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Google CEO Sundar Pichai Backs Racial Equality Campaign Amid Protests in US

Photo of Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google

Photo of Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google

“We stand in support of racial equality, and all those who search for it”, Pichai said.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: June 1, 2020, 12:05 PM IST

Google and YouTube on Sunday put a black ribbon on its home page in the US, showing solidarity for protests against the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in police custody. “We stand in support of racial equality, and all those who search for it,” the message read on the Google home page.

The same message was also placed on the US home page of Google-owned YouTube. Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted: “Today on US Google & YouTube homepages we share our support for racial equality in solidarity with the Black community and in memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery & others who don’t have a voice.

“For that feeling grief, anger, sadness & fear, you are not alone,” Pichai added. Last week, a policeman choked an African-American man Floyd, to death by kneeling on his neck in Minneapolis.

Several states in the US erupted in protests after the video went viral. The riots stretching from New York on the east coast to Los Angeles on the west rocked the nation that was just beginning to relax the Covid-19 restrictions threatening to spread the disease. The force of the protests that have turned violent comes from the ongoing brutality against minorities by police with two other recent cases adding to the fury behind the killing of Floyd.




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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Donates Another $10 Milliion To Help Those Affected by Covid-19 in US

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter. (Image: Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter. (Image: Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

Dorsey also donated $10 million this month to help prisons in the US fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 27, 2020, 4:35 PM IST

Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey has donated $10 million to Project 100 which will give $1,000 in cash to 10,000 families who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Project 100 is a joint effort between nonprofits GiveDirectly, Propel and Stand for Children, and has raised nearly $84 million since April.

It aims to raise $100 million in order to provide cash gifts to 100,000 American families. Other donors to Project 100 include Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, billionaires Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin and MacKenzie Bezos.

Dorsey also donated $10 million this month to help prisons in the US fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The donation was given to criminal justice advocacy group REFORM Alliance that would buy 10 million face masks and personal protective equipment (PPEs) for prisoners and other employees.

“$10mm to @REFORM Alliance to get PPE to every prison and jail in America, all towards their mission of reforming the criminal justice system,” Dorsey tweeted. The funds come from Dorsey’s #startsmall initiative, which has $1 billion in total, given by Dorsey in April using equity from his mobile payment company Square. So far, Dorsey who has a net worth at $4.8 billion, has distributed $85 million worth of Square stock to more than 50 nonprofits since April.




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IBM Fires Thousands of Employees in US as New CEO Looks For Revival

Representative Image: Reuters

Representative Image: Reuters

IBM, however, did not disclose how many workers are affected but reports said thousands of employees are set to lose jobs in at least five US states.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 25, 2020, 9:35 AM IST

Arvind Krishna-led tech giant IBM has joined the league of companies who have started firing employees in tough Covid-19 times. The company confirmed the layoffs in a statement given to the media late Friday.”Recognizing the unique and difficult situation this business decision may create for some of our employees, IBM is offering subsidized medical coverage to all affected US employees through June 2021,” said a company spokesperson.

“While we always consider the current environment, IBM’s workforce decisions are in the interest of the long-term health of our business,” said the company, adding that the “highly competitive marketplace requires flexibility to constantly remix high-value skills”.Both Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) and IBM have announced significant cost-cutting measures, including pay cuts and significant job losses, reports Ars Technica. IBM, however, did not disclose how many workers are affected but media reports said thousands of employees are set to lose jobs in at least five states in the United States.

HPE also announced its cost-cutting plans “as part of its more recent quarterly earnings report”. The company will cut some salaries through October 31, with executives taking pay cuts of 20 to 25 per cent. According to Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, he is hearing it’s a balancing act between business units. “IBM is moving as many resources as it can to the cloud. Essentially, you lay off some of the people without the skills you need and who can’t be re-educated and you bring in people with certain skill sets. So not a net reduction in headcount,” Moorhead told TechCrunch. The company acquired Red Hat for $34 billion in 2018.




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HP To Implement Major Cost Cuts, Reduces CEO Pay by 25% Due to Covid-19 Crisis

HP logo

HP logo

HP also decided to cut by 25% the portion of the annual $100,000 cash retainer entitled by directors for the same period

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: May 22, 2020, 2:44 PM IST

Hewlett Packard Enterprise on Thursday unveiled a plan targeting gross savings of at least $1 billion (817.5 million pounds) by 2022 and cut the base salaries of top executives by 25% as the software maker seeks to weather the coronavirus crisis. Shares, down about 35% this year, fell nearly 6% in extended trading after the company missed second-quarter revenue and profit estimates, hit by global lockdowns since February.

Chief Executive Officer Antonio Neri flagged concerns about cautious consumers and supply constraints during a post-earnings call. Beginning July 1, through the remainder of the fiscal year 2020, the base salaries of the CEO and officers at the executive vice president level will be reduced by 25%, HPE said.

The board also agreed to cut by 25% the portion of the annual $100,000 cash retainer entitled by directors for the same period. HPE will now focus on investments and realign its workforce to evolve with its supply chain and real estate strategies, as well as right-size the business.

“My expectation is at least 50% of our employees will never come back to an office,” Neri said on the call. HP, which in April withdrew its 2020 forecast, posted second-quarter adjusted earnings of 22 cents per share, missing the average analyst estimate of 29 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Revenue of $6.01 billion also missed an estimate of $6.29 billion.




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TikTok Ropes in Long-time Disney's Head of Streaming Kevin Mayer as New CEO

Kevin Mayer, Disney's head of direct-to-consumer division, on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, USA. (Pic Source: Reuters)

Kevin Mayer, Disney’s head of direct-to-consumer division, on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, USA. (Pic Source: Reuters)

During his career at Disney, Mayer was instrumental in facilitating a number of strategic acquisitions, including the acquisition of 21st Century Fox.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 19, 2020, 11:48 AM IST

Long-time Disney’s head of streaming Kevin Mayer is going to be the CEO of short-video making platform TikTok and chief operating officer of ByteDance which is the owner of TikTok. Alex Zhu, the current President of TikTok, will transition to ByteDance VP of Product and Strategy, where he will focus on his primary passion overseeing strategy and product design, ByteDance said in a statement late Monday.

Mayer led Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International segment since its founding in 2018 and oversaw the successful launches of ESPN+ and Disney+ and the integration of Hulu. During his career at Disney, Mayer was instrumental in facilitating a number of strategic acquisitions, including the acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Mayer will now report directly to ByteDance Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Yiming Zhang, and will be charged with driving the global development of ByteDance, as well as overseeing corporate functions including corporate development, sales, marketing, public affairs, security, moderation, and legal.

In his role as COO, he will lead music, gaming, Helo, emerging businesses, and will serve as CEO of TikTok, leading the rapidly growing platform as it continues to build its global community of creators, users, and brands. TikTok’s popularity has surged in Covid-19 times worldwide. “As one of the world’s most accomplished entertainment executives, Mayer is incredibly well placed to take ByteDance’s portfolio of products to the next level. I look forward to working very closely with Mayer on our global development and the next chapter of the ByteDance story,” said Zhang. Mayer said he is thrilled to have the opportunity to join the amazing team at ByteDance.

“I’ve been impressed watching the company build something incredibly rare in TikTok – a creative, positive online global community – and I’m excited to help lead the next phase of ByteDance’s journey as the company continues to expand its breadth of products across every region of the world,” he noted. Founded in 2012, ByteDance has more than a dozen products, including TikTok, Helo, and Resso, as well as platforms specific to the China market, including Toutiao, Douyin, and Xigua.

Mayer’s role at Disney will be taken over by Rebecca Campbell, who has been named chairman of Disney’s direct-to-consumer efforts. Disney also announced that Josh D’Amaro would become chairman of Disney’s parks, experiences, and products.



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All Zomato Gold Members to Get an Extension of Four Months: CEO Deepinder Goyal

Image for Representation.

Image for Representation.

The company has also made its “contactless dining” free for all restaurants across India and other global destinations for a period of at least six months.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 11, 2020, 12:07 PM IST

Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal on Monday announced to extend all Gold memberships across countries by four more months. In March, Zomato extended Gold memberships by two months, acknowledging that dining out plans would be affected in COVID-19 pandemic, hoping things would get better quickly. The new announcement covers India, the UAE, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Philippines, Indonesia, Turkey and Lebanon. “India and all our other Gold countries are still a few months away from being able to use and enjoy their Zomato Gold benefits. In India though, members continue to avail Gold privileges on food delivery,” tweeted Goyal.

“We will continue to monitor the situation very closely, and make every effort to ensure customer and staff safety when restaurants open up again and are ready to welcome Gold members,” he added. The company has also made its “contactless dining” free for all restaurants across India and other global destinations for a period of at least six months. Restaurants in India, the UAE, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Portugal, Philippines, Indonesia, and Lebanon will have to only bear the payment gateway fee and Zomato won’t charge any fee from them. “This will inevitably exert significant pressure on our own finances, but I am sure we will survive if the restaurant industry does well. We are all in this together,” Goyal said last month.

Contactless dining has three main components, contactless menu, contactless ordering and contactless payment. Zomato said it is building additional features on the app — such as the ability to order multiple courses, and the option to pay for self or the entire table — to ensure a hassle-free dining experience.




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Companies Are Relying on AI, Hybrid Cloud More Than Ever Due to COVID-19: IBM CEO

Image for Representation.

Image for Representation.

Arvind Krishna said that the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the importance of AI and hybrid cloud and has changed the pace in which they are being adopted.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: May 6, 2020, 3:07 PM IST

Digital transformation using artificial intelligence and hybrid cloud has accelerated amid the COVID-19 pandemic and these new technologies can play an important role in helping companies gain competitive advantage, IBM Chief Executive Officer Arvind Krishna said on Tuesday. Speaking during a keynote at the IBM’s Think Digital 2020 conference, Krishna, who took charge last month, said the pace of adoption of transformation journeys by enterprises has been “compacted” into months.

“The importance of hybrid cloud and AI has accelerated. What has changed is the pace at which they’re being adopted. Transformation journeys (of) last few years are now being compacted into months…They’re looking for long-lasting answers on what they can do with technology to address the key issues that COVID-19 has brought to light,” he said. He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised on the “critical importance of technology solutions that enable speed, flexibility, insight and innovation”. “Choosing which technology platforms power your business is the most consequential decision you can make. Technology platforms are the basis for competitive advantage in the 21st century.

“They determine how quickly you can pivot to new market opportunities, how well you serve your clients, how much you can scale. And how fast you can respond to a crisis, like the one we are facing today,” he said. Krishna added that the scenario also presents an opportunity to develop new solutions, new ways of working and new partnerships that will benefit companies and their customers.

IBM has announced a broad range of AI-powered capabilities and services that are designed to help chief information officers automate their IT infrastructures to be more resilient to future disruptions and to help reduce costs.

He also announced the launch of three new initiatives focused on artificial intelligence, 5G technologies for telcos and public cloud. The company is also running a challenge for developers across the world called ‘Call for Code’ which is looking for solutions on climate change and COVID-19 crisis, Krishna said, adding that the challenge is open till July for the pandemic. “As difficult as these times might be, we see plenty of light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Acquitted of Casteism Charge by Rajasthan High Court

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter. (Image: Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter. (Image: Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

The verdict was passed on a controversial FIR that claimed the Twitter founder had posted a “highly objectionable” photo that hurt Brahmin sentiments.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: April 8, 2020, 3:38 AM IST

The Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday quashed the FIR filed against Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and disposed of the plea for his arrest for allegedly hurting the sentiment of the Brahmin community by posting a “highly objectionable” photograph on social media. “The court did not find the offence made out against Dorsey and said allowing investigation in the matter by police was absolutely uncalled for,” said Dorsey’s counsel Sandeep Kapoor.

Kapoor said the court observed that the FIR did not disclose “necessary ingredients” of any cognizable offence to warrant its registration and investigation. The FIR was filed by Raj Kumar Sharma, a Jodhpur resident, through the court in November 2018 alleging that Dorsey hurt the sentiment of the Brahmin community by posting the photograph on Twitter, with a poster in his hand stating “Smash Brahminical Patriarchy” during his India visit.

By posting the highly objectionable photograph on Twitter, the accused maligned the Brahmin society at large and acted in a manner likely to induce religious hatred towards the community on the whole,” Sharma stated in his complaint. Allowing the miscellaneous petitions by Dorsey and a journalist, Justice Sandeep Mehta said, “I am of the opinion that allowing investigation in the matter to be continued is absolutely uncalled for.”

Referring to the phrase ascribed as objectionable by the complainant, the court said these words could not be construed as having any direct link with the religious sentiment of any section of society. The words in the poster best convey the feelings of the concerned person regarding being strongly opposed to the Brahminical patriarchal system and desirous of denouncing the same,” it said.

Dorsey and the journalist Anna M.M Vetticad had moved the court with a criminal miscellaneous petition praying for quashing of the FIR. In December last year, the court did not quash the FIR but stayed the arrest.

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Snap CEO Suspends April 2 Partner Summit, Asks Employees to Work from Home

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel has asked all employees to work from home and has postponed the company’s planned partner summit. The April 2 event for Snapchat developers, advertisers and creators before getting postponed the event was moved to an online-only presentation amid coronavirus fears.

“We don’t feel like it would be appropriate to celebrate our partners in the midst of a global health crisis. I am so grateful for the tireless efforts and hard work of all of our team members working to make SPS possible – and I can’t wait to share all of the amazing things we have created when the time is right,” the report quoted Spiegel.

Snap’s offices will remain open and the company is coordinating with team members in critical business functions who need to be in the office to ensure business continuity, while most workers staying home. A number of other companies including Google, Twitter and Amazon have encouraged their employees in some areas hit by coronavirus to work from home.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. The virus has spread globally, infecting over 118,000 people and killing more than 4,000.

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IBLA 2020: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Wins Global Indian Business Icon

CEO, Microsoft, Satya Nadella won 'Global Indian Business Icon' award at the 15th edition of India Business Leader Awards held at Trident, Nariman Point in Mumbai on February 28, 2020. (Image: News18)

CEO, Microsoft, Satya Nadella won ‘Global Indian Business Icon’ award at the 15th edition of India Business Leader Awards held at Trident, Nariman Point in Mumbai on February 28, 2020. (Image: News18)

The CNBC-TV18’s 15th India Business Leader Awards’ (IBLA) night was held in Mumbai on Friday. The event honoured high-achievers, outstanding leaders and true visionaries of corporate India.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: February 29, 2020, 12:08 PM IST

CNBC-TV18’s 15th India Business Leader Awards’ (IBLA) ceremony was held in Mumbai on last night. The event honoured high-achievers, outstanding leaders and true visionaries of corporate India. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was recognised as the Global Indian Business Icon at IBLA 2020.

While Nadella couldn’t be at the award ceremony, he was recently in India on a three-day tour and hosted the Microsoft Future Decoded summit in Bangalore on Tuesday, 25 February. The key theme of the conference highlighted the use of Microsoft’s cloud and AI tools, as well as enterprise data management technologies in Indian firms and startups. While the primary theme underlined how companies are using key tools such as the Azure platform, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and more, Nadella’s keynote also focused on nurturing AI ethics, as well as growing diversity in organisations to avoid bias in artificially intelligent systems.

During his visit, Nadella also spoke to Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani at the Future Decoded CEO 2020 Summit in Mumbai. During the conversation, Ambani said that India has “the opportunity to become the premier digital society in the world” given the progress the country has been made in terms of technology and connectivity over the past few years.

“Think about 1992 when you [Nadella] joined Microsoft, India was $300 billion. Today, India is $3 trillion. And fundamentally, this whole progress has happened on the back of technology… economic reforms kick-started this whole growth paradigm and it was supercharged in 2014 when the Prime Minister gave us the vision of Digital India,” Ambani told Nadella, adding how he has been “privileged to play a small role in it” with the launch of Jio.