Monthly Archives: March 2013

Andrew Hill

I can’t remember a declaration of war as emphatic as the one made by Neil Ashe of Walmart on Wednesday. The chief executive of the US retailer’s ecommerce arm told the FT:

We own what we own, and we’re going after what we don’t. We can get to every customer in the world via ecommerce. It doesn’t matter where they live or how much they earn.

In Walmart’s sights: Amazon, the online jungle’s biggest beast. Read more

Infuriated by Fleet Street’s tabloids, the House of Lords this week nodded through a law to curb the British press. It authorised a Royal Charter that defines how self-regulation will work after the Leveson inquiry into phone hacking.

Andrew Hill

Like thousands of parents inspired by the story of 17-year-old “software prodigy” Nick D’Aloisio, I’ve just asked my teenage son what he’s doing on his computer that might later be worth $30m.

Mr D’Aloisio’s tale has all the elements to make pushy parents sweat: the boy had the idea for his news reader app Summly, just bought by Yahoo, while revising for his history exam, for goodness’ sake! Read more

US chief executives are beginning to wean themselves from their perplexing attachment to the role of chairman. But at a few large banks, the addiction persists.

John Gapper

The chaos over the rescue of Cyprus – under which insured bank deposits were initially threatened but have been reprieved – has raised questions about whether depositors in other eurozone countries will feel safe.

But I wonder if the bigger long-term effect will be on offshore banking centres in general, rather than the eurozone. After all, Cyprus shows that a small financial centre that becomes overwhelmed by financial difficulties cannot stand behind a banking system several times the size of its economy. Read more

Depositors of banks in Cyprus now fear they have less money than they thought while US corporations have plenty of cash to hand – $1.45tn and rising, according to Moody’s. But whose money is it, anyway?

Andrew Hill

Warren East’s unexpected retirement as chief executive of Arm Holdings, comes at “an inflection point” for the chip designer, according to the FT. Which raises the question: why go now, then?

Andy Grove, former chief executive of chipmaker Intel, wrote in his book Only The Paranoid Survive that he worried most about strategic inflection points. The book is full of valuable tips about how to tackle such moments, but quitting is not one of them. On the contrary. Read more

The first two rules of Fight Club, according to the film of the same name, are “You do not talk about Fight Club” and “You DO NOT talk about Fight Club”. Studies of corporate success follow the opposite code. Since Tom Peters and Robert Waterman published In Search of Excellence in 1982, readers have not stopped talking about whether the lessons taught by such books are valid.