Insider has learned. 

Rohan Amin was named chief information officer of consumer and community banking (CCB) at JPMorgan Chase in recent months, according to an internal memo seen by Business Insider. Amin had previously served as the global chief information security officer and chief technology controls officer. 

In his new role, he'll oversee the technology for a client base of over 61 million households and four million small businesses managed by 135,000 employees. The move indicates the increasing focus and importance banks have put on cyber security in recent years, particularly when it comes to handling Main Street money. 

Amin reports to Gordon Smith, JPMorgan Chase's co-president and chief operating officer and CEO of CCB, and Lori Beer, the bank's global chief information office. 

Amin moves to the retail side of the bank after serving as its global chief information security officer for the past four years, overseeing cyber across all the banks businesses. Prior to joining JPMorgan in 2014, Rohan was at aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin, where he served as the director of global cyber and security solutions. 

Jason Witty, who recently served as US Bancorp's CISO, has filled the role of global CISO left open by Amin's promotion, according to a second internal memo seen by Business Insider. Witty is also JPMorgan's head of cybersecurity and technology controls, and reports to Beer.

Amin filled the role previously held by Saul Van Beurden, who left the bank in early January to join Wells Fargo, where was named head of technology. 

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New report claims Trump received around $2 billion in loans from Deutsche Bank

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 2:11am

  • President Donald Trump was loaned more than a cumulative $2 billion over several decades by Deutsche Bank, according to a new report from The New York Times published on Monday.
  • The Times spoke to more than 20 people who who either currently or previously worked as executives for Deutsche Bank, giving a broader look at the scope of the relationship.
  • The report highlighted the business relationship between Deutsche Bank and Trump, as investigations are being conducted by two committees in Congress and the New York attorney general.
  • Here's what we learned.

Deutsche Bank cumulatively loaned Donald Trump more than $2 billion over two decades when he was in real estate, according to a new report from The New York Times.

While Trump's relationship with Deutsche Bank — which dates back to the 1990s — is not entirely revelatory, The Times spoke to more than 20 people who who either currently or previously worked as executives for Deutsche Bank, giving a broader look at the scope of the relationship.

The bank was one of the few on Wall Street that would take a risk with Trump following his casino bankruptcies, The Times reported in 2016 ahead of that year's presidential election. ("Several bankers on Wall Street say they are simply not willing to take on what they almost uniformly referred to as 'Donald risk,'" The Times Susanne Craig reported.)

Deutsche Bank, however, was trying to make inroads into Wall Street by taking on clients that other banks would not work with, according to the Financial Times. Through their ongoing business, Trump owes Deutsche Bank around $300 million, the Financial Time reported in 2017.

The New York Times' Monday night report highlighted the business relationship between Deutsche Bank and Trump, as investigations are being conducted by two committees in Congress and the New York attorney general.

Here's what we learned:

  • Trump worked with the investment-banking division (including the commercial real-estate unit) and private-banking division.
  • He continued to get loans from the bank as recently as 2015, when a $170 million loan was underwritten for the transformation of the Old Post Office building in Washington, DC.
  • Trump continued to be loaned money despite his relationship souring with investment-banking executives: He filed a lawsuit against the bank in 2008 before part of a loan he took out to build Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago was due, claiming the financial collapse that year was an act of God.
  • One section of the investment-banking unit ended its relationship with Trump in 2004, after Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts defaulted on bonds.
  • Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, introduced him to Rosemary Vrablic, a private banker with Deutsche Bank.
  • Working with Vrablic, Trump secured funds to purchase Doral Golf Resort and Spa, and another $48 million for Chicago's Trump International Hotel and Tower.
  • The $48 million personal loan would be used to pay back the investment-banking loan. "Even by Wall Street standards, borrowing money from one part of a bank to pay off a loan from another division within the same bank was an extraordinary act of financial chutzpah," The Times called the decision.
  • Trump inflated his net worth on several occasions. He once said he was worth around $3 billion, but the bank said it was more like $788 million — yet Deutsche Bank continued to work with him.

Deutsche Bank is not without its own issues with US regulators unrelated to Trump, The Hill reports. In a statement to The Times, a spokeswoman said, "We remain committed to cooperating with authorized investigations." Business Insider contacted the White House, Deutsche Bank, and the Trump Organization for comment.

Read the full report at The New York Times »

SEE ALSO: Mueller reportedly subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for information on Trump and his family, Trump lawyer denies

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Why Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes wasn't interviewed for HBO's 'The Inventor' documentary

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 10:58pm

  • The disgraced founder of Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, is not interviewed in the HBO documentary, "The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley" (which premiered Monday night).
  • Director Alex Gibney told Business Insider about the process of trying to get her to go on camera, including a five-hour dinner with her, and why it never ended up happening.


Though there's a lot of footage of Elizabeth Holmes in Alex Gibney's latest HBO documentary, "The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley," which looks at the rise and fall of Holmes' company Theranos, the director never interviewed her on camera. But it wasn't for lack of trying. 

The Oscar winner said that in looking at Theranos — the blood-testing startup that made Holmes a billionaire on paper, until questions about how the tech actually worked led to the company's collapse — the first thing he did was reach out to Holmes and attempt to interview her. That was the start of a conversation that went on through most of the production of the doc and led nowhere.

The closest the production ever got to Holmes was a five-hour dinner one of the movie's producers, Jessie Deeter, had with Holmes.

"Most of it I think was spent with Elizabeth trying to get information from Jesse about what it was we were doing," Gibney told Business Insider.

But through Deeter's account of that dinner, Gibney and his team also got a sense of Holmes' mindset about the collapse of Theranos.

"It was clear that Elizabeth saw herself very much as the victim," Gibney said. "That she was being scapegoated because she was a woman. That if this happened to a man nobody would have cared. I think that's bull----, but anyway, that was her point of view."

This led to email exchanges between Gibney and Holmes that went on for months while he was making the movie. Gibney's pitch to Holmes was to come on camera and speak her truth. In response, Holmes would only say that perhaps later she would agree to an interview, when "Theranos was back on its feet" (as Gibney said Holmes put it).

Gibney said at one point Holmes tried to portray Theranos' fortunes improving as it received a $100 million loan. But even after that she never granted an interview.

"The silence was deafening," he said.

Gibney compared the interaction with Holmes to his time trying to interview WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for his 2013 documentary, "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks."

"I think it was the same amount of time, a five-hour meeting with Julian Assange that led to me not having access," Gibney said. "And that ended up turning out being a huge boon because the story then refocused on Chelsea Manning, where it properly should have been."

Read more: 100 hours of leaked footage, a bouncy house, and MC Hammer: How HBO's documentary on disgraced blood-testing company Theranos came together

And without the Holmes interview, the whistleblowers Tyler Shultz and Erika Cheung, who brought down Theranos, make up a big chunk of "The Inventor."

Gibney admitted he would have jumped through a lot of hoops to get Holmes on camera. But there comes a moment when it's not worth it anymore.

"At some point you realize you're being played," he said. "Access is kind of a double-edged sword. People sometimes grant access in exchange for being treated favorably, so you have to be very careful. Sometimes you can tell a better story when you don't have access."

"The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley" is available to stream on HBO GO/NOW.

SEE ALSO: The rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, who started Theranos when she was 19 and became the world's youngest female billionaire before it all came crashing down

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SEC rebukes Elon Musk, says his tweet about Tesla vehicle production was a 'blatant violation' of court settlement (TSLA)

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 9:49pm

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission says a tweet Elon Musk sent in February claiming that Tesla would produce 500,000 vehicles in 2019 was a "blatant violation" of a court settlement between himself, Tesla, and the agency.
  • Among other things, that settlement requires Tesla to appoint a "Twitter czar" who vets Musk's tweets for information material to Tesla before publishing.
  • The SEC, citing Musk's own words, accuses him of not doing that and says "there was never any good faith effort to comply with the Court's order."
  • Musk's lawyers criticized the SEC's latest filing on Monday, accusing the agency of making new allegations against the Tesla CEO.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, in a court filing on Monday, said a tweet Elon Musk published in February was a "blatant violation" of a $40 million court settlement that requires Tesla to appoint a "Twitter czar" who would vet his tweets for information material to the company before publishing.

The SEC filed a contempt-of-court claim against Musk over a February 19 tweet in which Musk said Tesla would produce 500,000 vehicles in 2019. Musk corrected the tweet about Tesla vehicle production hours after he sent it.

The Twitter czar was supposed to prevent the Tesla CEO from tweeting information about the electric carmaker that could unduly rattle the market. That order stems from a settlement reached between the SEC and Tesla in September over Musk's now-infamous "funding secured" tweet last year in which he said he was prepared to take the company private at $420 per share. Both Tesla and Musk were ordered to pay $20 million each in restitution.

Tesla implemented a new policy governing communications among its senior executives as part of the settlement.

Read more: MUSK FILES HIS DEFENSE: Says SEC seeks to violate his First Amendment rights and its filing 'smacks of retaliation and censorship'

The SEC accuses Musk of failing to have his tweets vetted and, instead, "unilaterally" deciding what is material information.

"The preapproval requirement was designed to protect against reckless conduct by Musk going forward," the SEC said in its filing on Monday. "It is therefore stunning to learn that, at the time of filing of the instant motion, Musk had not sought pre-approval for a single one of the numerous tweets about Tesla he published in the months since the Court-ordered pre-approval policy went into effect."

It continues: "Musk's shifting justifications suggest that there was never any good faith effort to comply with the Court's order and the Tesla Policy. Rather, Musk has simply elected to ignore them."

Musk's lawyers responded to the SEC's filing late Monday night, accusing the agency of making new allegations against the Tesla CEO, and asking the court give Musk time to respond.

This is the latest development in an ongoing dispute between Musk and the SEC. The Tesla CEO has not been coy about his disdain for the regulatory agency that he previously called the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission."

Legal experts cited by Reuters say the SEC still has a number of remedies it can pursue if the Musk settlement goes south. Those could include higher fines against Musk and tighter restrictions on his activities within the company.

Read the SEC filing in its entirety here:

SEC Response to Elon Musk's Response to Contempt Claim by Bryan Logan on Scribd

And read the response from Musk's attorneys here:

Elon Musk's Lawyers Respond to 3/18 SEC filing by Bryan Logan on Scribd

SEE ALSO: MUSK FILES HIS DEFENSE: Says SEC seeks to violate his First Amendment rights and its filing 'smacks of retaliation and censorship'

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AI experts are studying the way that kids' brains develop, and it could be a game-changer for the technology (GOOG, GOOGL)

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 9:18pm

  • Computer scientists developing artificial intelligence want their technology to be more like a child's brain.
  • Children's brains are great at collecting information and learning from cues in the world around around them, something that AI systems struggle with.
  • A cognitive development expert, along with AI specialists from Alphabet's DeepMind and Stanford discussed how a better understanding of the child's brain could provide the blueprint for the next generation of AI. 

STANFORD, California — At first take, it might not be clear why an expert in children's cognitive development was a featured speaker at a conference on artificial intelligence.

It turns out that kids — and those who understand how they learn — may have a lot to teach the experts in artificial intelligence about how to improve their systems.

AI systems have gotten good and swallowing gobs of data and using it to make predictions based on all that information, said Alison Gopnik on Monday during a panel discussion at an event here sponsored by the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence. But they're not very good at generalizing from small amounts of data, said Gopnik, a professor who studies cognitive development at the University of California, Berkeley. Nor are they good at collecting data on their own to make those generalizations or at learning about the world from the cues given by other intelligent entities around them, she added.

But babies and young children excel at all those things, she said.

"So those three things — model building, exploration, social learning — are some clues to how children can learn so much, and those are things that are just at the beginning in terms of what AI can do," said Gopnik, the author of "The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind."

Read this: AI could soon be all around us — here's how that could upend 8 different industries

AI researchers are already using what psychology experts such as Gopnik have discovered about the way children learn and applying them to their field. Gopnik herself is working with researchers at her university to develop AI systems that are meant to be curious, like kids. They're designed to go out and collect data on their own, she said. 

One of the key insights that's helped AI research advance so rapidly in the last five to 10 years has been the realization that they needed to design an actual curriculum, a teaching program for their systems, said Demis Hassabis, cofounder of Alphabet-owned AI lab DeepMind, who sat on the same panel as Gopnik. They couldn't expect their systems to master tasks immediately, but had to allow the systems to build up to those tasks incrementally by mastering steps along the way, Hassabis said.

"You can't just go from zero to one," he said. "You actually need to do easier versions of the task and build up in the way that we teach children."

One of the promises of patterning AI after the way children's brains develop is that the technology could be much more efficient. Instead of relying on huge data sets and lots of computing power to make sense of the world, such child-like AI systems could potentially rely on much less data and power, said Chris Manning, a professor of linguistics and computer science at Stanford's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

"You can get this orders of magnitude more efficient learning," Manning said.

Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at, message him on Twitter @troywolv, or send him a secure message through Signal at 415.515.5594. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

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Lyft's bankers are trying to compare the ride-hailing app to Grubhub and luxury retailer Farfetch — here's their pitch to investors (GRUB, FTCH)

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 8:06pm

  • Bankers will compare Lyft to "marketplace" companies, such as the food-delivery service Grubhub and the luxury-fashion retailer Farfetch, in their pitch to investors as the company gears up to go public next week, sources said.
  • They'll also pitch Lyft as comparable to high-growth internet companies, such as Netflix, as well as "platform" companies, such as Square and Facebook.
  • The companies Lyft gets compared to by investors could have a big influence on the company's price during its IPO. Lyft said on Monday that it expects to list with a valuation between $21 billion and $23 billion.

Lyft's bankers will compare the ride-hailing app to everything from a luxury-fashion retailer to a food-delivery service in their pitch to potential investors during the two-week IPO roadshow, which kicked off in New York City on Monday.

Lyft, which is expected to go public at the end of next week with a valuation between $21 billion and $23 billion, is set to be the first ride-hailing app to trade on the public markets.

It's both a challenge and an opportunity for the bankers leading the company's IPO, who are charged with helping investors understand exactly how to value the company and what other publicly traded firms it should be compared to when evaluating its value. 

Despite Lyft's ties to the automotive space through its work in autonomous vehicles and transportation technology, such as electric scooters, people familiar with the process said bankers will pitch Lyft as an internet "marketplace" on par with the food-delivery platform Grubhub and the luxury-fashion retailer Farfetch. Marketplaces are companies that connect sellers of a good or service to customers.

In addition to Grubhub and Farfetch, sources said bankers on the deal will compare Lyft to other marketplaces, including the creative goods site Etsy, the freelancing platform Upwork, the online travel operator Booking Holdings, and the home-services site ANGI (Angie's List). 

Some bankers think that Lyft is better suited to being compared to "platform companies" — basically, software companies that have grown based off of their ability to connect large networks of people. These include Facebook, Alphabet, the payments company Square, and the e-commerce platform Shopify. Others are looking to compare the company to other high-growth internet firms, such as Netflix and Argentina's e-commerce site MercadoLibre, the people said. 

The types of companies that investors choose to value Lyft against is very influential because tech companies generally trade at much higher multiples than those in the automotive industry. The car manufacturer General Motors, for example, which owns a stake in Lyft, has a price-earnings (P/E) ratio of 6.87, while Ford has a P/E ratio of 9.31. 

Meanwhile Grubhub has a P/E ratio of 90.31.

In the case of Lyft, price-earnings ratios are less relevant because the firm loses money. Lyft registered a nearly $3 billion loss in 2018, with $2.2 billion in sales. 

According to figures from Daniel Morgan, a senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust Company, Lyft's IPO range values it at about 6 times its estimated 2019 revenue of $3.3 billion.

While that's higher than the comparable ratio for companies such as Amazon, Facebook, and Netflix, Morgan said, "It's not 'too crazy' when we look at the P/S Ratio’s (price to sales) of other high profile tech names at the time they actually went public."

Snap, for example, went public at a valuation equivalent to 26.7 times sales, while Twitter went public at 13 times its sales. 

Farfetch went public in September 2018 at $6.2 billion — about 16 times its 2017 revenue and 10 times what it eventually reported in revenue for fiscal year 2018.

More on Lyft's IPO:

SEE ALSO: $1 billion Sequoia-backed data startup Health Catalyst has picked lead banks for its IPO

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Singapore is holding on to its title as the most expensive city in the world — but this time, it's sharing the No. 1 spot with 2 other cities

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 8:02pm

  • The Economist Intelligence Unit recently released its annual report, which lists the most expensive cities.
  • This year, the No. 1 spot is occupied by a three-way tie between Singapore, Paris, and Hong Kong.
  • Singapore has maintained the top position for the past five years, while Paris and Hong Kong both rose their standings to share the top seat.

This year's most expensive city title is split three ways, divided between Paris, Hong Kong, and the five-year winner Singapore.

The Economist Intelligence Unit announced the updated standings in their annual Worldwide Cost of Living report. The report compares prices of more than 160 items across 133 cities around the world to determine its final rankings. 

The only European city in the top seat, Paris moved up just one place from last year, when it was ranked No. 2. The city, known for its art and cuisine, is home to two of Europe’s richest people: Bernard Arnault and François Pinault. Arnault recently made headlines for surpassing Warren Buffett on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, while Pinault — the owner of Christie's auction house — continues to manage high-end brands such as the flourishing Gucci fashion house. The French capital is also home to some of the finest shopping and luxury hotels.

Read more: Take a look inside the best hotel in Europe, a boutique hotel in the heart of Paris with personal butlers, a hidden smoking room, and views of the Eiffel Tower

Rising up from its No. 4 position in 2018 is Hong Kong. The city has the highest concentration of superrich people, with approximately 93 billionaires. Business Insider's Katie Warren also reported that the city in southeast China has been among the most expensive cities for housing for the past eight years, with a market known for both its "nano" apartments and its mansions.

Read more: What it's like living in Hong Kong as a billionaire, where the ultra-rich live in high-security mansions and spend $16 billion a year betting on horse racing

Finally, though it now shares the title, Singapore continues to hold its first-place status — a distinction it has held for the past five years. It also remains the only city from last year's top 10 to keep its position.

Business Insider’s Lina Batarags previously reported that its top placement is in part because of the cost of buying and running a car, with government permits costing up to $37,000 apiece. With its five-year streak, Singapore is on track to follow Tokyo's lead, a city that held the No. 1 position for 12 years before Singapore surpassed it in 2014.

SEE ALSO: A new report reveals the 17 most popular housing markets for the world's richest people, and a notoriously expensive city is missing from the list

NOW READ: What it's like living as a billionaire in Singapore, where wealthy residents are worth a combined $1 trillion and limited land makes owning a house the ultimate 'status symbol'

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The president of $26.6 billion Atlassian explains the 'gnarly problem' that prompted its $166 million acquisition of AgileCraft (TEAM)

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 7:40pm

  • Atlassian will acquire the Texas-based startup AgileCraft for $166 million, the company announced on Monday.
  • AgileCraft helps companies with creating a "master plan" for building, managing, and delivering projects.
  • Jay Simons, Atlassian's president, explained why the company chose to acquire AgileCraft, which follows Atlassian's acquisitions of Opsgenie last October and Trello in 2017.

Atlassian announced on Monday that it will acquire the Texas-based startup AgileCraft for $166 million.

AgileCraft, which was founded in 2013, helps companies with building and managing their projects, essentially helping them create a "master plan." According to PitchBook, AgileCraft raised $10 million after raising its Series B round in 2015.

This deal, which comprises approximately $154 million in cash and the remainder in Atlassian restricted shares, is expected to close in early April.

"Customers that we've spoken to are really happy about the capability for businesses for agile planning at scale," Jay Simons, Atlassian's president, told Business Insider. "We've got lots of customers who don't have this capability. My hope is they see the acquisition announcement and join the happy family of customers who are using AgileCraft."

AgileCraft already has integrations with Atlassian's popular tools, and AgileCraft and Atlassian have overlapping customers, so this acquisition made sense, Simons said. AgileCraft will help Atlassian's customers with better planning, using data from other tools, such as Atlassian's Jira and Trello.

Read more: $25 billion Atlassian is releasing a new tool to help developers release code faster as it takes on GitHub

AgileCraft can also help companies better understand what they need to do and the roadblocks they face when delivering a project. If a certain part of a software project is lagging behind other teams, or its code is yielding more bugs, for example, AgileCraft can identify it. 

"For really large enterprises, this is a really gnarly problem," Simons said. "They need the ability to make these kinds of decisions. That's really what this is about."

Atlassian acquired Trello for $425 million in 2017, its largest acquisition to date. Atlassian also acquired Opsgenie in October for $295 million.

"Atlassian's overall strategy is to unleash the potential of every team," Simons said. "Oftentimes our tools get brought in there to solve collaborative development around technology problems."

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One of Facebook's biggest strengths risks backfiring on it after 2 key execs quit (FB)

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 6:14pm

  • Facebook has just lost two key execs, Chris Cox, its chief product officer, and Chris Daniels, the head of WhatsApp.
  • Their departures could spark further exits at the scandal-ridden company, an analyst said.
  • Facebook has a famously mission-driven culture — meaning these high-profile departures could shake others' faith in the company.

Facebook was shaken last week by the departures of two key executives — and it could be a sign of darker times to come.

On Thursday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Chris Cox, the company's chief product officer and one of his top lieutenants who had served at Facebook for more than decade, was quitting. Chris Daniels, the head of messaging at WhatsApp, is also leaving.

The reason for their departures? According to multiple news reports and hints in Cox's goodbye memo, it's their disagreement with Facebook's plans to shift to a more messaging-focused platform.

Their exits are yet another sign of upheaval at Facebook, which has been fraught with scandals over the past two years, and the latest in a growing line of execs to head for the exits. And, an analyst said, it could spark further departures and other issues down the road.

In a research note to investors published on Monday, Needham analyst Laura Martin said Facebook is at the risk of "negative network effects." Network effects, simply put, are when multiple things reinforce one another, making the "network" stronger as it grows. 

Facebook itself is a great example of this: As users flocked to sign up in the early days, the growing number of users made it more likely people you knew were on there, making you more likely to sign up, thereby encouraging others to sign up, too, and so on.

But network effects can work the other way, and in this case, one of Facebook's famous strengths — its incredibly strong mission-driven company culture — could work against it, Martin said.

"The type of Network Effect under siege at FB is based on 'Beliefs,' whereby each additional person that believes something makes it more likely that the next person will believe the same thing," she wrote. "When Chris Cox (Product Chief) and Chris Daniels (WhatsApp Chief) leave FB because they disagree with the strategic pivot CEO Mark Zuckerberg is instituting, this implies they no longer believe in FB."

She continued: "The problem with this is: a) other people in the organization will agree with them and leave also, and each person who leaves makes it more likely that the next person leaves; and b) the Silicon Valley is a competitive place for top talent and losing these senior executives from FB may cause them to land at a company that competes with FB, and they may recruit others."

In short: Facebook's executive departures could have a domino effect, encouraging others from the leadership team to lose faith and bail out — and in doing so, creating more attractive alternative employment options for former employees.

Facebook's stock dropped 3.5% on Monday after a slew of Wall Street analysts (including Martin) raised concerns around some of the issues facing the company — including privacy, the risk of regulation, and reputational damage caused by incidents such as the New Zealand shooting, which was livestreamed on Facebook's app.

Do you work at Facebook? Contact this reporter via Signal at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

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11 creative ways people have made $1 million

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 4:40pm

  • Building wealth often takes smart saving strategies, but there are creative ways to achieve millionaire status more quickly, too.
  • Some people get there by going viral, while others get there by selling uncommon things in new ways.
  • We took a look at 11 different ways people creatively made $1 million.

Getting rich is a long-term game ... for the most part.

While your best bet to accumulate wealth is to curb your spending, start investing, and develop "rich habits," there are some less conventional ways to make millions relatively quickly. 

Consider those who took advantage of social media and launched their own YouTube channel, like PewDiePie, or created a viral meme, such as the founder behind "I can has a cheezburger." Some also got creative when starting their own retail business — one kindergarten teacher sold lesson plans online, one woman sold secondhand clothes on an app, and one college student sold pixels for advertising space online.

Read more: 11 outrageous ideas that made people ridiculously rich

There are plenty of means by which you can grow your bank account if you think outside of the box. No guarantees these strategies will work for you, but here are 11 creative ways people achieved millionaire status.

Alyson Shontell and Kathleen Elkins contributed to a previous version of this article.

SEE ALSO: 10 teenagers who are probably making more money than you

DON'T MISS: Meet the world's richest millennials, who have a collective net worth of more than $235 billion

Scott DeLong launched a personal blog that was generating major income within eight months.

In mid-2013, Scott DeLong launched a one-person blog, ViralNova, and put a few Google ads on each page. Eight months later, he was generating six figures a month and millions of dollars annually, without a full-time staff or raising any money from outside investors.

ViralNova capitalized on social-friendly stories with catchy headlines that would explode on Facebook, and within a year, the site had grown to about 100 million monthly readers.

In 2015, DeLong sold his website to digital-media company Zealot Networks in a cash-and-stock deal that could be worth as much as $100 million if Zealot appreciates in value.

Dong Nguyen created a viral app in three days.

It only took Dong Nguyen three days to create the most popular game of 2014, "Flappy Bird."

Nguyen said he was making as much as $50,000 a day on his free app by running a tiny mobile ad banner at the top of the game, meaning he only needed to keep it in the App Store for 20 days to make $1 million.

That's just what he did. After about a month, Nguyen infamously pulled "Flappy Bird" from the App Store at the height of its popularity because he felt his game was "too addicting."

Amanda Hocking became a best-selling author by publishing books on Amazon Kindle — without a publishing deal.

Amanda Hocking was the best-selling "indie" writer on the Kindle store a few years ago, meaning she didn't have a publishing deal and got to keep 70% of her book sales. She was selling about 100,000 copies a month at $1 to $3 a pop, which set her on track to pocket a few million dollars.

She's not the only one making millions publishing Kindle books. Bob Mayer and Jen Talty built a seven-figure indie publishing house in just two years, which they detail in their book, "How We Made Our First Million on Kindle."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

$1 billion Sequoia-backed data startup Health Catalyst has picked lead banks for its IPO

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 4:29pm

  • Health Catalyst, a $1 billion healthcare-data startup, is interviewing banks for an initial public offering, according to multiple sources.
  • The company has hired Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan to lead the IPO process, according to one of the sources.
  • Health Catalyst announced a $100 million equity and debt financing round in early February that it said valued the company at more than $1 billion.

Health Catalyst, a Sequoia Capital-backed startup that stores and analyzes data for healthcare companies, is interviewing banks for an initial public offering expected later this year, according to multiple people familiar with the process.

The startup has hired Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan to lead the IPO process, one source said, and is interviewing banks for other roles. 

Health Catalyst, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan declined to comment.

The move toward an IPO comes just weeks after the company announced that it raised $100 million in equity and debt financing led by the healthcare-focused investor OrbiMed.

That round, announced on February 7, valued the company at more than $1 billion, the company said.

Health Catalyst was founded in Salt Lake City in 2008 by Steve Barlow and Tom Burton. It's led by CEO Dan Burton, who invested early in the company through his investment firm, HB Ventures.

SEE ALSO: $1 billion video-conferencing company Zoom is aiming for an April IPO

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The $43 billion combination of FIS and Worldpay could trigger a wave of M&A. Here are the deals that could be next. (FIS, WP)

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 4:15pm

  • Fidelity National Information Services, or FIS, is acquiring Worldpay in a deal valued at $43 billion, the companies announced Monday.
  • The deal is similar to Fiserv's acquisition of First Data in January, as it involves a financial-technology company (FIS) buying a payment processor (Worldpay).
  • Traditional players are looking to consolidate power and expand their offerings to fight off competition from newcomers such as Square.
  • Analysts suggested that Jack Henry & Associates, a direct competitor of FIS and Fiserv, would logically be the next company to look to make a deal in the space.

Like middle-schoolers at their first dance, financial-technology companies and payment processors are quickly pairing off in hopes of not being left alone in a space that's rapidly evolving.

Fidelity National Information Services and Worldpay on Monday became the second duo to take the plunge, announcing a deal valued at $43 billion. FIS and Worldpay were preceded by rivals Fiserv and First Data, which announced a $22 billion deal in January.

Gary Norcross, the chairman, president, and CEO of FIS, told Business Insider in an interview that customers were more interested in dealing with large, wide-reaching companies during periods of such rapid evolution.

"We are in a time of unprecedented pace of change, and in order to meet that unprecedented pace of change, you really do need global scale," Norcross said. "Our customers see a lot of disruptors coming in the industry, and they want to partner with someone that is large enough that can out-innovate or innovate on a scale that is dramatically different than some of the startups."

Wall Street analysts have largely viewed the latest acquisition as a natural progression.

"If you look at it, FIS is one of the biggest competitors to Fiserv. Worldpay is one of the biggest competitors to First Data," said Larry Berlin, a senior vice president who specializes in research at the venture-capital firm First Analysis. "If the first one made sense, then the second one makes sense. And there is always a chance that another one makes sense."

When asked whether Fiserv's purchase of First Data was motivation to make the deal, Norcross said FIS had for years considered buying Worldpay.

Read more: Fiserv's $22 billion deal for First Data is one of the biggest deals in fintech history, and already some on Wall Street are warning of a culture war

An executive at a credit-card company who declined to be named compared the deals in payment processing to what has recently occurred in media, where traditional powers such as 21st Century Fox and Disney and AT&T and Time Warner are seeking to compete with newer streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

The executive said the same thing was occurring in payment processing, where Square, led by Jack Dorsey, has picked up market share over the past decade.

"It is generally tied to the fact that people need to cut costs, they need to take action, and things are changing rapidly," the executive said. "So big companies tend to come together in those kinds of times."

Most analysts who studied the FIS-Worldpay deal were positive or neutral, categorizing it as a strategic move following the Fiserv-First Data deal that gives the companies scale. A note from SunTrust Robinson Humphrey raised issue with the risk exposure that FIS would get to big-box retail chains like Target or Walmart through buying a payment processor like Worldpay that deals with them.

As far as what company might be next, some analysts said they viewed Jack Henry & Associates as the most likely candidate. A direct competitor of FIS and Fiserv, Jack Henry might also feel the need to strike a deal, Arvind Ramnani, an equity research analyst for KeyBanc Capital Markets, told Business Insider.

"They may be the next to go," he said. "I think there is probably increased pressure for them to get combined with somebody else."

Another analyst suggested that the London tech giant Finastra would also be interested in combining. On the payments-processing side, the analyst said, two large independent players stand out: Total System Services, and Global Payments.

However, Simon Paris, Finastra's CEO, made a statement Monday suggesting the company had a different view than Fiserv or FIS on the benefits of acquiring a payments processor.

“Today’s mega deals in fintech and banking confuse the need for scale with the need for innovation and collaboration across the ecosystem," Paris said. "Consumers and financial service providers want differentiated products delivered digitally and securely.” 

Ramnani suggested that smaller companies, such as Q2, a digital-banking solutions provider, might be appealing to companies like FIS and Fiserv as they look to build out their offerings.

"Now that these guys are building scale, they might go acquire some more specialized, niche capabilities," Ramnani said.

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NOW WATCH: Elon Musk sent a $100K Tesla Roadster to space a year ago. It has now traveled farther than any other car in history.

Tilray is gaining ground after posting strong sales (TLRY)

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 3:34pm

  • Tilray beat on the top line but missed on the bottom line.
  • Its annual adjusted loss per share widened. 
  • The increased net loss was primarily due to the increase in operating expenses related to continued growth, expansion of international teams, and costs related to financings and the initial public offering, the company said. 
  • Watch Tilray trade live.

The cannabis producer Tilray reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat on revenue but missed on the bottom line, sending shares up 5.47% to $76.11 after Monday's closing bell.

Here are the key numbers, compared with what analysts surveyed by Bloomberg were expecting.

  • Adjusted loss per share: $0.33 versus $1.34 expected
  • Revenue: $15.5 million versus $15.07 million expected 
  • 2018 adjusted loss per share: $0.82, widened from $0.10 loss per share in 2017
  • 2018 revenue: $43.1 million, up 110.0%

"Our team made significant progress on our long-term initiatives including increasing production capacity, expanding and strengthening strategic partnerships, and acquiring complementary businesses to accelerate our future growth and leadership position in medical and adult-use cannabis," CEO Brendan Kennedy said in a press release. 

“Looking ahead, we remain committed to pursuing global growth opportunities and will be disciplined in deploying capital, particularly in the United States and Europe, where we believe we have multiple paths for value creation.”

The company said its wider net loss and adjusted EBITDA declines in 2018 were primarily due to the increase in operating expenses related to continued growth, expansion of international teams, and costs related to financings and the initial public offering.

Tilray debuted for trading on the Nasdaq in July, becoming the first cannabis company to have an initial public offering in the US. Since then, it has sped up developing its business.

In December, Tilray announced a partnership with a division of the Swiss drug giant Novartis AG, hoping to commercialize its non-smokable medical-cannabis products, develop new products, and educate pharmacists and physicians about cannabis.

In January, the company said it planned to acquire the cultivator Natura Naturals. The deal will allow Tilray to expand its capacity to supply high-quality branded cannabis products to the Canadian market.

Tilray shares were little changed this year through Monday.

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I was such a bad micromanager that all my employees quit — and it taught me the one trait all powerful leaders need

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 3:21pm

  • Joana Galvão is the co-founder of Gif Design Studios, an award-winning design agency.
  • When she first started her company, she micromanaged her employees by literally watching them over their shoulders and interrupting them to tweak their work.
  • She does nearly everything differently these days, but the most important change to her leadership style was adding a lot more humility.

“You don't learn to walk by following rules, you learn by doing and by falling over,” Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson has written. That’s true, but falling over also hurts. Even better than learning from your own painful mistakes is learning from someone else’s, which is why I’d like to tell you the story of how my micromanaging led my first employees to quit.

Salaries and cake don’t make up for micromanaging

I was incredibly young when I started my design agency at just 22 years old, and like many young bosses, I worried about whether my employees would respect someone with so little experience under her belt. I responded by hiring two designers straight out of college who were even younger than me.

I was completely inexperienced as a leader, but I was determined to be a good boss. I paid my employees extremely generously. I made sure they were working on cool projects. I took them out to lunch. I even personally baked them birthday cakes.

But, in hindsight, I realized I also micromanaged them. The same anxiety about my performance that led me to insist on hiring grads fresh out of university caused me to watch them like a hawk. Their desks were placed so I was literally staring over their shoulders. After I would close a lead, I would hand work off to them, instructing them exactly how and when to complete it. When other work would come in, I’d demand they drop what they were doing. I’d take over their projects mid-flow to adjust things.

After about a year, the inevitable happened. Both employees called me into a meeting and demanded huge raises before reeling off a long list of complaints, from the uncomfortable chairs to a lack of public recognition for their contributions. I was stunned, and even though I tried to offer some concessions and one a bump in pay, they quit that very day. Weeks later, they even attempted to poach my clients by undercutting my prices.

Luckily, my clients were all very nice and told my ex-employees that integrity was more important than talent or cost. But without staff, I lost important clients as I simply couldn’t keep up with their needs.

I was hurt. I was mad, and then after about a month of moping around feeling like a failure and a terrible boss, my husband gave me a talking-to. “Lesson learned. Do it again,” he told me. “You’re going to be better next time.”

I picked myself up and I started the process of hiring again, determined to do everything better the second time around.

Discovering the power of humility

Four years later, I have a team of 10. I’ve done nearly everything differently this time around, but the most important change to my leadership style was adding a lot more humility.

The funny thing about being a young boss is that you feel like you need to prove yourself all the time — to prove you know more than your team and have all the answers. When I first started my company I felt like I had to hire people younger than me because that was the only way they would respect me. I also never dared to ask for their opinion, or what they thought our agency needed to be better.

But that’s the wrong approach. Respect as a leader, I learned, doesn’t come from being more skilled or more experienced. You don’t need to know how to do everything better. Instead, you need to know how to admit your own limitations and respect and support the essential contributions of others.

The second time around I wasn't afraid to hire people older than me. I hired designers who knew things I didn't and taught them to me. One of my designers has five years more experience than me. My project manager is 10 years older than me.

In order to tap into that experience, I had to start being more open about what I don’t know. I’ve learned to admit, "I have no clue how to solve this." There's nothing wrong as a leader with saying, “I think we're better figuring this out together."  I set the vision, I bring in the clients, I make the final decisions, but my team’s ideas are just as valid and valuable as mine.

That’s reflected in how I run my business in so many ways now. When I brought my current team on, we went through a branding exercise together so that the website reflects all of our contributions and visions. Their names are on each project they lead. Peering over shoulders has been replaced with morning check-ins, Slack, scheduling flexibility, and lots of team activities.

That’s been great for the atmosphere in the office and the quality of our work. It’s also been great for the business, which is growing steadily, and for retention. I’ve kept my team for four years now, even though other agencies have tried to lure them away.

But it’s also been great for me personally as a leader. It feels like a weight has lifted from my shoulders, like it’s no longer all down to me to figure everything out. Instead, we — all of us — are in it together. Getting to this place meant I had to stop micromanaging, but doing that, I discovered, really meant confronting my fears about being such a young leader.

When I was scared to show my inexperience, everything fell apart. When I was brave enough to admit it and ask for help, amazing things happened. I hope other young founders can learn from my fumble without having to take the same painful knock I did. Humility, not control, is what makes you a great leader.

Joana Galvão is the co-founder of Gif Design Studios, an award-winning design agency specialized in brand identities and conversion-obsessed design. Based in Porto, Portugal, with a team of 10 designers and developers, Gif Design Studios offers the full range of print and digital design services to industry leaders in seventeen countries on five continents. Joana speaks internationally on the power of design and creativity and her work has been featured in the Guardian UK, Brand Brilliance, and Digital Arts magazine.

SEE ALSO: Bill Gates says he's happier at 63 than he was at 25 because he does 4 simple things

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NOW WATCH: There's a secret room behind Mount Rushmore that's inaccessible to tourists

14 of the most important early Facebook employees — and where they are now

Sun, 03/17/2019 - 3:11pm

  • On March 14, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the departure of two key executives: chief product officer Chris Cox and head of WhatsApp Chris Daniels.
  • Cox and Daniels join a long list of Facebook employees who have left the company.
  • We took a look at where 14 of the most important Facebook employees throughout the company's history are now.

On March 14, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the departure of Chris Cox, chief product officer and longtime employee of Facebook.

Cox joined the team in 2005, one year after Facebook’s inception. Cox, along with head of WhatsApp Chris Daniels, now join the ranks of other execs formerly employed at Facebook. Some, like Cox, worked with Zuckerberg for over a decade, while others stayed only a few years.

Read more: Facebook is being abandoned by top executives. Here's everyone who has left since the Cambridge Analytica catastrophe last year.

We took a look at these employees who impacted the course of the company's development, from some of its earliest founding members to its most recent big names. Alongside Cox and Daniels, the list includes Zuckerberg’s Harvard roommates Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. The list also includes employees still working for the company, such augmented and virtual-reality vice president Andrew Bosworth and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.

Keep reading for a look at some of Facebook’s most important employees.

SEE ALSO: A red flag in a Facebook exec's goodbye letter shows there's bad blood over Mark Zuckerberg's radical privacy plan

SEE ALSO: Facebook is now 15 years old. Here's a look into the life, career, and controversies surrounding CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

Years employed at Facebook: 2004-present

Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook during his sophomore year at Harvard University in 2004. Still the company's reigning CEO, Zuckerberg has seen many milestones, from the company's first appearance on the New York Stock Exchange to its acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

More recently, Zuckerberg and Facebook have come under fire for scandals around the 2016 presidential election and Cambridge Analytica's acquisition of Facebook users' personal data. Zuckerberg appeared before Congress in April of 2018.

Source: Business Insider

Chris Cox

Years employed at Facebook: 2005-2019

Chris Cox joined Facebook in 2005 and was one of the company's earliest employees. The chief technology officer built several of the company's core products, including the News Feed. Cox worked with Zuckerberg for 13 years.

News of his departure broke on March 14 and marks the most significant departure from the company in years.

Source: Business Insider, The New York Times

Adam D'Angelo

Years employed at Facebook: 2004-2008

Adam D'Angelo joined Facebook in 2004, and worked at the company for five years as its chief technology officer. He also served as the vice president of engineering, and initially headed the Facebook Platform team building newsfeed and ad targeting infrastructure.

D'Angelo left the company in 2008 to found question-and-answer site Quora alongside another former Facebook employee, Charlie Cheever.

Source: Business Insider, Forbes

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here's the pitch deck this Austin, Texas, entrepreneur used to raise millions for a startup inspired by Mark Zuckerberg's congressional testimony (FB)

Sun, 03/17/2019 - 11:30am

  • When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress last April, many in the tech industry joked about the out-of-touch questions he fielded from lawmakers. 
  • Serial entrepreneur Arlo Gilbert, however, saw a big opportunity and created Osano.
  • Most people don’t really understand the basics of what happens when they sign up for a service such as Facebook or Google, he said.
  • Osano consolidates online companies' terms of service and privacy policies into a simple score, similar to ones used to rate consumers' credit risks.
  • Below is the pitch deck that Gilbert used to raise $3 million for Osano in a seed round. 

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress last April, many in the tech industry joked about the out-of-touch questions directed at him by lawmakers. 

Serial entrepreneur Arlo Gilbert, however, saw a business opportunity. 

"They were asking, 'Do you still track me after I log out of Facebook,'" Gilbert said in a recent interview with Business Insider. "And I'm like, 'Of course they do! They cookied you. They're tracking you everywhere you go!" 

But he realized from the questions that most people don’t really understand what they're agreeing to when they sign up for a service like Facebook or Google, particularly about what the service will do with their data.

That's because "all that information is buried in like a 28-page legal document," he said.

So, he created Osano to help consumers out. The Austin, Texas, startup distills terms of service and privacy policies of various online companies into simple, easy-to-understand scores. The ratings are similar to FICO scores, which assess consumers' individual credit risks. So far, Osano has issued scores for about 400 services.

"The companies that you might expect to be best actors are sometimes the worst," said Gilbert, who started his first multi-million dollar tech company in his University of Texas dorm room nearly 20 years ago. "Sometimes the ones you hear most about, like the Facebooks and the Googles of the world, they kind of fall in the middle."

Osano offers its scores to consumers for free through Privacy Monitor, a browser plugin and smartphone app that's available for the Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers and for Android devices. The company has developed a version of the app for iPhones and iPads that's awaiting approval and release by Apple. Osano also plans to release a paid service targeted at enterprise customers later this year. 

"The internet is getting wrecked, not only by companies burying stuff, but also by people not understanding what they're signing up for," Gilbert said. "Our mission is to create transparency with data." 

He's already convinced some investors about Osano's potential. Earlier this month, Gilbert announced he had raised $3 million in a seed-funding round. LiveOak Venture Partners led the round, joined by Indeed co-founder Rony Kahan and other notable angel investors. 

Here is the pitch deck that helped Gilbert and Osano raise their $3 million seed round, updated for a pitch competition that took place just after they closed (some sensitive information has been redacted):

SEE ALSO: Here's the pitch deck this 29-year-old Russian-born VC used to convince investors to contribute millions to her fund

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Facebook is on the lookout for foreign spies trying to infiltrate the company (FB)

Sun, 03/17/2019 - 11:00am

On a day-to-day basis, Facebook's security team has its hands full dealing with the hoards of people that turn up at the company's offices to complain about their accounts, attempt to meet Mark Zuckerberg, or just try to look around.

But the California social-networking giant also has to consider the possibility of more serious threats — among them, the risk that foreign spies might try to insinuate themselves into its workforce.

Facebook has never "detected or identified" any foreign spies attempting to infiltrate the company, Nick Lovrien, the tech behemoth's chief global security officer, said in an interview with Business Insider. But Facebook actively prepares for that possibility and has plans in place to try and mitigate the risk it would pose, he said.

"We work to protect intellectual property in many ways, and that's everything from making sure [employees'] computer screens on airplanes are covered so people don’t accidentally share information they're not supposed to, to accidentally leaving things on the printers ... to white boards being cleaned at night," Lovrien said, adding that Facebook has additional systems in place "that identify if people are inappropriately accessing information they shouldn't have."

Concerns are growing about state-sponsored industrial espionage

That's not just a theoretical risk. In the last six months, two Chinese Apple employees working on the company's secretive self-driving car project have been charged with stealing the iPhone maker's trade secrets. Meanwhile, the US government has alleged that tech giant Huawei — which has been been accused of having close ties to the Chinese government — offers bonuses to employees for stealing confidential information from other companies. Such reports have sparked global concerns about intellectual-property theft and state-sanctioned spying.

Facebook, then, is by no means unique among big-tech companies in having to prepare for that kind of threat. But Lovrien's remarks highlight how, when it comes to securing Facebook from foreign interference, the company and its security chief need to consider both the safety of its social network and the the security of its physical premises.

"That's something that [all US-based companies] are concerned about — nation-state actors — and that is something that we absolutely are concerned about," Lovrien said, adding that "we implement many measures that work to mitigate those potential risks."

Business Insider has spoken with numerous current and former employees and reviewed internal documents for an in-depth investigation into how Facebook handles its corporate security.

Sources described a hidden world of stalkers, stolen prototypes, state-sponsored espionage concerns, secret armed guards, car-bomb concerns, and more. Today, there are a staggering 6,000 people in Facebook's global security organization, working to safeguard the company's 80,000-strong workforce of employees and contractors around the world.

Read Business Insider's full investigation into Facebook's corporate security »

Got a tip? Contact this reporter via Signal or WhatsApp at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

SEE ALSO: Facebook has armed guards covertly patrolling its idyllic Silicon Valley headquarters

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