Paw Print Rewind #020: June 15, 2015

Editor’s Note: This is the Paw Print Rewind, a daily recap of the top news headlines.

Costolo steps down as Twitter CEO


Dick Costolo is stepping down as Twitter’s CEO. He will be replaced by co-founder Jack Dorsey for the time being.

“Unfortunately this news isn’t surprising. The bottom line is that Twitter isn’t very good right now at serving either its users or its marketers.”

-Nate Elliott, Forester Research analyst

Costolo announced his resignation before a new CEO was named to ensure transparency in the search process, according to a conference call announcing his action. Twitter will consider both internal and external candidates in the search, according to Costolo.

The search has yet to begin, according to Dorsey, but he is looking for a CEO that uses Twitter daily and “loves” the product.

Costolo didn’t receive a severance package because he stepped down voluntarily, according to Twitter CFO Anthony Noto.

“I am deeply appreciative of the confidence the board, the management team and the employees have placed in me over the years.”

-Dick Costolo, former Twitter CEO

Costolo will continue to lead the company until July 1 and will continue to serve the board, according to a company regulatory filing.

Costolo also agreed to cancel all of his remaining unvested Twitter equity after the aforementioned date.

Facebook shareholders reject ‘one share, one vote’ proposal


A proposal to give Facebook’s shareholders one voter per share was rejected at the company’s annual meeting, according to preliminary results.

Ordinary investors own Class A common shares, which provide one vote per share, while Facebook’s Class B shares are worth 10 votes each.

Facebook’s Class B common stock holders hold about 74 percent of the company’s voting power, according to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerburg, who owns 55 percent of the voting power.

The company’s eight directors, including Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg were reelected.

All shareholder proposals were defeated at the meeting, according to preliminary results.

Court suspends U.S. net neutrality rules


New net neutrality rules have gone into effect after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected requests to partly suspend their implementation while they are being litigated.

The court found that “petitioners have not satisfied the stringent requirements,” according to a statement, which included proving irreparable harm from the rules’ implementation.

The court’s decision puts the lawsuit on an expedited schedule.

“Starting Friday, there will be a referee on the field to keep the Internet fast, fair, and open.”

-Tom Wheeler, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman

The new rules ban Internet providers from blocking and slowing down access to websites and apps or striking deals with content companies for priority delivery of traffic. The FCC will also be able to address complaints about potential “unreasonable interference” with consumers’ access to the Web.

AT&T and industry groups’ lawsuit objects to the reclassification of broadband Internet as a more heavily regulated service, and the new broad “unreasonable interference” general conduct standard.

“The FCC and Congress have long agreed that this critical service, which is fundamental to consumers’ daily lives, should be lightly regulated to continue the enormous investment and innovation that has enabled the Internet-related economy to thrive.”

-Walter McCormick Jr., USTelecom president and CEO

“The case is just beginning and the stakes are high.”

-Meredith Attwell Baker, CTIA president and CEO

FedEx taking $2.2 billion charge on pension accounting change

=File photo of Federal Express delivery truck in San Diego, California

FedEx will record a $2.2 billion non-cash pretax charge related to a change in the way it accounts for pensions.

The move to mark-to-market accounting will have no effect on employees’ pension benefits or the funding requirements for any pension plans or cash flows, according to FedEx.

“Adopting the mark-to-market approach will align our accounting to provide greater transparency by removing certain legacy pension costs from segment operating results and recognizing them in a year-end adjustment.”

-Alan Graf, FedEx CFO

FedEx’s Ground unit reached a $228 million settlement in an independent contractor litigation pending in the Northern District of California’s U.S. District Court.

“This settlement resolves claims dating back to 2000 that concern a model FedEx Ground no longer operates.”

-Christine Richards, FedEx general counsel

FedEx recorded charges of $0.47 per share, net of tax, in its fourth quarter that ended on May 31st related to the settlement.

The ground package delivery business is the company’s second largest after FedEx Express and accounts for more than a quarter of its total revenue.

Michael Kors settles U.S. lawsuit alleging deceptive price tags

Michael Kors New Delhi store

Michael Kors has agreed to pay $4.88 million and change its sales practices to settle a class action lawsuit claiming it used deceptive price tags at its outlet stores to fool shoppers into believing that they were getting big deals.

The preliminary settlements was filed in Manhattan federal court on Friday, and requires court approval.

Michael Kors was accused of creating an “illusion” of deep discounts by using tags containing made-up manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRPs), and offers to sell the products at lower prices, called “our price.”

The suggested retail prices are artificial, according to shoppers, because the tagged products were Michael Kors-exclusives for their outlets, and the London-based company never intended to sell them at those prices.

As part of the settlement, Michael Kors will replace “MSRP” with “Value” on its price tags and display signage explaining the term, or stop using reference prices for outlet exclusives.

Michael Kors denied wrongdoing in their agreement to settle.

Friday’s settlement covered shoppers who bought products from Michael Kors outlets in the four years before July 25th, 2014.

The plaintiff’s lawyers plan to seek up to 30% legal fees of the settlement fund, according to court papers.

Google launches YouTube Gaming


Google has launched YouTube Gaming, a dedicated video platform that focuses exclusively on gaming.

More than 25,000 games will be featured on the site, according to Google, bringing videos and livestreams together in a single space.

Users will be able to add games to their collection for quick access, subscribe to channels, and receive notifications on new games based on the games and channels they follow.

“When you want something specific, you can search with confidence, knowing that typing “call” will show you Call of Duty and not Call Me Maybe.”

-Google, in a blog post

The service will compete with Twitch, a similar service that Amazon bought for $970 million last year, beating out a bid made by Google.

“We welcome new entrants into the growing list of competitors since gaming video is obviously a huge market that others have their eye on.”

-Michael DiPietro, Twitch vice president of marketing

YouTube Gaming will be available on the web, Android, and iOS this summer in the United States and UK, according to a tweet from its Twitter account.

European space probe awakes in comet’s shadows

A robotic space leader has surprised scientists by waking up and sending a signal to Earth, seven months after straying into the shadows of a comet where they feared it might be marooned forever.

The European Space Agency received signals from the Philae lander late Thursday when it began “speaking” with its team on the ground for the first time since it began “speaking” with its team on the ground for the first time since it went into emergency hibernation following a botched landing on the court in November, according to the agency.

“There’s great excitement about it being back. But we have to make sure it’s not the last croak of a dying cowboy.”

-Mark McCaughrean, ESA senior science adviser

In the shadows, Philae’s solar panels, which were meant to power the probe after its batteries ran out several days after landing, received far less than the expected six to seven hours of sunshine per day. It went into hibernation on November 15th.

After reawakening, Philae “spoke” for 85 seconds with its team on the ground with its mothership Rosetta, which is orbiting the comet at a distance of about four miles. Analysis of the detailed data suggests the lander was awake earlier but unable to make contact, according to the ESA.

“It’s very fascinating and we’re all very happy to have received this signal. The lander seems to be perfectly healthy.”

-Stephan Ulamec, project manager

Philae’s official Twitter account was also rejuvenated with this tweet:

Over 8,000 data packets in Philae’s mass memory will provide information on what has happened in the past few days, according to the ESA.



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