article-aa

On the morning of the annual holiday that marks the end of slavery in the U.S., Tesla informed workers they could take the day off, unpaid. CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Friday afternoon that the day would “henceforth” be considered a holiday at his companies, quashing plans for protests from workers concerned about his “deafening” silence. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai told Fortune his company is tackling issues of diversity with the same vigour applied to the challenges posed by the coronavirus. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg promised to increase the number of Black people in leadership positions by 30 per cent over the next five years. Snapchat apologized for and removed a filter that saw chains appear and break when a user smiled. (The Logic)

Read this article for free

By entering your e-mail you consent to receiving commercial electronic messages from The Logic Inc. containing news, updates, offers or promotions about The Logic Inc.’s products and services. You can withdraw your consent at anytime. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

Already a subscriber?

Talking point: The holiday has gained more attention following global protests sparked by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Rayshard Brooks. Due to the efforts of HellaCreative, a group of mostly Black Bay Area tech creatives who launched HellaJuneteenth to push for the day to be a national holiday, several tech companies have committed resources to honouring the date. It remains to be seen how sustained these efforts will be: according to a new survey from Hired, Black and Hispanic tech workers are paid less than their white and Asian peers. On average, just 2.7 per cent of executives in senior roles at 10 major tech companies are Black. Ulili Onovakpuri, a partner at Kapor Capital and one of the few Black women partners in the venture capital industry, told The Information that these commitments are baseless without benchmarks. “That’s how you signal externally that you’re committed to this,” she said.

article-aa

Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft have announced 19 deals for acquisitions and strategic investments so far this year, putting them on pace for their busiest M&A year since 2015. (Financial Times)

Read this article for free

By entering your e-mail you consent to receiving commercial electronic messages from The Logic Inc. containing news, updates, offers or promotions about The Logic Inc.’s products and services. You can withdraw your consent at anytime. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

Already a subscriber?

Talking point: The increased activity is a departure from how tech firms reacted in the last two economic recessions. It speaks to the extent to which this particular pandemic has been a boon to Big Tech, as well as the massive buying power the companies have built up in the last decade. The drop in valuations among smaller tech firms has also made for more appealing buying opportunities in some cases. For example, Amazon is reportedly in advanced talks to buy self-driving car company Zoox at a discount to its last valuation of US$3.2 billion. The purchasing spree flies in the face of growing antitrust concerns in the sector: EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager has called for more punitive antitrust regulations for big firms, and U.S. Democratic representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren have specifically called for a ban on “predatory” M&A during the crisis.