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  • American Airlines (AAMRQ.PK) threatens to take its pilots to court over an increase in sick days and maintenance complaints from the group that the carrier alleges is a purposeful negotiating tactic. The Allied Pilots Association denies an organized sickout or slowdown is in play, blaming old planes and a shortage of pilots for the issue. Either way, the data tracked by Flightstats.com paints a rather ugly picture with American Airlines leading the pack of canceled and delayed flights by a wide margin. [View news story]
    Whatever -- so, that's what all the American Airlines pilots are doing, all at once, each day this week -- "suspecting that the nose gear has been damaged, and calling maintenance".

    Right.

    I'm depleting my AAdvantage Miles, and flying another carrier from now on. pyIt, you and your fellow union buddies at the UNPROFITABLE airline can keep jerking your remaining passengers around ... when you're later bagging groceries at Walmart, don't look for any tips from me. Jerks.
    Sep 28, 2012. 09:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • American Airlines (AAMRQ.PK) threatens to take its pilots to court over an increase in sick days and maintenance complaints from the group that the carrier alleges is a purposeful negotiating tactic. The Allied Pilots Association denies an organized sickout or slowdown is in play, blaming old planes and a shortage of pilots for the issue. Either way, the data tracked by Flightstats.com paints a rather ugly picture with American Airlines leading the pack of canceled and delayed flights by a wide margin. [View news story]
    Management is correct in this instance. I was a passenger aboard a 6:20AM flight, with the cabin door "sealed" and the flight about to move to the runway, when the pilot "noticed" a work-item "in the log" (from the pilot of the last flight, incidentally), who had "noted" a screw loose in a first class seat.

    The pilot "apologized" but informed us there would be a "delay", because he "had to call Maintenance", which took at least 25 minutes to resolve. Then, he awoke those of us who were just dozing off, to apologize for a "bump" that he claimed had occurred when the plane was being moved away from the gate. Didn't know what he was talking about, but he said the arm to move the plane had impacted too hard, and he was "concerned", so he was again calling maintenance back to "visually inspect the safety of the plane."

    Just complete bullshit. He should be fired. It was patently manufacturing reasons, in collusion (in the first case) with the pilot of the earlier flight, to cause us to be delayed, making passengers connecting through DFW miss their later connections.

    I'd be happy to directly speak with American Airlines management. I tweated all of this from the plane as it was happening. AA Flight 675 on 19-September. Reach out to William Brown (you have my contact information) and I'd be VERY HAPPY to give you my firsthand account.
    Sep 27, 2012. 12:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Marissa Mayer reportedly told Yahoo (YHOO) employees at today's all-hands meeting the company will have a strong mobile position by 2015 (mobile is a clear weak spot right now), and will only approve projects capable of obtaining 100M users or $100M in revenue. She also claimed Yahoo, which just agreed to return $3.65B to shareholders, will make more "acqui-hires" to reel in engineering talent. Few details were apparently given about individual products, and none about layoff plans. (CFO change) Update: Kara Swisher has more details. [View news story]
    And I reportedly told colleagues, upon hearing Mayer's comments ... "Yawnnn".

    Yahoo is finished. It serves as 1-2 year plaything, a vehicle for Ms. Mayer and her Bay Area social friends and certain connected Stanford alumni. Sure, AdAge will play it up with puff pieces, and Kara Swisher at AllThingsD will sweat and analyze every possible strategic move, but it will all add up to a whole bunch of ... nothing.
    Sep 25, 2012. 06:34 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • General Motors (GM -0.4%) disputes a published estimate from Reuters claiming that the automaker loses $49K per Chevrolet Volt. At issue is if development costs of the program should be divided across the lifetime volume of Volts or the current number sold. [View news story]
    Well, maybe they are ... and you're certainly correct that you need to have a long-tail perspective for major new capital intensive investments, or no new R&D would ever be pursued, right?

    But Reuters was clearly putting a rosy flourish to their point ... at such low sales volumes, and with no major impetus on the horizon to change that, GM's VOLT program is a FINANCIAL LOSER.

    And, how do you count on "other electric vehicles" on this SPECIFIC "technology cycle"??! The technology will CHANGE, as it is oft to do -- especially in electric car category -- forcing GM to scrap its current tech.
    Sep 10, 2012. 12:51 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Motors (GM -0.4%) disputes a published estimate from Reuters claiming that the automaker loses $49K per Chevrolet Volt. At issue is if development costs of the program should be divided across the lifetime volume of Volts or the current number sold. [View news story]
    De-politicize the discussion, because you sound like an ideologue.

    Other than that ... I agree with you :)
    Sep 10, 2012. 12:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Motors (GM -0.4%) disputes a published estimate from Reuters claiming that the automaker loses $49K per Chevrolet Volt. At issue is if development costs of the program should be divided across the lifetime volume of Volts or the current number sold. [View news story]
    Exactly.
    Sep 10, 2012. 12:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Following Groupon's (GRPN -0.9%) ugly Q2 report and the huge selloff that followed, questions about CEO Andrew Mason's leadership have amplified. Mason, who founded Groupon less than 4 years ago, was already in the hot seat due to a slumping stock price, Q4 restatement, and pre-IPO theatrics. Will chairman Eric Lefkofsky and a revamped board now move to replace him? [View news story]
    The board appointments do nothing to change the long-term (quickly becoming short-term) outcomes for this company and its remaining shareholders.
    Aug 15, 2012. 02:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • S&P does its best to put in a bottom for J.C. Penney (JCP -2.6%) cutting it to B+ with negative outlook from BB- . "J.C. Penney remains weak, resulting in a meaningful deterioration of credit protection metrics ... the new pricing and merchandise strategy will cause further disruptions to operations." The stock hit a 2-year low today.  [View news story]
    I've withheld judgment. I'm not a typical JCP customer, but with small children, it IS the place to go to find socks, underwear, leggings, etc for the 6 and under set.

    The Dadeland location illustrates a real-time case study for the brand, if it choose to listen. Dadeland Mall, at one point in the last ten years, annually had the highest sales per square foot of any closed mall in the United States. While much was to affluent segments, the presence of JCP as one of five "anchor" stores (the others being Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, an enormous 3 story Macy's clothing-only store, and an entirely separate Macy's "Home Furnishings" store) presented an interesting paradox. Its customers were the large Latino/Cuban/South American families and other lower income groups, with a dash of "Old Miami" who liked the decidedly down-market merchandise, merchandising and pricing.

    Now, it's all been given a fresh coat of lipstick, with colorful "picture frames" hanging all over the place (coded to the month), and complex marketing messages about "Our best sales prices, now until they're gone, the 1st and 3rd Fridays (?) of the Month" pasted on windows and elevator doors and within the empty (devoid of customers, not merchandise) aisles.

    JCP's new marketing shoots way over the heads of 90% of its shoppers, at least at this location, which had to previously be among its highest grossing stores. And its SO OBVIOUS to even a transient visitor like me -- how is it not to the management?

    Where do they go from here? How do you put THIS genie back into the bottle?
    Jul 11, 2012. 03:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Hulu CEO Jason Kilar just turned down Yahoo's overtures ... will he be open to Facebook's (FB)? The NY Post claims Mark Zuckerberg is a fan of Kilar, who has often been at odds with Hulu's conservative media industry owners, and want to hire him for a top position. Facebook's Open Graph platform has provided huge traffic boosts for many media sites, but the company hasn't done much yet to monetize all of this content sharing. (also)  [View news story]
    Pardon me, but please tell me what precisely has been Jason Kilar's gift to the annals of management best practice? Hulu is funded by the big content providers, who in-turn were incentivized to give it content -- it's not like Mr. Kilar broke ground and did something truly novel, like NetFlix.

    I just don't get this industry infatuation. Hey, give me exclusive SNL, NBC, and other top studio content, and even I could drive a lot of eyeballs, too. And maybe even sell some ads, while I was at it ... Does that qualify me to go and run Yahoo!? Or be an executive officer at Facebook? Maybe it doesn't ... but neither should it for Kilar.
    Jul 10, 2012. 10:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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