CEO-pocalypse: A record-setting year of exec exits

Monday, November 11, 2019 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

No CEO is safe

Last Week’s Market Moves
Dow Jones
27,681 (+1.22%)
S&P 500
3,093 (+0.85%)
8,475 (+1.06%)
$9,036 (-1.70%)
10-Yr US Treasury

Hey Snackers,

It's way more than a solidly symmetrical palindrome date.

A big 11/11 shoutout this Veterans Day to those who have defended this country... and to the singles in China celebrating "Singles Day" (the largest shopping holiday in the world — by far).

Stocks enjoyed their 5th straight week of record highs. Now prepare for this week's serious serving of cannabis earnings.

1. Gap's CEO gets terminated — this could become the worst year on record for CEOs

Your go-to '90s fleece sweatshirt... featured "G-A-P" in 86-sized font across the chest. Today, Gap is a struggling retailer, often stuck slapping "40% off everything" everywhere. And ex-CEO Art Peck just "stepped down" on Thursday (that usually means he was fired). Even the planned spinoff of its more profitable Old Navy brand is now in question.

Chief Exit Officers... McDonald's, Under Armour, Nike, and WeWork all lost their leaders last month. 2008 previously set the record for most CEO departures (blame a financial crisis that hit 8.2 on the Richter scale). This year’s ousted execs were driven out by profit worries, retirement, and (for some) personal misconduct — at record rates:

  • The worst month: 172 CEOs either voluntarily resigned or were escorted out by security with cardboard boxes — that's a record for a single month.
  • The (close to) worst year: 2019 is on pace to beat 2008 for most CEO departures.

Now Hiring: A new breed of CEO... In the past, execs had 1 job: make as much profit as possible. Outsource jobs, pollute the environment, instill a hostile work culture — all good, as long as you cranked out profits. But society and markets have changed so much that the "Purpose of a Corporation" was actually redefined by the Business Roundtable. Here's the new day-to-day of a modern CEO:

  • Be a spokesperson for young and woke employees.
  • Define the values, mission, and social promise of the company.
  • And (of course) you better make profits.

Tesla's drama. GM's labor strike... American car brands get the attention, but Toyota's latest earnings deserves yours. Almost 70% of US car sales now are trucks or SUVs — But unlike its Japanese peers, Toyota anticipated this years ago, prepping factories for Tundra, Tacoma, 4Runner, and Rav4 production. Its sales rose 4.5% last quarter and it's enjoying $2,300 in profit off every car sold (Ford's profit per car is $1,400 and Tesla's is just $268).

Travis 2.0... The Uber co-founder/ex-CEO's new venture raised $400M from Saudi Arabia (it's the Saudis' 1st major US tech investment since journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder). It's called CloudKitchen, and it leases kitchen space for delivery-only restaurants so they can prep meals. These "ghost kitchens" are sprouting up to supply DoorDashers, GrubHubers, and (plot twist) Uber Eaters with potentially lower-cost delivery food, since they aren't full-service restaurants.


Dating is complicated... Take Match Group, which owns Tinder and about 45 other dating apps. The number of Tinder users surged by 437K last quarter to hit 5.6M — and the amount of Tinder-faithful opening the app 7 days a week jumped by 30%. That big growth couldn't stop Match shares from dropping 15% after it lowered its forecasts for the next quarter.

Still sore... Peloton reported earnings for the first time ever since its September IPO, and shares dropped 8% because investors want to see profits, not just growth. The number of Pelotonistas more than doubled to 563K atop their $2K at-home spin bikes (dropping $39 monthly for live-streamed spin classes). That growth is ripped. But investors aren't comfortable with Peloton's $50M loss.

What else we’re Snackin’
  • Work: Messed up in the job interview? How to fix 4 mid-interrogation mistakes
  • Life: The size of space. It's big.
  • Money: Here are your new income tax brackets for 2020
  • Venture: The worst Kickstarter projects of all time
  • Crypto: Legendary venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz launches free cryptocurrency school (good luck getting accepted)
Snacks Daily Podcast
  • Party City’s stock dropped 67% after a brutal Halloween and helium balloon crisis — but we're looking at the problems they can control (and aren't).
  • Zillow pivoted from a browsing-only site for houses and apartments for sale/rent to online shopping for real estate — it's a big risky bet.
This Week

Disclosure: Authors of this Snacks own shares of Alibaba

ID: 1008062

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