24. April 2017
Source: The Guardian
The rich used to show how much they could spend on things they didn’t need. Today, a public display of productivity is the new symbol of class power
Apple CEO Tim Cook says he starts each day at 3.45am, while Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer had talked about her 130-hour workweek.
Almost 120 years ago, during the first Gilded Age, sociologist Thorstein Veblen coined the term “conspicuous consumption”. He used it to refer to rich people flaunting their wealth through wasteful spending. Why buy a thousand-dollar suit when a hundred-dollar one serves the same function? The answer, Veblen said, was power. The rich asserted their dominance by showing how much money they could burn on things they didn’t need.
While radical at the time, Veblen’s observation seems obvious now. In the intervening decades, conspicuous consumption has become deeply embedded in the texture of American capitalism. Our new Gilded Age is even more Veblenian than the last. Today’s captains of industry publicize their social position with private islands and superyachts while the president of the United States covers nearly everything he owns in gold. Read the rest of this entry »
22. August 2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal
The ultimate question facing Tim Cook five years into his tenure as chief executive: Are Apple’s best days behind it?
One of the most important succession plans in corporate history will hit a milestone this week.
Five years ago, Apple Inc.’s iconic and visionary co-founder Steve Jobs passed the torch to his handpicked successor, Tim Cook. The official transition took place six weeks before Mr. Jobs passed away.
Now Apple is the world’s largest company by market value and remains one of the most influential. Its $53 billion in net income last year was greater than the combined earnings of technology behemoths Facebook Inc., Google’s parent Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Apple recently sold its billionth iPhone. Read the rest of this entry »
4. May 2016
The Apple CEO is on the defensive as iPhone sales are falling
Apple CEO Tim Cook believes the negative sentiment around his company lately is overblown.
Speaking with CNBC’s Jim Cramer, Cook defended Apple’s performance after billionaire investor Carl Icahn sold his position in the company. “I think that’s a huge overreaction,” Cook said. “We just had an incredible quarter by absolute standards.”
Icahn’s move was largely due to Apple’s lagging performance in China, the investor told CNBC. The Cupertino, Calif. company revealed in its most recent earnings report that its revenue there, its second-biggest market, fell by 26%. Still, Cook told Cramer that he “could not be more optimistic about China.”
Apple’s iPhone sales, down 16%, also disappointed Wall Street analysts in the most recent quarter. Additionally, the firm offered a less rosy view of its future than analysts expected. “It was a pretty good quarter,” said Cook. “But not up to the street’s expectations clearly.” Read the rest of this entry »