Tag Archive: TED Talks


“I love Yahoo, and I believe in all of you. It’s important to me to see Yahoo into its next chapter.” Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer in her July 25 employee letter announcing Verizon’s $4.8 billion cash acquisition of Yahoo!

What next chapter?mayerbook

Want to take an Internet pioneer, first-mover $125 billion company and transform it into an also-ran, acquisition target for four pennies on the dollar?

And to top it off, reward Yahoo! chief executive officer Marissa Mayer with more than $50 million in severance pay?

Wonder why so many are so upset with Wall Street?

What is it with high-accolade, lofty-expectations, lavaliere-strutting narcissistic chief executives, who are ostensibly hired to reverse the fortunes of struggling companies?

Much later, we all discover their real personal agenda was to simply put the corporation on the auction block, and to get paid handsomely for the privilege.

Where can I sign up for this lucrative gig?

The author of Almost DailyBrett will gladly say all the right things for a few years, bloviate at a few “developer” conferences, CES, SXSW and TED Talks and then when no one is looking, sell the company to the highest of low bidders and get rewarded for creating … nothing, absolutely nothing.

Hold That Horizontal Pose!

Alas, one thing your author will never be asked to do is pose for Vogue. Sorry, I don’t own a Michael Kors dress … and never will.mayer

Almost DailyBrett three years ago questioned why relatively new Yahoo! CEO Mayer would accept Vogue’s invitation for a horizontal spread in a fashion magazine? Was she trying to impress buy-side and sell-side institutional investors?

Women have long and justifiably complained about being objectified. What was telegenic Mayer doing with her Vogue reclining pose?

What did her PR team think about her proving once again that sex sells? Did her photo draw even more eyeballs to rival Google’s market-leading search engine?

Before you start thinking that Almost DailyBrett is solely focusing on the lucrative PR disaster record of one Marissa Mayer, please consider that many are still smarting over how Abhi Talwalkar drove LSI Logic into the ditch and received at least a $5.74 million severance payment for burying the company.abhi1

Your author served as the director of Corporate Public Relations for LSI Logic. Even though I left after 10 years to join Edelman Public Relations in December 2005, one could already see what Abhi had in mind … shed as many assets as quickly as possible to make the company more attractive to buyers.

As Almost DailyBrett previously reported, LSI Logic was the innovator of the application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) specialty semiconductor market for nearly 25 years under the leadership of founder Wilfred J. Corrigan.

It took Abhi less than nine years to end its existence, eventually accepting Avago Technologies (H-P’s former semiconductor business) for $6.6 billion offer in late 2013. LSI Logic is no more, but Abhi’s contract provided for the following:

  1. In the case of our Chief Executive Officer, a lump sum payment equal to 2.75 times his or her base salary and average bonus received over the preceding three years. In the case of a participant other than our Chief Executive Officer, a lump sum payment equal to two times the individual’s base salary and average bonus received over the preceding three years. 2. Full acceleration of all unvested equity awards. 3. Reimbursement of COBRA premiums for health insurance for 18 months. 4. In the event that a participant’s “parachute payments” are subject to the excise tax imposed by Section 4999 of the Internal Revenue Code, then LSI will make a supplemental payment to the participant in an amount that equals the excise tax on the parachute payments, plus any additional excise tax and federal, state and local and employment income taxes, on the supplemental payment. However, the total supplemental payment shall not exceed the sum of the participant’s (i) base salary immediately prior to the change in control, and (ii) target bonus for the year in which the change in control occurs.

Glad to see the “supplemental payment” would not exceed Abhi’s $2.09 million annual salary. Enough is enough … Right?

It’s even better that Vogue didn’t ask Abhi to pose horizontally in a Michael Kors dress.

His severance was obscene enough.

http://fortune.com/2016/04/19/verizon-yahoo/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/briansolomon/2016/07/25/yahoo-sells-to-verizon-for-5-billion-marissa-mayer/#7b9c799b71b4

http://www.forbes.com/sites/briansolomon/2016/07/25/here-is-marissa-mayers-final-letter-to-yahoo-employees/#54a12ae875ba

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/mayer-vogue-nasdaq-yhoo/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/farewell-lsi-logic/

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/12/16/avago-to-buy-lsi-for-6-6-billion/?_r=0

 

 

…It’s Great to Be Anywhere.” – Rolling Stones songwriter/guitarist Keith Richards

keith

If there was an over/under wager 10 years ago on the prospects of Keith ever celebrating his 70th birthday (December 18, 2013), the vast majority of us would have taken the under … and lost.

As it turns out Keef, Mick, 70, Charlie, 72, and (the youngster) Ronnie, 66, are hitting the road again, starting with the UAE on February 21 and then on to Japan and Australia, before finishing up in New Zealand on April 5.

And don’t bet against them continuing their global tour. In fact, you should plan on it.

What gives the Stones the energy, the stamina, the drive to continue on-and-on when their bank accounts are conceivably full and their legacy and place in rock-and-roll history is unquestioned?

Maybe it is this simple: There is a joy in what they do. And why not just keep on, keeping on?

The decision will be based on, can I do it joyfully, because I think we need to have candidates lift our spirits. – Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush on whether he will run for president in the 2015-16 electoral cycle.

jeb

Jeb will turn 61 years-young next week. He is the first Republican to ever win the Sunshine State’s governorship for two consecutive terms. Based on the experiences of his dad (#41) and older brother (#43), he knows exactly what lies in store for him if he declares for the presidency.

And yet he describes his decision in terms of whether he can do it “joyfully.” Is he serious? Is this good politics? Or is it both?

In these days of divisive politics and broken government, the Reaganesque notion of bringing joy, hope and optimism will be hard to pull off in the face of massive skepticism, if not cynicism, emanating from The Fourth Estate.

And yet another in his seventh decade of life, he may be pursuing the brass ring.

Who wouldn’t want to be Pete Carroll right now?

carroll1

The 62 year-old coach supposedly couldn’t win in the NFL. He proved the critics ultimately wrong in front of a U.S. television broadcast all-time record audience of 111 million. Nobody predicted a 43-8 blowout by the Seattle Seahawks against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. And yet it happened.

The rap against the irrepressible, forever youthful Carroll was that he just couldn’t cut it during earlier stints with the New York Jets and New England Patriots, and anyone can win at USC with its easy access to the best recruits in Southern California. If that was true, why did Lane Kiffin, Paul Hackett, Larry Smith and Ted Tollner all essentially fail at Troy? Carroll won the Pac-10 conference a record seven consecutive times.

And now his first Super Bowl win.

Will there be more? I will take the over on that particular wager.

Delivering a recent TED Talk, entrepreneur and motivator Jonathan Fields addressed the subject of Turning Fear Into Fuel for Brilliance.

fields

He discussed how he signed a six-year New York City lease for a yoga studio on September 10, 2001…the day before September 11. The Gods seemed to be ganging up on him…and yet he overcame adversity and sleepless nights, stared down fear and won.

He asked the audience: “What if I do nothing?” He rhetorically responded, stating there are no sideways in life. Change is inevitable. We can make it our friend or not.

He ended his talk by asking another question: “What if I succeed?” Should we be afraid of what we want? Or is success just another opportunity to get better and to explore more in our lives?

You can bet the Stones are not content with their past tours and recordings. Jeb Bush may not be satisfied with just his past record as Florida’s governor. You can be certain that Pete Carroll is thinking about his next Super Bowl win and potentially building a dynasty in the Emerald City. And inevitably, Jonathan Fields will have another motivational lecture to deliver and another audience to inspire.

All of my musings here are intended to be a kick in the posterior for those in their 50s and 60s, who elect to do nothing and let society put them out to pasture.

We can be change adverse and hope that we can merely go sideways, but as Jonathan Fields correctly surmises that is really not an option.

Or we can dare to succeed and stare the prospect of failure right in the face, and make the best of each and every day that remains in our lives. Let’s not merely run out the clock.

For the author of Almost DailyBrett, he is on the precipice of a huge decision, one that could take him north or south. Whatever he decides one door will close and another will open. And once the decision is made? He will resist the temptation to look at his rear-view mirror.

It will be great to be here; it will be great to be anywhere.

http://mayareynoldswriter.blogspot.com/2007/07/passing-vodka-bottle-and-playing-guitar.html

http://www.rollingstones.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkFRwhJEOos

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/01/31/why-jeb-bush-is-the-single-biggest-question-mark-in-the-2016-sweepstakes/?wpisrc=nl_politics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeb_Bush

https://www.ted.com/talks

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