Tag Archives: San Francisco

LinkedIn Concludes Account Review


SAN FRANCISCO – LinkedIn, criticized for inadequate network security after hackers passwords exposed millions of users , said Saturday that he had finished off all the affected accounts and did not believe that other members were in risk.
The company, a social network for business professionals, promised to increase security days after more than six million users passwords secret appeared on websites frequented by criminal hackers.

The gap (the latest in a series of safety violations in high profile worldwide Internet) has damaged the reputation of the company, with over 160 million members.

In addition, the failure raised questions about whether LinkedIn has done enough to safeguard private information of its users.

Cyber ​​security experts had warned that the company could find more data losses in the coming days as it tries to clarify what happened.

Through his blog, LinkedIn said it had notified all affected users, whose accounts had been opened, and said he did not believe that others have been compromised.

“So far, we have no reports that have come to member accounts as a result of stolen passwords. Based on our research, all passwords of members who believe they were at risk have been disabled.”

“If your password was not disabled, based on our research, we believe that your account is at risk,” the firm said on his blog.

LinkedIn is a natural target for data thieves because the website stores important information on millions of professionals, including known business leaders.

The company hired experts outside experts to help engineers LinkedIn and the FBI to get to the bottom of the matter . The firm said on Friday he did not know if other information was removed from the accounts, and passwords.

However, customers whose passwords were among those stolen were still reported by LinkedIn on Friday afternoon, days after the first news of the irregularity.

The way the company responds to theft will play a critical role in determining how much damage the incident to his reputation, experts said.

LinkedIn shares rose 2.6%, to 96.26 dollars on Friday. Although apparently the security gap has not hurt the shares, investors will likely follow the issue closely since the papers have one of the highest values ​​in the technology sector.

Starbucks Plans to Buy La Boulange


Starbucks announced this week that it plans to buy Boulange Bakery for 100 million dollars. The cost of the acquisition will dilute earnings by 0.02 cents per share in the second half of 2012, and expects further dilution in the value per share next year.

La Boulange Bakery operates 19 stores in the San Francisco Bay and sells its products to several upscale restaurants, hotels and shops in the region. The acquisition is intended to improve Starbucks baked goods offered in their cafeterias and represents, in our view, a significant risk by Howard Schultz and his team.

This purchase, along with the acquisition of the chain Evolution Fresh juice at the end of last year, it appears from the “multi-channel strategy” applied by Starbucks to introduce a new product through its national network of cafes and then expand the supply in the channel of consumer packaged goods brand once the gain traction. The logic behind this strategy seems to be based on the success of your product VIA, a line of packets of instant coffee. The risk, in the case of products of La Boulange, is that the strategy was successful VIA as a product of Starbucks, but that success may not be transferred to a branded product that is not Starbucks or perhaps may take longer planned for the brand resonates with consumers nationwide.

In terms of timing to launch the new offering from La Boulange, the company reported that only products first appear in Starbucks stores in San Francisco in 2013. The offering will initially focus on pastries and bread.

While we understand the appeal of multi-channel strategy and we can see the potential benefits, assuming that all efforts will be successful, Starbucks is hardly a correct position, if history is any guide. Starbucks is an extraordinary organization for three years and have followed their stock performance. However, the company seems to have entered a phase of investment, and that changes the landscape of their actions. Simultaneously enter into two major initiatives (juices and food) increases the risk of setbacks for action, in terms of earnings per share (EPS), the consequences of any slowdown in income is over the future than in recent years.

Fresh Evolution strategy, although unproven, may be positive in the medium term given the limited capital investment required to bring the product to stores. But to apply the multi-channel strategy to baked goods a greater risk for EPS in the coming years. There is also the additional risk that, by increasing rapidly the product offerings of La Boulange in U.S. stores nationwide, the company can compromise the integrity of La Boulange made a success.

Based on the conference that gave managers on the acquisition, our view is that the strategy of La Boulange likely require a significant capital investment by Starbucks. In the coming weeks more details will be announced, but right now we believe that short-term investment could be significant, while the reward, though possibly substantial but not guaranteed, it could take years to materialize.

These are the main points that left the conference call:

– Currently income food accounts for 1.500 million dollars in national establishments (U.S. only) on company-owned Starbucks, a figure which recorded an increase of 14% during the first two quarters of fiscal 2012. Management expects that this acquisition will help drive growth in the long term, but few details were provided in the conference.

– Management will introduce the first product La Boulange in Starbucks stores in the area of ​​San Francisco, from 2013. Tenders will focus on pasta and bread at first.

– The product prepared in facilities and property management company seeks to build the brand La Boulange on a national presence. Both require a significant investment of capital.

– Once La Boulange brand products are distributed in Starbucks stores nationwide, management wants to promote the brand through the channel of consumer packaged goods.