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REI names Putur new CIO and Prince Alwaleed gets arrested

Noun. A decent, upright, mature and responsible person.

Noun, slang. An awkward, clumsy, or unlucky person whose endeavors tend to fail. A loser.

Mensch of the Week:

Christine Putur, REI’s New CIO

Outdoor recreation retailer REI names Christine Putur their new Chief Information Officer. The previous CIO, Julie Averill left to be Lululemon’s new EVP and Chief Technology Officer.

Before this Putur was Coach’s CIO and EVP for four years making her a retail guru. Putur specializes in leading technology ventures for companies. In this digital age and harsh retail climate, her digital expertise is crucial.

In 2014 Putur was admitted to the board of Information Services Group (ISG). The technology insights group adds to Putur’s experience in tech and retail.

Competing companies like Sports Authority have gone bankrupt but REI’s future looks bright. As of 2016, they reported a 5.5% growth in annual revenue. It attributes its success to its co-op business model. REI is owned by its members. CEO Jerry Stritzke thinks being a co-op is crucial during these tough retail times. Putur’s digital expertise and Stritzke’s passion for customer engagement are sure to keep REI on the map.

Schlemiel of the Week:

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal

Ten Saudi princes have been arrested by the Crown Prince Salman in an attempt to add transparency to international business ventures. Among these men is one of the richest men in the world, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Making his initial fortune as a 36-year-old in California, he bought an $800 million stake in Citigroup. The Saudi billionaire is a businessman and philanthropist with influence over many important Western companies.

The arrests are being carried out by Saudi Arabia’s new anti-corruption committee formed by the Crown Prince. The committee has the power to warrant arrests as well as freeze bank accounts. Prince Salman describes his committee as a way to counter the “exploitation by some of the weak souls who have put their own interests above the public interest in order to illicitly accrue money”.

The senior minister told the Guardian: “This is change management and shock tactics rolled up as one. People will get used to it. They have to.”

You might be asking yourself why this matters to you because you don’t live in Saudi Arabia. Well, Prince Alwaleed has stakes in half the apps on your phone. That’s right; Twitter, Lyft and Apple itself are all companies Alwaleed contributes to. He is also one of the top shareholders of Citigroup and owns 45% of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. In terms of real estate investments, he has funded the Canary Wharf in London and Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia. How will this affect current and future investors?

When the world’s richest man gets arrested there are sure to be some consequences. The stock of his $10 billion company, Kingdom Holding Company, has fallen by 11%. Investors are afraid of the uncertainty of the arrests. Even if the prince comes out in a timely manner there is no saying what his power will be like. However, USC economist Richard Green, says the effect will be minor. His reasoning is that although $10 billion seems like a large number, it is nothing compared to Warren Buffett’s $460 billion. It is obvious these arrests are all an attempt for Crown Prince to garner a monopoly over Saudi investments and take power back from elitists.

If you wondering how the princes are managing during these trying times do not worry. They are relaxing in The Ritz-Carlton and other five-star hotels in Saudi Arabia.



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