Breakingviews

U.S. trucker offers Facebook owners ride to future

May 7, 2015

Swift Transportation and the social networking giant face votes to dump feudalistic dual-share structures. Upset about their founder-CEO, the decades-old shipper’s second-class holders backed the idea last year. Facebook owners one day may find themselves similarly frustrated.

Facebook investment largesse manageable – for now

January 29, 2015

Boss Mark Zuckerberg splashed out so much on new projects that his firm’s Q4 operating margin fell by a third. But the social network’s top line grew 49 pct thanks to more users and mobile income. That’s a reasonable dynamic, assuming Zuckerberg is picking the right ventures.

Rob Cox: Zuckerberg’s Chinese lessons are scalable

October 28, 2014

Bilingual CEOs should be the norm, not fuel for the kind of media frenzy that greeted the Facebook founder’s Q&A in Mandarin last week. Learning a foreign language doesn’t just help conquer new markets. It fosters risk-taking and new thinking, and helps eliminate biases.

Zuckerberg’s Chinese chat leaves CEOs tongue-tied

October 24, 2014

The Facebook founder surprised and delighted a Beijing audience by answering questions in Mandarin. His linguistic skills probably won’t make the social network any more welcome in the People’s Republic. But other corporate chiefs could learn from his efforts to friend China.

Facebook and Google catch glimpse of split future

October 9, 2014

Symantec and EMC may join eBay and HP in breaking up. These old-time tech companies have become unwieldy, often by acquisition. Relative newcomers like Facebook, Google and Alibaba are following a similar growth path. Investors are on board now, but their carve-up time will come.

A creative NFL would lean in to Sheryl Sandberg as commissioner

October 8, 2014

Furors over domestic violence and concussion risks have made U.S. football and boss Roger Goodell vulnerable. An unconventional idea for a replacement is Facebook’s No. 2. Sandberg would bring the female presence the league needs. She, too, might have something to gain.

Facebook is near-universal buyer in virtual world

June 6, 2014

The $160 bln website’s users are worth nearly $130 each. WhatsApp, at $19 bln or $42 per user, was a relative steal. Users of Twitter and Japan’s Line look cheap, too. Clamp on an Oculus Rift and there’s a case for Mark Zuckerberg to buy most of the planet’s social and chat apps.

Heed New York Times governance risk headlines

May 21, 2014

Investors surrendering their rights to founders at Facebook, Google, Alibaba and elsewhere may want to consider the management kerfuffle at the Grey Lady. It’s what can happen when, down the line, the competent leaders they entrusted are gone and their successors entrenched.

Rob Cox: ITT’s ghost hangs over Silicon Valley

May 20, 2014

As Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba and Google have become the new conglomerates, it’s instructive to consider the experience of Harold Geneen, who turned ITT into the original M&A machine. The internet approach may be different, but the driver is the same: a fear of obsolescence.

Mini-me tech bubble is mere shadow of 2000 excess

May 5, 2014

The run-up may have paused, but dozens of companies are in line to float, hubris is rampant, oddball metrics abound, and revenue-free startups are still worth fortunes. Even nerd culture has become hip. The latest internet boom is as absurd as the last, but it’s far smaller.