Egypt Independent: Business-Main news http://www.egyptindependent.com//enhome_channel/Economy/rss.xml en Egypt's central bank keeps pound stable at 8.78 per dollar http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2471380 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2016/04/26/505021/918070601457980977.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the pound stable at 8.78 per dollar at its weekly foreign currency auction on Tuesday, the state-owned MENA reported.</p><p class="p-description">The CBE devalued the pound by about 14 percent to reach EGP 8.78 against the dollar in March&nbsp;in an effort to close the gap between the official and parallel rates but the move failed to boost dollar liquidity or close the gap.</p><p class="p-description">The widening gap between the official and the unofficial dollar rates persists despite the central bank&#39;s attempts to narrow it.&nbsp;On the black market, the pound had weakened to unprecedented levels near 13 to the dollar on Tuesday.</p><p class="p-description">Tuesday&#39;s decision came amid expectations of further devaluation of the pound, after Tarek Amer, the governor of the CBE, said earlier this month that the central bank&#39;s attempts to fix the price of the Egyptian pound against the dollar were a grave mistake, according to three different publications.</p><p class="p-description">Amer&nbsp;stated they&nbsp;would start adopting a more &quot;flexible&quot; exchange rate policy with the aim of &quot;restoring regular and sustainable&nbsp;foreign exchange trading within the banking system.&quot;</p><p class="p-description">Foreign currency inflows have been severely hit in import-dependent Egypt after the 2011 uprising, which ended the rule of President Hosni Mubarak, drove away tourists and foreign investors, two major sources of hard currency.</p><p class="p-description">Egypt&#39;s foreign reserves inched up at the end of February by 56 million dollars reaching 16.533 billion, still less than half of the foreign reserves Egypt had before Mubarak&#39;s removal when they were almost US$36 billion.</p> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 11:33:00 +0000 Aswat Masriya 2471380 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2016/04/26/505021/918070601457980977.jpg Porsche to create more than 1,400 jobs for electric car http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2471371 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2016/07/26/505021/porsche.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p><span id="articleText"><span class="focusParagraph">Porsche (<span id="symbol_VOWG_p.DE_0"><a href="http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/overview?symbol=VOWG_p.DE" target="_blank">VOWG_p.DE</a></span>) has raised the number of jobs it will create for the production of its first all-electric sports car to more than 1,400 from more than 1,000 previously, the manufacturer said on Tuesday.</span></span></p><p><span id="articleText">More than 1,200 of the new positions will be created at the Volkwagen-owned brand&#39;s base in Zuffenhausen where Porsche is building a new paint shop and assembly line for the battery-powered Mission E due to be built by the end of the decade.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Porsche also said it will increase the number of apprenticeships to 220 from 150.</span></p><p>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:09:00 +0000 Reuters 2471371 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2016/07/26/505021/porsche.jpg The identity crisis that led to Yahoo's demise http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2471370 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2015/12/02/43/screen_shot_2015-12-02_at_2.35.47_pm.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p><span id="articleText"><span class="focusParagraph">When senior Yahoo executives gathered at a San Jose hotel for a management retreat in the spring of 2006, there was no outward sign of a company in crisis. </span></span></p><p><span id="articleText">The internet pioneer, not yet a teenager, had just finished the prior year with US$1.9 billion in profits on $5.3 billion in revenue. The tough days of the dot-com bust were a distant memory, and Yahoo Inc, flush with lucrative advertising deals from the world&#39;s biggest brands, was enjoying its run as one of the top dogs in the world&#39;s hottest industry.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">But for one retreat exercise, everyone was asked to say what word came to mind when a company name was mentioned. They went through the list: eBay: auctions. Google: search. Intel: microprocessors. Microsoft: Windows. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">Then they were asked to write down their answer for Yahoo.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;It was all over the map,&quot; recalled Brad Garlinghouse, then a Yahoo senior vice president and now COO of payment settlement start-up Ripple Labs. &quot;Some people said mail. Some people said news. Some people said search.&quot; </span></p><p><span id="articleText">While some executives said this was a useful management exercise that took place multiple times over the years, it proved an ominous portent of the business troubles to come.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Indeed, the demise of Yahoo, which culminated in an agreement this week to sell the company&#39;s core assets to Verizon Communications Inc, has been more than a decade in the making. Many of the more than two dozen former Yahoo managers interviewed by Reuters over the past two weeks </span>&mdash;<span id="articleText"> who now occupy executives suites elsewhere in Silicon Valley </span>&mdash;<span id="articleText"> agree that the company&#39;s downfall can be traced to choices made by both the executive leadership and the board of directors during the company&#39;s heyday in the mid-2000s.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Some of the missed opportunities are obvious: a failed bid to buy Facebook Inc for $1 billion in 2006. A 2002 dalliance with Google similarly came to naught. A chance to acquire YouTube came and went. Skype was snapped up by eBay Inc. And Microsoft Corp&#39;s nearly $45 billion takeover bid for all of Yahoo in 2008 was blocked by Yahoo&#39;s leadership.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Just as damaging as the missed deals, though, was a company culture that ultimately became too bureaucratic and too focused on traditional brand advertising to prosper in a fast-moving tech business, according to some of the former Yahoo managers Reuters spoke with.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;It became very difficult to get both investment and alignment&quot; around new product initiatives, said Greg Cohn, a former senior product director at Yahoo and now CEO of the mobile phone app company Burner. &quot;If you built a new product and the home page didn&#39;t want to feature it, you were hosed.&quot;</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Worst of all, once Alphabet Inc&#39;s Google had displaced it as peoples&#39; first stop for finding something on the internet, Yahoo was never able to decide on exactly what it wanted to be.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Yahoo today has more than 1 billion users and has focused on mobile under chief executive Marissa Mayer, who told Reuters in an interview Monday that she still saw a &quot;path to growth&quot; for Yahoo, which the Verizon merger accelerated.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Yahoo will continue to operate as a holding company for its large stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, which are worth far more than the core business.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Yahoo declined to comment for this story.</span></p><p><strong><span id="articleText">T</span>he purple carpet </strong></p><p><span id="articleText">The appointment of Terry Semel, who had completed a highly successful run as chairman of the Warner Bros. movie studio, as CEO in 2001 seemed to answer a question that bedeviled many early internet firms: was it a tech company, or a media company?</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Semel could not be reached for comment on his Yahoo tenure. But the focus on media proved lucrative in the short term as big advertisers, desperate to get on board with the next big thing, flocked to one of the largest properties on the web. Revenue soared from $717 million in 2001 to nearly $7 billion by 2007. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">Indeed, Semel and the media executives he brought in by all accounts turned a scrappy young internet startup into a highly profitable company that brought old-line advertising to a new medium. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;From our perspective, we were a media company,&quot; said Dan Rosensweig, Yahoo&#39;s COO from 2002 to 2007 and now CEO of online education company Chegg Inc. &quot;It didn&rsquo;t feel at the time that there was a strong likelihood we would beat Google at search... Nobody could argue that we weren&rsquo;t the largest front page on the internet.&quot;</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Yahoo placed its signature purple everywhere then </span>&mdash;<span id="articleText"> on cookies and cupcakes, on the carpets, and even in the martinis.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;When Coca Cola came to campus, we rolled out the purple carpet,&quot; recalled Wenda Harris Millard, Yahoo&#39;s chief sales officer from 2001 to 2007 and now president and COO of business development firm MediaLink.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Millard said all the major advertisers, from Coke to General Motors, wanted to come to Yahoo&#39;s campus at least once a year.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;We were just doing gazillions of dollars with them,&quot; said Millard.</span></p><p><span id="articleText"><strong>The money trap</strong> </span></p><p><span id="articleText">But the excitement, and the revenue, associated with the big advertising deals ten years ago turned out to be a trap in many ways. Like its brethren in the print media business, who continued to rely on selling ad pages long after it was clear that it was a dying business, Yahoo couldn&#39;t help but to focus on where the big money was, even though that wasn&#39;t where the future was. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;The worst consequence of trying to be a media company was that they didn&#39;t take programming seriously enough,&quot; wrote Paul Graham, co-founder of the Y-Combinator tech incubator who sold a startup to Yahoo, in a 2010 blog post about the company&#39;s woes. &quot;Microsoft (back in the day), Google, and Facebook have all had hacker-centric cultures. But Yahoo treated programming as a commodity.&quot;</span></p><p><span id="articleText">The downside of the media orientation became more clear as the 2000s wore on. In 2003, Yahoo acquired Overture, the company that essentially invented the ad-search technology that made Google rich. But Yahoo never succeeded in creating a strong competitor to Google&#39;s AdWords and AdSense systems.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">A subsequent, hugely expensive effort to rebuild its search and advertising technology, dubbed Panama, similarly bore little fruit. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">Meanwhile, market-leading products like Yahoo Mail, and early social media efforts like Yahoo Groups, were neglected as managers wrestled over which products would get priority on the hugely valuable Yahoo home page, according to three former executives. Promising acquisitions, including photo-sharing site Flickr and social bookmarking service Delicious, withered on the vine. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">Former staffers say they were consumed with endless internal meetings and shifting priorities. Former senior product director Cohn recalls how efforts to make Yahoo an open platform </span>&mdash;<span id="articleText"> with nifty third-party applications around specific content areas such as travel </span>&mdash;<span id="articleText"> foundered in the face of opposition from managers in charge of Yahoo&#39;s in-house products.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Too often, the end result was money spread too thinly across too many marginal initiatives, as Garlinghouse famously pointed out in a leaked internal document known as the Peanut Butter Manifesto. </span></p><p><strong><span id="articleText">Turmoil at the top</span></strong></p><p><span id="articleText">By 2007, it was becoming clear that Yahoo was losing ground fast on the product side as Google solidified its hold on search. New players like Facebook and Netflix Inc continued to arrive and steal Yahoo&#39;s thunder. Semel left that year in favor of co-founder Jerry Yang.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Whatever plans Yang may have had were quickly disrupted by the unsolicited Microsoft takeover bid in early 2008. The offer split the management team, Garlinghouse and others say, and those divisions persisted even after Microsoft&#39;s offer was beaten back.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Yang, who championed the resistance to Microsoft, stepped down again in 2008. Three other CEOs followed before Mayer was appointed in 2014.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">The leadership turmoil &quot;made for a difficult existence for a board, a management team, and a general employee population to get committed to the same goal,&quot; said Rosensweig. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">Yang did not respond to requests for comment.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">By the time Mayer arrived, Yahoo was already seen in Silicon Valley as a company from another era. It had lots of cash but few strategic advantages as it fought far larger competitors. Many analysts and shareholder say Mayer exacerbated the troubles with acquisitions and key hires that proved misguided.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Mayer put a brave face on the deal Monday, saying the scale that will result from the Verizon combination will enable it to continue its efforts to catch up in mobile, social and advertising technology. But the history of the tech business, where companies rarely dominate from one generation to the next, suggests that any such revival is a tall order.</span></p> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 08:54:00 +0000 Reuters 2471370 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2015/12/02/43/screen_shot_2015-12-02_at_2.35.47_pm.png Daimler's mytaxi to merge with Hailo to take on Uber http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2471369 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2016/07/26/505021/uber.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p><span id="articleText"><span class="focusParagraph">Daimler&#39;s mytaxi said it will merge with British rival Hailo in an all-share deal, creating Europe&#39;s largest smartphone-based taxi-hailing business.</span></span></p><p><span id="articleText">Unlike US-based ride hailing start-up Uber, which established itself to compete against taxi companies, the new company will operate using taxi firms. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">It is the latest push by traditional carmakers to enter the taxi ride hailing services market dominated by Uber and other technology companies. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">The companies declined to disclose financial terms.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;It&#39;s a paper deal. Daimler will own 60 percent of the new entity and the stakeholders in Halio will own 40 percent,&quot; said Halio CEO Andrew Pinnington, who will be chief executive of the combined company.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">The merged entity, which will operate under the mytaxi brand, will have 70 million passengers and 100,000 registered taxi drivers in over 50 cities across nine countries in Europe, the companies said. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">In similar deals this year, Volkswagen took a US$300 million stake in Gett and General Motors invested $500 million in Lyft.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Hailo, which operates in Britain, Ireland and Spain, will combine with myTaxi, which is available in Austria, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">The combined company will be headquartered in Hamburg, Germany. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">MyTaxi founder Niclaus Mewes will take a seat on the supervisory board and in addition he will become managing director of Daimler Mobility Services GmbH. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">Sky News was first to report the potential combination of MyTaxi and Hailo. </span></p> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 08:41:00 +0000 Reuters 2471369 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2016/07/26/505021/uber.jpg