If you would like to “Eat Mor Chickin” but prefer to keep politics out of your meals – you may have to find a new place to dine.
Earlier this week in a radio interview (Listen Below) on the “Ken Coleman Show“, Dan Cathy, president of Chick-Fil-A stated that he believed “we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation” when it comes to the discussion in our nation regarding what constitutes marriage.
Chick fil a Anti Gay Statement
“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say ‘we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’ and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”
“We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that,” Cathy said.
In taking such a public position, Cathy, and by default, Chick-Fil-A risk potentially offending a large portion of their customers. Same-sex marriage advocates were shocked that the company took such a position. In a response to Cathy, Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign which supports same-sex-marriage, said in a statement that Chick-fil-A “has finally come clean” after keeping it’s official position hidden for many years.
Giffin continued, “While they may have been in neutral, kicking this fight into overdrive now allows fair-minded consumers to make up their own minds whether they want to support an openly discriminatory company.”
Online reaction to the comments were quick and heated – many celebrities took to twitter and other social media to denounce the statement and threaten to boycott. Chick-Fil-A’s twitter and Facebook fan pages were inundated with comments ranging from support to downright disgust for the company and it’s stance.
Chick-Fil-A has long been a supporter of Christian and Biblical principles and even goes as far as making sure all stores remained closed on Sundays, operate wihtout debt, and give charity back to their communities. Earlier this year the company invited protest when it was revealed that they made charitable donations in the amount of $2 million to groups that actively advocates against Lesbian, Gay, and Transgender issues.
After the backlash of his comments, Cathy released a statement clarifying his position. In his statement, Cathy said that the culture of Chick-Fil-A is to “treat every person with honor, dignity, and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.”
He also went on to state that it is their intent to “leave the policy debate over same sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
Jim Henson Company And Chick-Fil-A
Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A
Dan has served as President and Chief Operating Officer at the $3.5 billion Chick-fil-A since 2001 and has worked for the company for over 40 years. Dan began his career at Chick-fil-A at age 9 as he sang songs for customers and did radio commercials for the chain’s original restaurant. Today, Chick-fil-A is one of the nation’s largest family-owned quick-service restaurant chains. Dan loves impacting the lives of others and says, “Regardless of my title, I actually work in Customer Service — and with more than 1,500 Chick-fil-A restaurants led by more than 60,000 team members, operators and corporate staff, I’ve got a lot of customers to serve!” Chick-fil-A is as much about people as it is about food and rather than lead from his corporate office in Atlanta, Cathy chooses to spend the majority of his time traveling to the chain’s growing family of restaurants and interacting with Chick-fil-A’s committed team of restaurant operators and team members. Dan is a husband, dad, musician, gardener, athlete, biker, pilot, Sunday school teacher and non-profit board member.
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Nissan-Renault’s Ghosn: From Hero To Zero
In a time when Nissan was on the brink of declaring bankruptcy, Carlos Ghosn stepped in not only to save the company but help it to rise back as one of the world’s top car manufacturers. Today, Nissan is facing a similar financial crisis, but this time around, the Japanese carmaker had Ghosn removed from the company.
Through Ghosn’s efforts of restructuring and eventually, reintroducing innovations to Nissan, the company rose significantly within the last two decades under Ghosn’s lead. He also made the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi agreement possible that made them one of the leading car companies in the world.
The company had a good track record. But, CNN reported last Tuesday, May 14, that Nissan posted a significant drop in profits where operating profits plunged to 45% at 318 billion yen ($2.9 billion) in the fiscal year that ended in March and revenue fell 3% to about 11.6 trillion yen ($105 billion), while vehicle sales were down 4.4% to 5.5 million.
This is “rock bottom,” Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa said during the earnings presentation.
Moreover, analysts also expect Nissan to plunge at decade-low numbers in the coming year. Nissan forecasts operating profit for the fiscal year to March 2020 would fall to 230 billion ($2.1 billion). Also, Nissan shares closed down at 3% in Tokyo.
On Friday, May 17, the Japanese carmaker proposed plans to make changes within its executive board as a reaction to Ghosn’s fallout from the company.
The firm told shareholders that they would start implementing a new board structure composed of 11 members, which 6 of whom would be external.
“With the lessons from the recent executive misconduct still fresh, Nissan resolves to rigorously pursue the separation of supervisory and executive functions,” said the firm.
Thierry Bollore, Renault’s chief executive and chairman Jean-Dominique Senard will both be included in the proposed board.
Nissan conceded to allowing Senard into the board though Bollore’s urges. The Japanese firm isn’t too happy about Senard siding with Ghosn during his arrest.
On the other hand, Nissan’s current CEO Hiroto Saikawa has also been reported to be pressured from vacating his position in the company for doubts that he is capable of turning things around for the company and his close relations with Ghosn.
Saikawa responded that he wishes to stay on the company until he sees it return to profitability and will consider the idea of stepping down “at the appropriate time.”
Additionally, Saikawa told reporters that Renault chairman Senard “has one idea in mind, which is integration or merger.” He also added that “what we’ve told Mr. Senard is this is not the right timing to discuss this matter.”
Regarding the topic of a possible merger between Renault and Nissan, the Japanese company seems to be against the idea since Nissan brings in a lot more profitable compared to the two. But, ironically, Renault holds more stake in the company.
Obviously, the Japanese brand has been struggling to manage internal structures with Ghosn leaving its ranks for multiple cases alleging financial misconduct.
Allegedly, Ghosn is accused of abusing and taking advantage of his power and position in the company to meet personal gains. Specifically, Ghosn allegedly used a Nissan subsidiary to send millions of dollars of payments to a business partner of the company abroad, which then sent money to a third company that he controlled. The actions were taken for the purpose of obtaining a “personal profit,” The New York Times reports.
Prosecutors accused Ghosn of using the method on three occasions from December 2015 to July 2018, resulting in a total of $5 million in losses to Nissan.
As of date, Ghosn has been arrested on four separate occasions including the first arrest in November on charges of underreporting his compensation. The second when he was rearrested on related charges and then a third time on suspicion that he had shifted his personal financial losses onto Nissan’s books.
However, Ghosn and his team of lawyers have consistently denied all allegations about him. In a video Ghosn posted before his fourth arrest, he told that the allegations made against him “is about a plot, this is about conspiracy, this is about backstabbing.”
Meanwhile, the French carmaker, Renault also made new allegations against Ghosn, claiming that there were “questionable and concealed practices” regarding the expenses made under Ghosn. Moreover, Renault also announced Ghosn’s resignation from its board.
Facebook Opens A Swiss Company To Develop Own Virtual Currency, Report Suggests
There is no denying that cryptocurrency is slowly becoming the most used currency in the world. The future is bright for virtual money as people started to become a lot more dependent on the internet on almost all aspects of their daily lives. And when a technology thrives, Facebook does not falter to offer the same thing. Reports suggest that Facebook has set up a company overseas to develop its virtual currency that users can send to their friends and contacts.
The social networking giant reportedly opened up a company in Switzerland to focus on payment and blockchain technology, similar to the technology that powers bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.
According to a Swiss publication, Handelszeitung, the Facebook cryptocurrency would be tied to the US dollar and therefore will remain stable unlike bitcoin, which started crashing since 2017.
The report also revealed that Facebook has already set up a company called Libra Networks in Geneva several weeks ago. They noted that Libra is the tech giant’s internal project name for Facebook money.
Owned by Facebook Global Holding II in Ireland, the Swiss company will focus on developing the software and hardware for crypto-related functions like payments, blockchain, analytics, big data, and identity management.
Facebook is hesitant to comment regarding their plans for the digital currency and did not confirm nor denied the reports of its existence. Nonetheless, the news is consistent with an earlier report that Facebook created a team of 50 individuals to develop their cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to be used across the network and on its WhatsApp messaging services.
That design would be geared toward avoiding a speculative frenzy like the one that caused the value of the primary cryptocurrency, bitcoin, to soar and then crash. While Facebook also did not confirm anything related to the leaked project at the time, the California-based company confirmed that they are interested in blockchain technology.
“Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology,” the company said in a statement. “This new small team is exploring many different applications.”
Blockchain technology serves as the virtual ledger for every transaction using a cryptocurrency like bitcoin, and it builds up a set of data blocks recording transactions and who made them.
Meanwhile, existing crypto companies still face a huge problem in the banking system, and Facebook may face a similar obstacle in case the reports on its own crypto money turns out to be true. Earlier reports suggest that crypto companies around the world are having trouble in opening bank accounts for their operations.
The report followed the complaint filed by Sam Bankman-Fried, Chief Executive Officer of the quantitative crypto company, Alameda Research that “the standard answer of ‘just go to your local Chase branch’ doesn’t work in crypto.” Bankman-Fried also added that it is not illegal for banks to serve crypto businesses, but “it’s a massive compliance headache that they don’t want to put the resources in to solve.’’
The report pointed out that while larger banks avoid getting into a transaction with crypto and blockchain corporations, smaller banks are getting hold of the unserved market.
Silver Bank in San Diego said in its November 2018 filing for an initial offering that cryptocurrencies companies have a total of $40 billion to deposit and larger banks are letting go of it.
Blockchain investment, trading, and advisory firm NKB group have also struggled with establishing banking relationships with a lot of major banks. According to NKB Group’s head of Brokerage Ben Sebley, “denying basic banking is madness, impedes sector growth and forces companies to get creative to solve the problem […] The banks are being overly prudent.”
The facilitation of cryptocurrency in banking has been an ongoing debate after major banking giants like JPM, and other American banks have banned the purchase of cryptocurrency using their debit and credit cards. However, supporters have argued that this ban is a step back for the banking industry.
“If they are policing digital currency transactions by de-risking the activity on the basis of protecting customers from market changes, they are going to be on the hook for market changes where their financial products are used where they did not intervene and de-risk to protect consumers,” said attorney Christine Duhaime, founder of the Digital Finance Institute.
MailChimp Updates Pricing Policy, Now Charging Unsubscribed Emails In The Mailing List
Email marketing has proven to be one of the most effective marketing strategies in the age of technology and MailChimp, a popular email marketing platform, has helped businesses, big and small to leverage the technology for a cheap price; however, it seems like, with the new policy update by MailChimp, marketers should begin looking for an adequate alternative soon.
On May 15th, Mailchimp sent an email announcement to all its users that significant changes are coming to the popular email marketing platform. One of the most notable change that the company will be implementing is its bid to become a more holistic marketing platform by integrating into its system an “all-in-one Marketing Platform for going businesses.”
The new MailChimp brags of a “powerful” Marketing CRM, a tool that Mailchimp said could help growing businesses “build better relationships” with their customers. A CRM tool or a Customer Relationship Management tool is an approach to manage the company’s interactions with current and potential customers by using data analytics about the customers’ history taken from available big data to improve communication and marketing.
The announcement also boasts that MailChimp will soon have new features like social posting, more retargeting options for Instagram and Facebook, and an “Audience Dashboard.” MailChimp aims that with the new system upgrade, growing businesses will have more opportunities for their users to create “effective multichannel campaigns that connect with your audience so you can grow faster.”
But what’s the catch? Pricing.
The old Mailchimp rose to popularity because of the inexpensive and effective ways that small and medium enterprises can use the tool. However, with its new update, this supposedly “free” tool will begin to charge their users in a different – and rather sneaky – way.
According to Mailchimp’s email, they will be changing the definition of “audience,” a metric they formerly used to charge users. In the MailChimp update, the company will no longer determine the monthly charges of a user based on subscriber counts – a common standard among email services. Instead, Mailchimp now bases its monthly fees on a new metric called “Audiences.”
Notably, these Audiences includes unsubscribed emails, which means that users will now be charged for all the emails they sent, including those that caused someone to unsubscribe from the mailing list.
“With so many new channels to put to work for your business, our definition of “audience” is changing to include all of the contacts you can market to regardless of their email opt-in/subscriber status. So that happy customer that’s been on your subscriber list for two years? They’ll still be a part of your audience. But those customers that unsubscribed and that customer that attended your event but never opted into your newsletter? They’ll be in your audience now too,” MailChimp wrote in an email they sent to their users to notify them regarding the new policy update.
Naturally, Mailchimp clients aren’t happy with the new update and have expressed their concerns regarding the new pricing model in the famous email services company as their monthly charges can go up to as much as 100%. Notwithstanding, confusing over the new pricing policy has also triggered a response from the notable business guru David Gaughran, who said that users should shift to a better alternative than the new MailChimp. In a blog post that Gaughran posted in his website, he said that he is also confused regarding whether or not the latest policy updates will affect old accounts and responses from Mailchimp did not ease the confusion either.
“The situation was compounded with a lot of confusion, as the Help pages at Mailchimp weren’t yet fully updated to account for these changes, and Support seemed confused about whether existing users would be grandfathered in under the old terms. First, Mailchimp explicitly told me in an email that legacy users would be affected by this new policy,” Gaughran wrote in a blog post.
“Several hours later, after a hugely negative reaction online, Mailchimp appeared to backtrack, saying that legacy users would be unaffected by these changes — which would only apply to new users. Whether this was a change of heart, or muddled messaging, or a simple error, it’s hard to know for sure,” he added.
An analysis made by Gaughran also states that free plan users will be the ones who will be affected by these changes the worse. At first, a new user will remain free-of-charge up until they reach 2000 subscriber, after which they will transition to a paid plan. With the new pricing policy, not only the free plan accounts will count unsubscribed emails in the initial 2000, but they will also transition to a paid plan soon after, which costs them more money.
“Mailchimp failed to respond to these inquiries and would only confirm that if you purchase any add-ons to your legacy plan, this may immediately trigger a move to the new pricing regime. So, I think it’s probably wise to conclude that this change will come to Legacy Monthly plans too, sooner rather than later, I would guess — probably under some guff about “harmonizing our payment plans” or similar corporate blather,” Gaughran laments.
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