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B&E This Fortnight
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B&E This Fortnight

Issue Date - 27/10/2011
Rip steve jobs

The legendary co-founder and Chairman of technology giant Apple Inc. passed away on October 5, in what will probably be remembered as one of the saddest days in corporate history. Jobs resigned as the CEO of Apple on August 24, 2011. The iPhone 4S was launched just a day before he died. Jobs will perhaps be the only business leader whose management style will never be emulated by others. During the early 1980s, the media presented Jobs as a maverick hero. And then the fateful day came in 1985, when Steve Jobs was forced to step down from his own company. Fortune did a cover story “The fall of Steve Jobs”. Any ordinary mortal would have resigned to his fate but Jobs instead went to William Hewlett and David Packard (founders of HP and Jobs’ mentors) and apologised for ending up so badly. But he was quick to rebound and shake off the adversity. What caught his fancy was the the potential that he saw in the Graphical User Interface (GUI) developed by Xerox. Whether by inspiration or imitation, Jobs decided to build computers with a rich graphic interface. Despite revolutionising the technology consumption pattern of an entire generation, his role as a technologist is largely underrated due to his obsessive focus on design. The speech that he gave at a Stanford convocation in 2005 was viewed online a record 8 million times the day he died. Jobs has truly been one of the most inspiring business leaders of our age.

Two tech titans in a court battle
The war between Google and Oracle over copyright infringement will come up for trial before a district court in San Francisco. Oracle sued Google last year, claiming the Web search leader’s Android mobile operating technology infringes Oracle’s Java patents and for which it claimed as much as $2.6 billion in damages. Oracle acquired the Java programing language through its purchase of Sun Microsystems in 2010. District Judge William Alsup had earlier asked Oracle to reconsider its damages claim and had suggested an alternative sum of about $100 million. On its part Google had moved a motion before the judge seeking to resolve the copyright claims in its favor before trial, which was also denied. After the initial hearings in the court where both parties presented their cases, the trial is set to commence this month. Many would be watching to see how the court drama will play out.

UBS takes action post-scandal
UBS has admitted the mistakes its equities division made which led to a trading scandal and a loss of over $2 billion. It’s now making quick amends. Two co-heads of equities division have resigned and eight more managers in equities face disciplinary action. Chief Executive Oswald Gruebel had already resigned earlier taking moral responsibility for the lapse. Caretaker chief executive Sergio Ermotti, who took over the charge last month said that under no circumstances should something like this ever occur gain. Mike Stewart, a recent recruit from Bank of America Merrill Lynch will become the new head of equities. In a memo to staff, investment bank head Carsten Kengeter has said they are already acting to improve UBS’s overall risk and control framework and would further tighten up other processes and procedures.

Facebook revenues
The world’s largest social networking site with more than 750 million members is expected to go public next year. Facebook’s global ad revenue for next year is estimated to be $5.78 billion. Its global revenue is estimated to be $4.27 billion this year. According to a research firm eMarketer, revenue from Facebook Credits, the currency used on the site, is estimated to reach $470 million this year as compared to $140 million last year. Facebook advertising revenues will surpass $2 billion this year in the US alone which accounts for just over half the worldwide total.


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