UBER EXEC QUITS; INVESTOR SUES
DETROIT» Uber Technologies Inc. faced a fresh round of turmoil Thursday, with its global operations chief resigning and a major investor suing the ridehailing company’s former CEO. Ryan Graves told the Uber staff in an email Thursday that he will transition out of his role as senior vice president of global operations in September. Graves will remain on the board.
That board — and its support for former CEO Travis Kalanick — was the subject of a lawsuit filed Thursday in Delaware Chancery Court by Benchmark Capital Partners.
Benchmark holds 13 percent of Uber’s stock. It claims Kalanick is trying to pack Uber’s board with his allies and eventually return to his post as CEO. The venture capital firm says that would harm Uber’s shareholders, employees, drivers and customers.
A spokesperson for Kalanick said the lawsuit is “completely without merit and riddled with lies and false allegations.”
Snapchat’s woes help Instagram.
Facebook’s Instagram Stories, a clear Snapchat clone, has more daily users than Snapchat itself — and Snap Inc. should be very worried. Both companies’ Stories feature lets people share videos and snapshots in a continuous 24-hour loop. It has proven to be a hit at Instagram, such that daily use of that feature is more than all of Snapchat. Snap’s latest earnings report isn’t helping, as the company says second-quarter growth was a paltry 4 percent.
OPEC misses target.
Production of crude oil across all OPEC countries rose again in July, to above the level the cartel has agreed would be the upper limit — and above the estimated level of global demand. The cartel said Thursday in a market report that its countries’ production rose for a third month in July, by 173,000 daily barrels, to an average of 32.9 million barrels a day. That puts it above the 32.5 million barrels a day the group had agreed in November would be their limit. The price of crude has largely hovered around or below $50 a barrel in recent months.
Good, bad news for Blue Apron.
Blue Apron has reported strong second-quarter revenue growth, but the meal-kit seller is having unexpected delays at a new plant. It also provided a weak revenue forecast for the second half of the year. The company reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss.
O’Reilly starts daily online show.
Ousted Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly has launched an experimental video comeback with a daily online show.
The initial half-hour was posted on his website Wednesday for premium subscribers, originating from what he called a “new prototype studio.” Among other topics, O’Reilly discussed President Trump’s “fire and fury” comments about North Korea and a movement that calls for California to secede from the union. He spoke by Skype with political commentator Michael Smerconish.