Welcome to this weekly roundup of stories from Insider’s Business co-Editor in Chief Matt Turner. Subscribe here to get this newsletter in your inbox every Sunday.
What we’re going over today:
- Oracle insiders say there’s a “culture of fear” at its flagship cloud unit.
- The inside story of the man accused of murdering and decapitating his boss in NYC.
- Bank of America has lost dozens of salespeople from its mortgage unit.
- “Reallocation friction” may explain why a full economic recovery could be years away.
What’s trending this morning:
- Amazon is considering the launch of physical pharmacies: Leaders have discussed using Whole Foods locations and creating stand-alone sites as part of its push into the prescription-drug industry.
- Meet 11 crypto masterminds at Wall Street firms: From Bank of America to JPMorgan, these experts are helping investors understand and trade crypto.
- The 181 most powerful people at Intel: Our exclusive org chart shows the people with the most influence under CEO Pat Gelsinger.
- Cisco is trying to resolve burnout: The company is focusing on measuring and understanding how workers are feeling in order to avoid the burnout slump.
- The wild story of a real-estate magnate’s quest to make his own cryptocurrency: It would be backed by $6 billion in gold he says is buried near Las Vegas.
- The five Hollywood giants that could get snapped up next: In the wake of Amazon’s MGM deal, all eyes are on Legendary Pictures, Lionsgate, and Sony.
A dozen current and former Oracle employees and executives said there was what one person described as a “culture of fear” at OCI – an environment at least partially created by hard-driving cloud boss Clay Magouyrk:
Magouyrk, a former Amazon software-development engineer who joined Oracle as an individual contributor in 2014, quickly impressed Chairman Larry Ellison and CEO Safra Catz with his ability to deliver results quickly, leading to his rapid ascent through the ranks.
But Magouyrk’s reign has raised questions about Oracle’s culture. His leadership style was cited in a pair of lawsuits filed by former vice presidents against the company and an executive, including an allegation that he once told an executive that his actions were “f—ing stupid” in front of all of OCI’s senior leaders.
Insiders said those comments were “tame” compared with others he had made.
Read our full report here:
- Insiders say Oracle’s best hope in the cloud wars with Amazon is a team led with a ‘culture of fear,’ and executives are leaving
- We identified the 137 most powerful people at Salesforce under CEO Marc Benioff. Explore our exclusive org chart.
- A former Microsoft board member says she took the blame and was asked to resign after CEO Satya Nadella said women should rely on ‘karma’ to get a raise
Fahim Saleh’s body was found in his apartment, dismembered and decapitated. There was barely a trace of blood, his $2.25 million apartment so meticulously scrubbed that an official later described it as a “professional job.” But the accused killer wasn’t a professional. Police say it was his former assistant, Tyrese Haspil:
It was a sultry July week in New York City, and Haspil and his girlfriend, Marine, were in a celebratory mood. Haspil, then age 21, rented an $18,000-a-month Airbnb on the cobblestoned Crosby Street for a romantic staycation for Marine’s 22nd birthday.
For two days, from July 15 to July 17, 2020, the pair strolled through Manhattan’s NoHo neighborhood, arm in arm, shopping at Christian Louboutin and dining out.
Less than a 15-minute walk away, police discovered the body of Haspil’s former boss, Fahim Saleh. The 33-year-old tech entrepreneur had been decapitated and dismembered in the living room of his East Houston Street condo on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
We dove deep into what went wrong:
- He took his boss’ money and then his head, police say. The disturbing story of the assistant accused of murdering and decapitating a tech CEO in New York.
- Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak is being sued over the theft of a professor’s business idea
- Don’t let Ryanair ignore your right not to be kidnapped
Dozens of people have quit Bank of America’s mortgage business this year, according to four current and former bankers. Two of them suggested the resignations have now climbed above 100, and that more departures are expected at the end of June:
June is when the bank pays out its next quarterly bonuses, one of the people said.
The salespeople are leaving because they’re frustrated over a series of changes the bank made to its mortgage policies that have made it harder for some salespeople to make money and increased concerns about corporate surveillance, the people said.
The changes have also knocked Bank of America down several notches in the ranks of the biggest home-loan originators, according to data compiled by Inside Mortgage Finance. Bank of America’s 2008 purchase of Countrywide Financial Corp. briefly created the nation’s largest mortgage lender and servicer, though it also saddled the bank with years of problems and billions of dollars in fines and settlements over Countrywide ‘s lending practices.
Here’s what else you need to know about the recent departures:
- Bank of America’s mortgage bankers are quitting in frustration over call quotas, cross-selling mandates, and a new compensation scheme that shortchanges top producers
- Merrill Lynch finally gives advisors in training answers as it bans trainees’ cold calling and shortens development program
- Just 3% of private equity giant Carlyle’s US senior staffers are Black, Insider can reveal. The firm recently said it’s tying employee bonuses to hiring more diverse workers.
By now you’ve probably heard about the big mystery in the US economy: Restaurants can’t find enough people to hire, even though millions of Americans remain out of work. Things are supposed to go back to normal in the fall – but what if job numbers don’t return so quickly to the status quo?:
A few economists are beginning to raise that possibility – that the pandemic’s effects will continue to batter the leisure and hospitality sector, which employs one in 10 American workers, well beyond the fall.
In a normal economy, it’s not a problem when workers change careers; other job seekers can come in to take their place. But an exodus, like the one we may be seeing now in hotels and restaurants, is different. It can take time for workers to find a job in an unfamiliar industry in which they have few connections. Their new positions could require them to move to another city or state. And inexperienced workers require training to build up the necessary skills.
Until all that happens, jobs go unfilled – keeping unemployment elevated, even though the demand for those jobs is there. Economists call it reallocation friction.
Why economists think it might be years until things return to normal:
- An economic theory called ‘reallocation friction’ may explain why employers are having a hard time finding workers – and why a full recovery could be years away
- Shake Shack founder’s investment fund led a $21.5 million raise for a tech tool that keeps good restaurant workers from quitting amid an extreme labor shortage
- Collin Wallace sold his technology to Grubhub a decade ago, but now feels food-delivery companies aren’t giving a square deal to restaurants. Now he’s back with another company that vows to reset the balance.
Lastly, here are some headlines you might have missed last week.
- Firms like BCG and McKinsey are offering consultants new bonuses, vacation incentives, and perks. Here’s a rundown.
- A ‘dogecoin millionaire’ explains why the recent drop does not shake his bullishness in the meme coin – and shares his advice for new buyers
- See the presentation a serial entrepreneur used to raise $20 million from Bessemer and Founders Fund for his solution for Americans living with chronic pain
- Read the email Google sent dismissing an employee’s sexual harassment complaint as a ‘private matter.’ It shows how COVID-19 has blurred the lines between home and work.
- We built a database of the top talent managers and agents for influencers and who they represent
- Warren Buffett is hoarding $80 billion of cash, cleaning up his stock portfolio, and declining to bash bitcoin. Veteran investor Thomas Russo says why that strategy will ultimately pay off.
- Invitation Homes plans to spend $1 billion buying houses in an already overheated market. Here’s its presentation to investors setting out its playbook.
- Top biotech analysts say M&A is set to heat up this summer. Here are the 22 drug companies that are likely to get bought.