Watch GM CEO Mary Barra take her first autonomous automotive trip with Cruise

General Motors Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra speaks during a meeting with private sector CEOs hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden to discuss the Build Back Better agenda at the White House in Washington, United States, January 26, 2022 discuss.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

“It’s just surreal” General Motors CEO Mary Barra says while testing one of the company’s driverless cars in San Francisco, calling it a highlight of her career.

Barra last week rode in a retrofitted Chevrolet Bolt EV with Kyle Vogt, founder and interim CEO of Cruise, the automaker’s majority-owned autonomous vehicle subsidiary. The self-driving vehicle, called Tostada, is one of a fleet of driverless cruise vehicles currently cruising around San Francisco at night as the company prepares for the commercialization of the operations this year.

“It was amazing,” Barra says in a video posted to Cruise’s YouTube page. He later added, “This is going to change the way people move in such a positive way… I’m over the moon.”

Vogt stepped in as CEO after Dan Ammann, a former GM executive who ran Cruise allegedly suppressed over internal disagreements with Barra.

Autonomous vehicles are seen as a potential multi-trillion dollar market. GM expects the operations to potentially contribute as much as $50 billion in annual revenue by the end of this decade. However, the commercialization of self-driving vehicles has been far more challenging than many predicted just a few years ago.

The ride was Barra’s first ride in an unmanned vehicle without a safety driver.

Late last year, Cruise began testing a fully driverless vehicle fleet with no human backup drivers. In November, Cruise posted a video of Vogt doing his first driverless drive in San Francisco.

The nearly three-minute video with Barra also shows GM President Mark Reuss and Craig Buchholz, senior vice president of GMs Communications, in another self-driving vehicle called Disco.

Reuss called the drive “amazing” and spoke about the vehicle’s performance and its potential impact on society, including seniors like his 85-year-old father Lloyd Reuss, who was also the automaker’s president in the early ’90s.

GM acquired Cruise in 2016. Since then it has attracted investors such as Honda engineSoftbank Vision Fund and more recently Walmart and Microsoft.

Pfizer CEO says omicron vaccine will probably be prepared in March

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Monday a vaccine that targets the Omicron variant of Covid will be ready in March and the company has already started making the cans.

“This vaccine will be ready in March,” Bourla told CNBC.Squawk box.” “We [are] are already starting to manufacture some of these endangered quantities. “

Bourla said the vaccine will target the other variants in circulation as well. He said it was still not clear whether an Omicron vaccine would be needed or how it would be used, but Pfizer will have some doses ready as some countries want it ready as soon as possible.

“The hope is that we can achieve something that offers much better protection against infection, especially, because protection against hospitalization and serious illness is reasonable right now, with the current vaccines, as long as you say,” the third dose “said Bourla.

Real-world data from the UK have shown that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are only about 10% effective at preventing symptomatic infection from Omicron 20 weeks after the second dose, according to a study by the UK Health Authority. However, the two original doses still offer good protection against serious illness, the study found.

According to the study, booster vaccinations are up to 75% effective in preventing symptomatic infection.

Dr. White House chief medical officer Anthony Fauci said in December that it was no need for a booster shot specifically targeting omicrons, because the current boosters work well against the variant.

Modern CEO Stephane Bancel said CNBC on Monday The company is working on a booster targeting Omicron for this fall and will enter clinical trials shortly. Bancel said governments are in high demand as they prepare regular vaccinations for the virus.

Bourla said it was not clear whether a fourth dose would be needed. He said Pfizer would conduct experiments to see if another dose is needed.

Israel has made a fourth dose of Pfizer and BioNTechVaccine for people over 60, people with compromised immune systems, and healthcare workers.

Israel found that a fourth dose of the vaccine increased the antibodies that protect against the virus five-fold a week after receiving the vaccine.

Lululemon faucets former Amazon exec as new CEO of its at-home gymnasium Mirror

Michael Aragon was previously the chief content officer of Twitch, Amazon’s live streaming business.

Source: Lululemon

Lululemon said Thursday it called earlier Amazon Managing Director Michael Aragon as Chief Executive Officer of his home gym, Mirror.

Aragon will also oversee Lululemon’s broader digital fitness endeavors, the retailer said in a press releasewho reports directly to the CEO of Lululemon, Calvin McDonald. The changes will take effect on January 17th.

Lululemon bought Mirror for $ 500 million in 2020. In September, then CEO Brynn Putnam resigned from their role. She founded the company in 2016.

Aragon was previously the chief content officer of Twitch, Amazon’s live streaming business. He also held positions at Sony groupto expand the PlayStation network.

In this new role, Aragon will face an increasingly competitive market for connected fitness equipment. Among the rivals are Peloton, Tonal, Hydrow and many others. The category exploded with interest as gyms temporarily closed and consumers looked for ways to exercise at home during the pandemic.

In December, Lululemon lowers its forecast for Mirror sales in fiscal year 2021 between $ 125 million and $ 130 million. Previously, the company had expected sales of $ 250 million to $ 275 million for the device, which will be wall-mounted and allow users to take cardio and other exercise classes.

Separately, Lululemon will oppose a. defend legal action filled in by Nike on Wednesday, which Mirror accused of infringing some of Nike’s patents.

Lululemon responded to the lawsuit by stating that Nike’s patents are “too broad and invalid. We believe in our position and look forward to defending it in court.”

Lululemon shares were unchanged in after-hours trading, closing the day up 1.7% at $ 368.77.

Southwest CEO exams optimistic for Covid days after unmasked Senate listening to with different airline chiefs

Doug Parker, CEO of American Airlines, Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines, and Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines, say during a Senate hearing on Commerce, Science and Transportation on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on December 15 2021.

Chip Somodevilla | Swimming pool | Reuters

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly tested positive for Covid-19 after a Senate hearing with other airline chiefs earlier this week, the airline said on Friday.

Kelly, along with the CEOs of United Airlines and American Airlines, Delta Airlines” Chief of Operations and President of the largest flight attendant union in the country, testified personally for more than three hours At the Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Wednesday afternoon over $ 54 billion in federal payroll slips the airlines spent trying to get out of the pandemic. Witnesses and lawmakers did not wear masks during the hearing. Most of the other participants wore face masks.

“Although Gary tested negative several times before the Senate Commerce Committee hearing, he tested positive for COVID-19 after returning home, showing mild symptoms and a PCR test,” a Southwest spokeswoman said in a statement. “Gary is fine and is currently resting at home. He was fully vaccinated and received the booster earlier this year. Gary’s symptoms remain mild and he is getting closer to a full recovery each day.”

United boss Scott Kirby, who was Kelly’s left in the hearing, tested negative for Covid on Friday, according to a person familiar with the matter. American boss Doug Parker tested negative on Friday, a spokeswoman said.

Delta’s chief of operations, John Laughter, who testified at the hearing on Wednesday and sat two seats away from Kelly, tested negative on Thursday and Friday.

“He will continue to carry out tests and take other precautions if necessary,” the airline said in a statement.

To Laughter’s left sat Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants.

“I was advised by Gary Kelly shortly after he tested positive and, ironically, just as I was getting back to work after the booster,” she said in a statement. “I follow CDC protocols and will test multiple times within the recommended period of 5-7 days and before I go on vacation with my family.”

Senators questioned witnesses about recent flight disruptions, airline hiring issues, 5G, as well as vaccination and mask requirements.

When Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) Asked airline CEOs during the hearing whether they assumed that passengers would not have to wear masks on board, Kelly promoted the effectiveness of the air filtration and circulation systems on board and said, “Me think the case is very strong that masks don’t add much to the air cabin environment. “

The Biden government has been requiring bus passengers to wear face masks since February, although airlines requested them in spring 2020 with the start of the pandemic. Earlier this month, the Biden government extended the mandate until March 18.

On Friday, Kelly softened his tone and said he supported the federal mandate.

During the hearing, “I mistook some for a short answer to a question about masks,” he wrote in a staff note in which he also disclosed his positive Covid result. “So, to be clear, me and Southwest and together with [U.S. airline lobbying group] Airlines for America are all coordinated and support the current federal mask mandate at airports and in airplanes.

“The majority of our employees and customers feel that it’s an important layer of protection, and I definitely agree,” he continued. “So we continue to rely on the advice of our medical experts about the need for masks. And I apologize for the confusion!”

Doug Parker, CEO of American Airlines, Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines, Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines, John Laughter, executive vice president of Delta Air Lines, and Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, say before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, December 15, 2021.

Chip Somodevilla | Swimming pool | Reuters

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said, “I agree,” immediately following Kelly’s response at the hearing, but the company issued a statement Thursday saying it would “approve of the comments made by other witnesses about the high quality of the Aircraft Cabin Air “agree and did not question the need for face masks on airplanes.”

Parker later posted a lengthy statement on his Instagram account saying the airline supported the mask mandate and that he “should have been more explicit in my answer to a question that misrepresented American’s position on the mask mandate has”.

Air travel is one of the industries hardest hit by the pandemic. In the meantime, demand has recovered, primarily thanks to domestic leisure travel. Delta and United executives announced this week that they are preparing Busy end of the year holiday season, despite the prevalence of the Omicron variant.

AMC shares hunch as CEO Adam Aron, CFO Sean Goodman promote inventory

An AMC theater is pictured in Times Square in the Manhattan neighborhood of New York City, New York, on June 2, 2021.

Carlo Allegri | Reuters

Shares in AMC entertainment collapsed nearly 7% on Friday after two company executives sold significant portions of their stock.

CEO Adam Aron sold an additional $ 9.65 million in AMC stock as part of his estate planning. a move he warned investors that he would be back in August. He sold 312,500 shares on Tuesday for an average of $ 30.86 apiece, according to a regulatory filing filed Thursday.

This sale comes a month after Aron sold 625,000 shares in the company for approximately $ 25 million. He still holds around 96,000 shares, excluding around 2.9 million shares to be issued in the future based on performance targets.

Separately, AMC’s chief financial officer Sean Goodman sold all of his 18,316 shares for approximately $ 565,000, according to a separate filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This excludes approximately 296,000 shares that may be issued as a result of Goodman’s continued business for the company, or approximately 293,000 shares that are tied to performance goals and objectives.

Aron recently announced that the company’s board of directors has approved a new equity policy for the company’s executives that requires them to hold a certain number of AMC shares. According to the new guideline, the CEO must hold his own shares or shares that have been awarded for at least eight years’ salary. The CFO must keep the salary in reserve for six years. Goodman’s untransferred shares meet this requirement.

AMC representatives declined to comment.

“I think that while Adam Aron was clearly expressing his intention to liquidate some of his position in AMC stocks by the end of the year, many investors were surprised by the extent to which he sold stocks between early November and mid-December” said Alicia Reese, an analyst at Wedbush.

“Of course, Sean Goodman has more shares since he sold in November, and all executives will continue to accumulate more shares as part of their compensation packages, but they are walking a fine line by taking advantage of the increased share price, while” private shareholders have committed to hold on at all costs, “she said.

Eric Handler, media and entertainment analyst at MKM Partners, noted that the stock is currently trading 30 times its estimated Adjusted EBITDA for the next year and 22 times its forecast for 2023. AMC’s historic valuation peaked at 9 times the metric, he said.

AMC shares topped $ 72 in June, an all-time high when the company was supported by millions of individual retail investors. In the past few months, however, the share has more than halved. On Friday, the stock closed at $ 27.44, down 6.9%.

Before this surge in new investors, the company’s shares hovered between $ 5 and $ 10, but fell to just $ 1.91 per share in January when it looked like AMC would not avert bankruptcy.

The “meme shares” rally helped the movie theater chain hit hard by the pandemic and laden with debt from previous acquisitions. The rise in inventory allowed Aron to raise enough cash to pay rents and even add more theaters. But even with diversified content like soccer games and concerts and the company’s ability to accept cryptocurrencies for tickets and concessions, analysts don’t expect AMC stock to hold this high level.

“The current price does not appear sustainable on a fundamental basis,” said Handler.[It’s a] very opportunistic way for management to get paid. “

AMC executives and board members had previously has dumped more than $ 70 million in stocks Year, according to a report from Bloomberg. While many of these sales were planned ahead of time by management, it means a massive shift for these executives who sold only a fraction of that amount in previous years.

67-year-old Aron is very transparent with investors and has repeatedly advised them that his stock sales are part of an estate plan to diversify his portfolio. Other AMC executives were less vocal about the reasons for their sales.

These stock sales occur at a time when insider selling has accelerated. A recent study by InsiderScore / Verity found that InsiderScore sold more than $ 69 billion worth of shares that year – a record high. The changes occurred when stock assets were increasing and at a time when Congress discusses significantly higher capital gains tax rates and changes in inheritance tax policy.

American Airways CEO Doug Parker to retire, president Robert Isom to take reins March 31

Doug Parker, American Airlines CEO

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker is stepping down and will be replaced by the airline’s president, Robert Isom, on March 31, the airline announced on Tuesday.

Parker is the second major airline CEO this year to announce his resignation, signing a changing of the guard among US airlines. Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly will step down in February and hand the reins to another longtime manager, Bob Jordan, in February.

Parker will continue to serve as Chairman of the American Board.

Parker became CEO of America West for the first time shortly before the September 11, 2001 attacks and later led two mergers – with US Airways and American Airlines, the end of a wave of consolidation among US airlines.

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26-year-old CEO completes SPAC deal and brings his autonomous trucking start-up Embark public

25 year old Embark CEO and co-founder Alex Rodrigues

According to Alex Rodrigues, CEO of Embark Trucks, the congestion in US ports, the shortage of trucks and the rise in e-commerce have created a unique opportunity for autonomous trucking has completed its SPAC merger and is trading on Thursday under the ticker EMBK on the Nasdaq.

“What we’ve heard from investors is that people really understand the need here and there’s a lot of excitement about the potential to revolutionize the way logistics work,” Rodrigues told CNBC. “We’re really at a tipping point now where it really starts to affect everyday people and when people don’t get their Christmas presents the need for a solution becomes much more urgent.”

Embark was founded in 2016 by 20-year-old Rodrigues and Brandon Moak and focuses on software and assistive technology for autonomous trucking. Embark can convert existing truck fleets into autonomous fleets and works with hauliers and truck manufacturers instead of developing their own vehicles. According to the Embark website, The company’s autonomous technology can improve fuel efficiency by 10%, reduce delivery time by 40%, and increase sales per truck by 300%.

In June, Embark announced that it would be using Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp II, a special purpose acquisition company, in a $ 5.2 billion deal.

As of Thursday, Embark expects to generate gross cash proceeds of approximately $ 614 million, including a private investment of $ 200 million from Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings, the largest trucker in the country, along with venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global. Rodrigues also becomes one of the youngest CEOs of a US public company at the age of 26.

Embark is the latest in a wave of autonomous freight forwarders to go public in 2021. TuSimple‘s IPO was in April, and it works with now UPS on railways for autonomous parcel delivery. Aurora innovation went public this month in a SPAC merger.

Wedbush predicts that approximately $ 750 billion will be spent on autonomous commercial vehicles over the next five years. Embark is partnered with AB InBev, Budweiser brewer, Werner company, a trucker for large retail stores, Ryder and DHL, and others, as all industries are looking to reduce supply chain spending.

“I think we are really excited that the industry recognizes that we are here as a quality partner and that we have been able to partner with some of the best in the business,” said Rodrigues.

Walmart announced this week it is with fully autonomous trucking to move online food orders through a partnership with the start-up Gatik.

Rodrigues believes it is another tailwind for his company and its autonomous logistics. “Large established players understand the urgency and necessity of this technology. We see that as a big plus. “

Correction: Plus and Hennessy Capital Investment Corp V have terminated their merger agreement. In a previous version, the status of the deal was incorrectly stated.

Rivian IPO proves Common Motors is undervalued, says GM CEO

GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra speaks to investors at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan on October 6, 2021.

Photo by Steve Fecht for General Motors

The massive reviews from startups for electric vehicles like Rivian that made his public debut on Wednesday on the Nasdaq at a higher share price and market capitalization than General Motors, shows that the old automaker is “so undervalued,” said GM chief Mary Barra on Wednesday.

Rivian stock started trading at $ 106.75 per share, up about 37% year over year IPO price of $ 78 per share and a market valuation of $ 91 billion. This compares to GM at $ 60 per share and a market capitalization of $ 86.4 billion.

“What it sets out to me is the great opportunity. General Motors is so undervalued, “said Barra on Wednesday, without specifically naming Rivian during the New York Times’ DealBook conference.” I see it as a great opportunity for General Motors to achieve significantly more value. “

When asked if her competitors’ reviews made sense, Barra said she didn’t see them that way.

“I see every competitor as someone I respect. And that we have to get better, have to be faster, have to have vehicles that consumers want, that solve the property equation,” she said. “So that’s how I see it. I would say, if anything, it motivates me to work even harder.”

Rivian is recognized as a pioneer in EV startups that can rival the leading electric vehicle Teslaas GM and other traditional automakers invest tens of billions of dollars in the emerging market segment.

GM was interested in investing in Rivian, but its biggest rival, Ford engine, invest in the EV start-up instead. Ford, which owns about 12% of the start-up, convinced Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe that Ford would be a better fit than GM, as reported recently from the Wall Street Journal.

GM has announced plans to invest $ 35 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles by 2025, since there is Goals exceed Tesla until then in domestic EV sales.

Wyndham CEO says enterprise is ‘off the charts’ as leisure and enterprise journey returns in massive cities

The CEO of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts CNBC told CNBC on Thursday that strong travel demand in the US has helped the company shake off its pandemic-induced slowdown.

While some industries have struggled to recover after the disruption of the Covid pandemic, business at Wyndham is “absolutely stronger than it was before the pandemic,” said CEO Geoff Ballotti in an interview about “The exchange. “

“The intent to travel, get in your car and go somewhere and get out of your attic, get out of your basement with your family and friends, is spectacular,” Ballotti said. “It’s off the charts, it’s unprecedented, and I think we’ll see that well into the fall.”

Wyndham hotel brands include Days Inn, La Quinta, and Baymont. The hotel franchisor’s business is not only picking up in its US hotels, but also internationally, as the number of outbound flights is slowly recovering. “We’re seeing the international airlift to destinations like Mexico continue to grow, where we have a new Wyndham Alltra Cancun and a new Wynhdam Alltra Playa Del Carmen,” Ballotti said.

“People want to get away and have a safe, very flexible and uncomplicated vacation, and we can see that,” said Ballotti.

According to the CEO, business travel is coming back more slowly than leisure travel. “Big cities like San Francisco are just beginning to recover, it’s the group meetings with urban goals that have lagged behind.”

Despite the delay in business travel, Ballotti and other hotel CEOs expect to receive a top-up starting next month as the Biden government lifts international travel restrictions on November 8, imposed in the early days of the Covid pandemic last year.

“We believe that demand in the United States is sure to increase. … One thing we need to pick up are visa applications.

In the US, cities like Boston, New York and San Francisco will continue to see influx and growth in business and leisure travel for the remainder of the year, “this is great news for the travel industry,” Ballotti said.

Wyndham exceeded Wall Street’s expectations in his Quarterly results Thursday and increased guidelines for the rest of the year. The stock closed 4.33% on Thursday afternoon, trading at $ 85.84 per share.

Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner dies, days after stepping down for well being causes

Brian Goldner, Hasbro CEO

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

The toy maker Hasbro announced Tuesday that its Chief Executive Officer Brian Goldner has passed away. just two days after he was on sick leave.

Goldner, 58, has been CEO since 2008. He joined the company in 2000 and became Chairman of the Hasbro Board of Directors in 2015.

Rich Stoddart, most recently Lead Independent Director of Hasbro’s Board of Directors, was named interim CEO when Goldner went on medical leave.

“Brian has been the heart and soul of Hasbro since joining the company more than two decades ago,” Stoddart said in a statement. “As a charismatic and passionate leader in both the gaming and entertainment industries, Brian’s work brought joy and laughter to children and families around the world.”

Last August, Goldner announced that he had been receiving medical treatment for cancer since 2014.

While at Hasbro, he successfully expanded the business beyond toys and games to include television, films and digital games. Goldner’s tenure was marked by a focus on leveraging the company’s brands across the entertainment spectrum.

In 2019 he has pioneered the acquisition of Entertainment One by Hasbro for $ 3.8 billion, the Toronto-based studio best known for “Peppa Pig” and “PJ Masks”.

Goldner also served as a director on the board of ViacomCBS.

Read the full Hasbro press release here.

—CNBCs Sarah Whitten contributed to this reporting.

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