Get to know the CEO


If you're offered a seat on a rocket ship, don't ask what seat! Just get on."

Wise words from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Although, a window seat would be nice.

Market Snapshot

  • The NASDAQ and S&P finished up on light trading post-Q2 earnings.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng broke through 28,000.
  • Gasoline futures rose 6.8% in the wake of Harvey.
  • The dollar index reached its lowest level since May 2016.

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Get to Know the CEO

Uber's nine-week hunt for a CEO is finally over-introducing Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Expedia since 2005.

This concludes the chaotic search that jumped between corporate vets like HPE CEO Meg Whitman and former General Electric CEO, Jeff Immelt.

But with those celebrated execs showing little interest, Uber decided Mr. Khosrowshahi was best suited for the leather throne.

Dara the Explorer

Dara's path to the top was no cakewalk. He emigrated to the U.S. following the Iranian Revolution and grew up in New York City while his father was detained back home.

He then went on to graduate from Brown in electrical engineering before turning into a standout analyst at USA Networks.

By 2001, four years after USA purchased a $2 billion stake in Expedia, the choice was clear-give Dara the reins.

In just a decade, the travel guru and expert deal-maker boosted Expedia revenue from $2 billion to $8.5 billion through 20 key acquisitions and investments, including Travelocity ($280 million) and Orbitz ($1.6 billion). Maybe that's why he was the S&P's highest paid CEO at nearly $95 million.

But why is he a good fit for Uber?

His personality and his network…among other things.

Khosrowshahi is known for his calm demeanor and emphasis on culture-a leadership style Uber is desperately lacking.

Tack on Khosrowshahi's familial ties in the valley, and the fit makes more sense. His brother plays a role in the Sun Valley conference-a networking event for the Musks and Zuckerbergs of the world. And his cousins range from Google execs to artificial intelligence execs at Intel.

Seems promising, but there's a catch: for Khosrowshahi to accept, he would need to leave a $185 million compensation package behind. That being said, a $200 million contract from Uber wouldn't be unwelcome either.

For Uber's sake, here is one driver it hopes doesn't cancel the trip.

Less is More

Gone are the days of the overpriced organic avocado-at least for Whole Foods. Just a day after the acquisition closed, Amazon dropped prices at stores across the country, lowering goods like Fuji apples from $3.49 to $1.99 and rotisserie chicken from $13.99 to $9.99.

And the tactic feels all-too-familiar. Similar to video in 2011 and books in 1994, this move has everything to do with market share. Whole Foods only represents 12% of Amazon's total revenue and only 1.21% of the U.S. grocery market-Walmart and Kroger reign supreme at 14.5% and 7%, respectively.

Luckily for Amazon, Whole Foods' healthy 2.9% profit margin (Kroger's is 0.8%) gives it some wiggle room on price. And if it can lure customers by lowerings costs, Bezos & Co stand a chance of making up ground.

Of course, if that's not doing it for you, maybe a half-priced Amazon Echo at your local Whole Foods will-a staple of any well-balanced American diet.

St. Louis Blues

St. Louis dropped the minimum wage to $7.70/hour-just three months after it initially raised them to $10/hour.

The discussion of minimum wages has never been an easy one. 30 states have implemented wage raises since 2014, while 20 states have remained stagnant at the $7.25/hour federal minimum.

And maybe this study by the Congressional Budget Office sheds some light on the debate-while a higher $10.10/hour federal minimum wage would increase the pay of 16.5 million workers across the country, it might also eliminate 500,000 jobs in the process (the higher the salaries the less willingly employers hand out jobs).

Nonetheless, the decision is final and up to 35,000 St. Louis workers are at risk of their salaries dropping.

See You in 2019…

The numbers are out-Nielsen reported a record setting 12.1 million viewers for the Game of Thrones finale on HBO. Despite episode leaks during the season, the 38-time Emmy-winning show has never had trouble luring in millions of viewers.

But this season's viewership is actually 36% higher than last year's 8.6 million. And across all of HBO platforms the numbers are even more staggering. Including HBO Go and HBO Now, unique views average 30 million per episode. For context, this year's NBA Finals set a record as well…averaging only 20.4 million viewers a game.

And no wonder. The finale of Thrones always has fans reeling from unexpected character kill-offs-a Game 7 write-off of Zaza Pachulia just doesn't have the same ring to it.

What Else Is Happening…

  • Gilead is acquiring cancer-fighting biotech firm Kite Pharma for $11.9 billion.
  • Varma, a $53 billion Finnish pension fund, is cutting exposure to U.S. stocks on Trump concerns.
  • NYC boosted the price of cigarettes by 24% and is banning pharmacies from selling them.
  • Last week, nearly ½ of Japan briefly lost access to the internet because of a Google hiccup.
Economic Calendar

  • Monday     Earnings: No Events Today
  •                     Economic Events: No Events Today

  • Tuesday    Earnings: Altaba, Best Buy, Dole Food, H&R Block, SoulCycle
  •                   Economic Events: Redbook, Consumer Confidence

  • Wednesday    Earnings: Five Below
  •                         Economic Events: MBA Mortgage Applications, ADP Employment, GDP, Corporate Profits, Petroleum Status Report, Farm Prices

  • Thursday   Earnings: Campbell Soup, Lands' End
  •                    Economic Events: Chain Store Sales, Jobless Claims, Chicago PMI, Consumer Comfort Index, Pending Home Sales, Money Supply

  • Friday       Earnings: No Events Today
  •                  Economic Events: Motor Vehicle Sales, PMI Manufacturing Index, Construction Spending, Consumer Sentiment, Baker-Hughes Rig Count

(Highest Grossing) By the Numbers

  • Highest grossing movie (box office): Avatar-$2.7 billion.
  • Fun Fact: James Cameron took the cast through the jungles of Hawaii for weeks to help the actors prepare for the roles.

  • Highest grossing video game: Space Invaders-$13.9 billion.
  • Fun Fact: It was the first game to ever have a leaderboard of high scores (that was a big deal believe it or not).

  • Highest grossing play: The Lion King-$1.37 billion.
  • Fun Fact: It was the first broadway show to ever gross more than $1 billion.

  • Highest grossing stand-up film: Eddie Murphy: Raw-$50.5 million.
  • Fun Fact: The f-bomb was dropped exactly 223 times. But hey, who's counting.

Who would've thought Space Invaders would be the highest grossing video game of all time? Well, likely our parents. Another thought: even though ten rounds of a good old fashion rock 'em sock 'em brought in ~$700 million, a strong weekend at the box office does seem to take the cake. And it's one really, really high grossing cake.

Question of the Day

You have 1,000 bottles of juice…one contains poison and tastes bitter. How do you find it in the smallest number of sips?

(Give up?)

Who Am I?

I am a Turkish American businessman and the former CEO of Coca-Cola.
I found my way to Coca-Cola through a Turkish newspaper ad in 1978.
I was almost a running mate for Hillary Clinton.
I won the Water Leader Award this year for my humanitarian efforts as CEO.

(Any guesses?)

Stat of the Day


The percent of available food supply in the U.S. that is wasted by spoiling on shelves or at home. Let's hope Amazon can bring its innovative logistics to the grocery industry and eat into this $160 billion cost per year.

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