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When each of the three largest U.S. airlines launched their merger proposals, one primary argument made to regulators and the public kept recurring.
The marriage in question, they claimed over and over agin, would result in a healthier airline with the financial wherewithal to invest in the operation and improve the overall experience.
Flying, the public was told, is often a nightmarish ordeal because of pinched finances and, by extension, airline employees nervous about their job security.
With the trio of megamergers in various states of completion, Delta Air Lines’ (DAL) executives brag that their operation—which integrated Northwest in a smooth fashion virtually unknown among airlines—is a template for how customer service and financial performance can travel together.
Delta acquired Northwest in 2008 and has been reporting record financial profits, plus the restoration of its quarterly dividend. The airline finished fourth in the 2013 Airline Quality Rating, an annual compilation (pdf) of how U.S. carriers performed in on-time performance, denied boardings, baggage handling, and customer complaints.
The analysis is performed by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Wichita State University. “Bigger hasn’t always been better, but in Delta’s case we are seeing a large airline perform at levels usually only seen by smaller low-fare carriers,” Wichita State marketing professor Dean Headley, one of the report’s co-authors in a news release. As Airlines Grow Bigger, Do They Actually Get Better? - Businessweek
Why Hollywood doesn’t care who its action heroes actually are.
The IRS estimates the average taxpayer spends about 13 hours on taxes and non-compliance costs are huge.
A new study out today shows how top CEOs are walking away from their jobs with literally hundreds of millions of dollars—even after they do a crummy job. That’s wild. Gary Rivlin writes about the news today:
“You’re fired” can be the sweetest words these days when you’re the CEO of a publicly traded company. Sure, Leo Apotheker must have felt lousy when Hewlett-Packard dumped him as chief executive last September after less than a year on the job. But the sting of humiliation was no doubt softened by a $12 million cash payment the company gave him despite the lousy job he had done.
But now a new study released Wednesday shows that $12 million ain’t nothing in the age of the imperial CEO. GMI, a well-regarded research firm that monitors executive pay, looked at the largest severance packages ex-CEOs have received since the start of 2000.
To earn a spot in the top 20, a CEO would need to have received a golden parachute in excess of $100 million.
How would some of the nation’s biggest thinkers fix America? We asked 18 CEOs to weigh in. Excerpts:
T. BOONE PICKENS
MY FIX: There are 8 million 18-wheelers in the U.S., each drinking somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel a year. But what if new trucks ran on natural gas instead? It’s 30 percent cleaner than diesel, and more plentiful.
MY FIX: Make cars smarter. Find more uses for the wireless devices that we already use to pay tolls and get directions. We could install a “Cinderella app” that won’t allow a 16- or 85-year-old to drive past curfew, or a “Prius meter” to keep tabs on energy efficiency.
MY FIX: Here are three: (1) Increase exports by freeing up the backlog of free-trade agreements with South Korea and parts of Latin America. (2) Improve education in the sciences to make our grads more competitive. (3) Permanent corporate-tax reform.
Tumblr launched back in 2007, but this year it really took off in terms of growth - crushing its nearest light blogging rival, Posterous. Tumblr achieved this growth at surprisingly low staffing levels: just 16 employees, with an estimated 20 before end of 2010. It’s got plenty of money behind it, though. The company has raised $40m. $30m of that was raised this month from existing investors Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures, plus new investors Sequoia Capital (who backed Google in 1999, before it went big).
Tumblr currently boasts over 11 million blogs running on its service, perhaps leading to some performance hiccups recently.
In a recent comparison we did between Tumblr and the popular blogging service Wordpress, we discovered that people who visit Tumblr blogs view far more pages per person and twice as many pages in total. WordPress still has many more publishers and far more site visitors, but Tumblr is doing better on a user engagement level.
Heading into 2011, Tumblr has a full tank of funding petrol and is racing full speed up the page view growth slope. Content curation is expected to be a big trend of 2011, so next year could be another tipping point again for this trendy New York startup.
/gratz to the Tumblr crew…
Aint that the goddamn truth!
Is this why we’re so angry?
Well this is sure to cause an uproar. In today’s ForbesWoman, author Jenna Goudreau posits that women who don’t flirt are ignoring “one of their greatest career assets”—a valuable strategic tool (if used effectively), she says, to climb up the corporate ladder.…