Tag - Executives
On the occasion of Apple Music's upcoming first-year anniversary, a quartet of Apple music executives -- SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue, VP of Content and Media Apps Robert Kondrk, Apple Music Chief Creative Officer Trent Reznor, and the still-untitled Jimmy Iovine -- gave an interview with Billboard that covered not only Apple Music, but the state of the music industry in general. Along the way, the execs indirectly refuted a recent claim that Apple would cease offering music downloads within two years
Although not widely reported in the press, a number of Apple executives have accompanied Apple CEO Tim Cook on his five-day trip to India. Alongside newly-appointed head of Apple India Sanjay Kaul, Apple's COO Jeff Williams and Environmental VP Lisa Jackson have also been seen participating in events during the trip. Cook himself has taken time out to visit some cultural sites, including the Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai and a cricket game, while Jackson visited a school known in the region as "The Barefoot College."
Putting pressure on the company to accept an investor resolution, the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month endorsed a proposal that would require Apple to accelerate the recruitment of minorities on the iPhone maker's board of directors and among its senior executives. The agency said that the resolution, submitted by investor Antonio Avian Maldonado II, should be included in the proxy materials sent to shareholders, but Apple has responded by saying the proposal is an attempt at "micro-management."
Apple CEO Tim Cook and the rest of the executive team have announced, in consultation with the Board of Directors, a new program that goes beyond the existing Employee Stock Purchase Plan currently available to all employee and optionally grants employees at all levels and areas of the company -- including non-executives and retail workers -- small amounts of Restricted Stock Units (RSUs), small stock grants intended to help retain the valuable workers.
Like others recently, Tesla CEO Elon Musk felt compelled to walk back some harsh comments about Apple (which may -- or may not -- be a future competitor in electric vehicles) when critics pointed out that his comments were inaccurate. Musk appeared to be trying to unruffle feathers from Apple employees as well as executives with whom he has a relationship -- he and Apple's VP of Design Sir Jonathan Ive have been seen talking on a few occasions -- but may not have been successful.
Three recent appearances by leading Apple executives have provided further insight into their views on a variety of topics, ranging from Tim Cook's desire to be a role model to Sir Jonathan Ive's remembrances of Steve Jobs to music executive Jimmy Iovine's dislike of "freemium" music services. Ive and Iovine were interviewed as part of a conference hosted by Vanity Fair, while Cook was honored by the Human Rights Campaign last week for his position as a role model for LGBT youth as well as his efforts to promote diversity and equality in general.
In a move sure to be opposed by the myriad companies it owes money to, former Apple sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies is currently asking a bankruptcy court judge for permission to hand out over two million dollars in "executive bonuses" designed to help motivate and retain "key" employees -- largely the same group of senior executives who ran the company into the ground. In total, the company expects to apply for nearly $6 million in total bonuses and incentives to various levels of employees.
Samsung is taking a different path than previously thought during its yearly management shuffle, as the South Korean electronics manufacturer is keeping Head of Mobile Communications and Co-CEO Jong-kyun Shin in his post for the time being. However, during the company's yearly management change, at least three other executives in the mobile division will be removed from their positions.
Contrary to many media reports, the gathering of tech executives called to a meeting with President Obama were invited to weigh in on the US' digital surveillance policies and programs, and the topic dominated the two-hour meeting while still touching on other topics, such as the government's Healthcare.gov website and general Internet topics. The tech CEOs and representatives urged the government to adopt stricter rules over various NSA-related programs.
BlackBerry has lost two more high-level executives in the last few weeks, according to a report. T.A. McCann, vice president of social networking at the phone manufacturer, is said to have left the company two weeks ago, while senior director of handheld applications Marc Gingras apparently left in "recent weeks."
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R