Google insiders have a weird reaction to executive changes, and FedEx's war with Amazon rages on (AMZN, GOOGL)


larry page sundar pichai


Welcome to your weekly fix of Business Insider’s Prime stories.

I’m Cadie Thompson, Business Insider’s deputy executive editor, and I’m helping fill in while Matt Turner is on paternity leave. 

This will be our last newsletter for 2019, as we will be taking next Sunday off. With that in mind, we’d just like to say thank you for being a loyal Prime member and we can’t wait to do 2020 with you. 

Bracing for 2020

The year is coming to a close, which means it’s time to start planning for the year ahead. Fortunately, we’ve got some stories to help you do just that. 

Are you wondering what the stock market will do in 2020 and where you should put your money? Akin Oyedele spoke with 14 top Wall Street experts to find out. 

Oyedele also got seven top-performing investors to reveal their best ideas for the new year. 

We’ve also got heaps of industry predictions for you, including what VC’s foresee being the biggest media and healthcare trends in 2020. 

And if you are looking for a new job opportunity in the new year, we’ve got you covered. Dominick Reuter and Jennifer Ortakales put together a list of the 10 best industries for entrepreneurs to start million-dollar businesses and our tech enterprise team has compiled 47 enterprise startups to bet your career on in 2020.  We also got ex-McKinsey employees to tell us how to get onto the partner track and make millions of dollars. 

And if you are just starting off in your career, you should definitely check out Ashley Rodriguez’s breakdown of the best Netflix teams and roles for recent college grads.

Googlers don’t seem to care that Larry and Sergey stepped down

Google insiders are seemingly shrugging off Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepping down as CEO and President. Employees also don’t seem to be that enthused about Sundar Pichai getting promoted to the top spot at Alphabet. 

Current and former workers told Business Insider that Page and Brin have been checked out for some time, so the changes just seem like the natural progression at this point. 

“It feels anticlimactic,” a current worker told Business Insider’s Rob Price and Allana Akhtar. “I haven’t seen anything outside of Sundar being in charge of things … internally, it seems as though that’s already the level at which he was mostly operating.”

FedEx takes a beating while Amazon gets vengeance

FedEx had a rough week.

On Sunday, Amazon announced third-party sellers could not use FedEx’s Ground and Home shipping for Prime services. The logistic company’s stock took a hit on the news. 

The move comes after FedEx ditched Amazon twice this year. First, in June when FedEx Express cut its US business with Amazon, and then in August when FedEx Ground followed suit.

To make matters worse for FedEx, the company reported disappointing earnings on Thursday which were described in a note by Deutsche Bank’s Amit Mehrotra as “breathtakingly bad.” The numbers were so bad in fact, that by Friday morning some $3.5 billion of the company’s market value had been wiped out. 

Amazon dropping FedEx right before Christmas and right before the company’s earnings was brilliant timing, experts told Business Insider’s Rachel Premack. 

“FedEx broke up with Amazon and Amazon is now giving them a stick in the eye,” Sterling said. 

Finance and Investing

This year’s unicorn IPO flops exposed a culture clash between private and public markets, and a top tech banker warns that the growth-at-all-costs mentality won’t cut it anymore

The bar has been raised for startups looking to go public, according to LionTree founder Aryeh Bourkoff.

We got a firsthand look at the tech used at SoftBank-backed real-estate brokerage Compass, including a sneak peek at beta features

Compass New York regional manager Rory Golod gave us a look at how exactly its platform works. 

Charles Schwab’s charitable giving arm just got dragged into the college-admissions scandal

Bill McGlashan, the founder and former managing partner of the high-profile private-equity firm TPG Growth, said in a court filing on Wednesday that it was through Schwab’s charitable business that he made a donation to the college-admissions scandal mastermind Rick Singer.

There’s a huge reorg underway at M Science, the pioneer alt-data seller owned by Jefferies. It’s shaking up its executive ranks and sales team, and cutting data-scientist jobs.

The company has cut several people from its 20-person data-science team, several sources said, including Dipanjan Sen, who was the data-science team lead and a former data scientist at Peter Thiel’s Palantir.

Tech, Media, Telecoms 

Google’s head of talent says that the tech giant is hiring for collaboration — here’s how she screens for team players

Kyle Ewing, Google’s head of talent and a 13-year company veteran, told Business Insider that she values humility in job candidates.

Andreessen Horowitz-backed Wonderschool is cutting 25% of its staff, and some employees say it’s a ‘desperate’ attempt to juice its business for investors

The job cuts affected 18 employees, our sources said, and about half of them worked in operations — an umbrella organization that’s tasked with adding new childcare providers as partners, offering customer support to parents, and growing the company in new markets.

A tech investor whose firm made early bets on Facebook and Instagram explains TikTok’s superpower

Connie Chan, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, believes TikTok has one key advantage over its competition: an ever-growing library of delightful content.

2019 was a tumultuous year for the media industry, with 7,800 jobs slashed and billions in value erased. Here are the biggest winners and losers.

In one of the year’s biggest deals, Vice Media acquired Refinery29, a company that had raised $133 million, for mostly stock. Group Nine Media also acquired the fellow millennial media company PopSugar in a stock deal.

3 YouTube influencers who made over $20,000 from a single video explain how — and it’s not just about view count

How much money a creator on YouTube will earn from a single video varies depending on a number of factors. And getting a lot of views — even millions of them — doesn’t always guarantee a huge payday.

Health, Retail, Transportation 

5 top cannabis VCs told us where they plan to place their bets, from scooping up distressed assets to the emergence of new markets in Germany and China

Morgan Paxhia, a cofounding partner of Poseidon Asset Management, says next year will be the “ending of a period of recalibration” for the cannabis industry.

2019 was the year the cannabis bubble burst. We talked to more than a dozen top cannabis execs about what’s next.

For the companies that survive, this era of crashing stock prices will be seen as a small blip on the path to global domination, insiders said.  

Here’s how a ‘shoetuber’ with over 500,000 subscribers earns thousands of dollars a month making YouTube videos about how to resell sneakers

Reselling sneakers can be profitable on its own. But there’s a whole wave of sneakerheads who have figured out how to use YouTube to make even more.

The parent company of Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut is increasingly likely to acquire more chains, and it reveals a massive shift in the fast-food industry

Yum Brands’ David Gibbs told Business Insider that the “restaurant industry is becoming all about scale.”

Leaked Amazon data reveals the salaries for 168 truck drivers roles nationwide — explore the full spreadsheet on the burgeoning transportation giant

Amazon is revolutionizing one of the most entrenched practices in the long-haul trucking industry: paying per mile.

Lime has lost another communications executive amid continued management turnover at the scooter startup

Paloma Castro Martinez is no longer Lime’s head of international communications according to her LinkedIn profile, marking yet another departure at in a year that’s been marked by executive turnover for the firm. 

One more thing…

We’re hosting an event focused on the future of retail in New York City on Tuesday, January 14.  From the rise of direct-to-consumer brands to sustainable fashion, the future of retail is all about connecting with customer passions and values. Join us for a series of conversations with retail entrepreneurs and experts to discuss industry strategies and innovations, and investment opportunities that these innovations create.

Speakers will include Layla Amjadi, Product Manager, Instagram Shopping, Michelle Cordeiro Grant, Founder & CEO, LIVELY, Jack Forestell, Chief Product Officer, Visa; Arpan Podduturi, Director of Product, Shopify; Geoff Ramsey, Co-Founder and Chief Evangelist, eMarketer; Anushka Salinas, Chief Operating Officer, Rent the Runway; and Maggie Winter, Co-Founder and CEO, AYR.

Click here for more information and to apply to attend.

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