By Annie Massa, Crystal Tse and Claire Ballentine
It was supposed to be a triumph for today’s memeified markets — a validation for all those amateurs who took on the Wall Street pros.
Instead, the public debut for Robinhood Markets Inc. turned out to be an embarrassment for the company that’s become synonymous with the rise of individual investors.
Robinhood traders, it turned out, had no time for Robinhood.
In fact, some of the very people who flocked to the firm’s free-trading app to buy meme stocks like GameStop Corp. and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. …
By Jeff Green
The resurgent coronavirus and return of mask recommendations are hampering corporate America’s plans to get back to normalcy.
Google on Wednesday said that it will push back its official office return to mid-October and require workers at its campuses to get vaccinated. Lyft Inc. postponed its return date to February, while Twitter Inc. shut its recently reopened workplaces. Citigroup Inc. is requiring masks at the office, and Walt Disney Co. is again mandating them at its Florida and California parks.
A jump in Covid-19 cases and a slowdown in vaccinations has left U.S. companies once again struggling…
By Olga Kharif
Hundreds of people showed up Wednesday outside an office of Activision Blizzard Inc. in Southern California to demonstrate their support of a sexual harassment lawsuit and to protest the video game maker’s insufficient response.
Employees and other demonstrators gathered on the sidewalks at the corporate campus of Blizzard Entertainment, the maker of Diablo and Warcraft games that was at the center of the lawsuit filed by a California state agency.
Refreshments and a food truck were on hand at the scene in Irvine, California, as passerbys in cars honked their horns and protesters chanted, “Every voice matters.”…
By Jordan Fabian and Jennifer Epstein
President Joe Biden promised a “summer of joy” on July 4 as he declared America’s independence from Covid-19. Three weeks later that sense of victory is evaporating in the face of a resurgent pandemic.
The U.S. now faces a surge in cases fueled by vaccine holdouts and the highly transmissible delta variant, prompting the federal government and companies on Tuesday to weigh mandatory vaccinations of workers and a return to widespread mask wearing.
That reversal of fortune could bring back restrictions many Americans had hoped were gone for good — a bitter setback for…
By Annie Massa and Crystal Tse
For any company on the brink of going public, the final days before its trading debut can feel like a big balancing act.
Even by those standards, Robinhood Markets Inc. is walking a uniquely fine line.
The company behind the trading app that starred in this year’s meme stock run-up is carving out an unusually large role for those very same novice investors. On Thursday, when its shares are expected to begin trading after they price late Wednesday, the wisdom of that strategy will be put to the test.
The interests of bankers, founders…
By Nico Grant
Google Cloud employees were baffled when they learned that their next boss would be Thomas Kurian, an executive who struggled to shepherd Silicon Valley mainstay Oracle Corp. into the promised land of internet computing.
It was November 2018 and the cloud division’s then-chief Diane Greene and Kurian held a question-and-answer session with staff who worried about his impending leadership. “A lot of people have concerns about the fact that you came from Oracle, which is a very different culture,” one person said to Kurian. “So how are you going to preserve the culture at Google Cloud?” …
By Matt Day
Amazon.com Inc.’s payments team is exploring letting customers use cryptocurrencies to pay for their orders — a development that’s roiling digital currency markets.
An Amazon job posting published online last week seeks a “Digital Currency and Blockchain Product Lead.” After Insider reported the existence of the posting earlier, Bitcoin surged near $40,000. Amazon shares were up less than 1% in New York at 9:39 a.m.
“You will leverage your domain expertise in Blockchain, Distributed Ledger, Central Bank Digital Currencies and Cryptocurrency to develop the case for the capabilities which should be developed,” the posting says. …
By Gerry Smith
For Matt Hershberger, HBO Max isn’t just a streaming service. It’s a babysitter.
Hershberger has two young kids, ages 1 and 3, and relies on the app to keep them entertained at home while he does chores and changes diapers. But lately, he said, HBO Max has been “a train wreck.” When he opens the app on his Roku, it typically crashes three times before successfully streaming an episode of “Sesame Street” or “Looney Tunes” — much to the frustration of his impatient toddler.
“Sometimes the sound goes way forward and the picture tries to catch up…
By Olivia Carville
Airbnb Inc. and Expedia Group Inc.’s short-term-rental unit Vrbo announced in June that they were partnering to share information about repeat “party house” offenders. What they didn’t agree on was sharing details about properties they’ve banned after violent crimes have occurred there.
That became an issue this week after Expedia permanently barred a Mexican villa where a 35-year-old New York City high school teacher was found naked, bruised and near-death three years ago while on a summer vacation. The incident, first reported in a July 20 Bloomberg Businessweek story, led to an immediate lifetime ban of the…
By Jason Schreier
Blizzard Entertainment’s disastrous remake of the classic video game Warcraft III last year was the result of mismanagement and financial pressures, according to newly revealed documents and people with knowledge of the failed launch. The release also reflected Blizzard’s significant cultural changes in recent years, as corporate owner Activision Blizzard Inc. has pushed the developer to cut costs and prioritize its biggest titles.
Warcraft III: Reforged was a long-awaited reimagining of one of Blizzard’s most popular games. Blizzard President J. Allen Brack called the original title “monumentally important” when Reforged was announced in 2018. The company promised…