Tuesday, February 25, 2014

NY Daily News: Australian Billionaire Heiress: We should all work for $2 dollars a day

From the NY daily news.

I actual find the remarks less out of touch than they seem. She is just telling it like it is from her position.

WBUR -- On Point with Tom Ashbrook: Future with less work ?

Facebook just bought WhatsApp, an instant messenger application, for $19 billion. The company has only 55 employees. If the trend continues, there will be an extreme shortage of jobs in the future.

The panels  in this show acknowledge that automation is destroying jobs faster than ever.  They see the labor market will correcting itself, but that leads to a small number of high wage earners and a large number of low wage earners.

The panelist propose giving people security by de-linking work and survival though a basic subsidy to paid by the government and funded by taxes. Alternatively they government can subsidize private and public job creation. 

They also want to encourage small scale entrepreneurs.

Finally, a caller at the end notes we may need to have less children.

Any way it's a great program on the future of the labor market.

There are also great references.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

John W. Thompson Appointed Chairman of Microsoft's Board of Directors

John W. Thompson Appointed Chairman of Microsoft's Board of Directors succeeding Bill Gales

John Thompson, 64 and CEO of Virtual Instruments, was a named chairman of the board of directors of Microsoft. (press release). Thompson replaces Bill Gates as chairman of Microsoft and becomes the leading African American in US high tech. The board or directors of  Microsoft is ultimate responsibility for the performance of the company. The board approves all upper level management decision such as the strategic direction, key management personnel, and investments.  The board also recommend selecting Satya Nadella as CEO of Microsoft. (press release). The board also approved the $7.2 billion dollar acquisition of Nokia's handset business. (press release).

Thompson is the only black person to head a large silicon valley tech company.  He led Symantec Corporation from 1999 to 2009.  Prior to that he spent 24 years at IBM primarily in sales.  One point he was head of sales and service for IBM Americas

He earned an undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University (business). He earned a MS degree from MIT as part of the Sloan Fellows program (basically advanced business studies).  The Sloan Fellows program is a one-year degree for experienced "fast track" leaders usually paid for by their employers.  The Sloan Fellows tuition is currently listed at $126,500 for one year. (MIT Sloan Price List)

Thompson actively backed Barack Obama for President.  He also owns a stake in the Golden State Warriors.

Virtual Instruments, makes enterprise wide storage, server, network and cloud performance monitoring products. VI is private, so it is difficult to determine revenues or profits, but based on job openings they are expanding rapidly. The company is planning an IPO in 2014. Determining click-to-app performance bottlenecks is a key challenge in enterprise computing.

Forbes reported MR. Thompson earned $72 million(Forbes website 2006) in 2006 and $9 million in 2009 (Forbes 2012 Profile).

Here is Mr. Thompson speaking in a Microsoft Press release on YouTube about the selection of Satya Nadella as CEO of Microsoft. Video is here.

The San Jose Mercury News covers the story.

Bloomberg also reported the story.