Apple has 'deep concerns' that ex-employees accused of theft will flee to China
- Apple on Monday told a federal court it has "deep concerns" that two Chinese-born former employees accused of stealing trade secrets from the company will try to flee before their trials if their locations are not monitored.
- At a hearing in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, prosecutors argued that Xiaolang Zhang and Jizhong Chen should continue to be monitored because they present flight risks.
- Both men were arrested on criminal trade secrets theft charges while heading to airports to fly to China and have been monitored after being released on bail.
- In the cases of both men, Assistant U.S. Attorney Marissa Harris argued that if either man fled to China, it would be difficult if not impossible for federal officials to secure their extradition for a trial.
Psychological safety is the most important element of any successful team. This quick assessment will tell you if your team has it.
- In their book, "No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work," authors Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy include a simple assessment you can use to determine your team's degree of psychological safety.
- When teams have psychological safety, the authors say, they feel they can "suggest ideas, admit mistakes, and take risks without being embarrassed by the group." Creating a psychologically safe workplace isn't just a nice thing to do for you teams; it's vital for business.
- "What mattered was the 'how': The best teams were those whose members respected one another's ideas," the authors state.
- It turns out that psychological safety is the most important dynamic that sets successful teams apart.
- When your work environment is challenging but not threatening, employees will feel safe enough to think outside the box without fear, setting you up for success with your people and your business.
The 2020s could be an apocalyptic decade for Wall Street as artificial intelligence takes over the most popular jobs in finance
- Lopez de Prado told the US House Committee on Financial Services that AI might not replace jobs entirely, but current finance employees aren't trained to work alongside new technology, Bloomberg reported.
- Lopez de Prado's statement aligns with a 2019 report that revealed 1.3 million US finance jobs — particularly customer-service reps, financial managers, and compliance and loan officers — could disappear by 2030, according to a British insights firm IHS Markit.
- Despite a year of scandals that entangled many of the country's largest banks, the desire to work at these companies remains high, according to a report by LinkedIn. Some of the more high-profile scandals include Deutsche Bank's alleged involvement in a global money-laundering scheme and accusations against Wells Fargo's auto-loan and mortgage practices.
- While the use of AI remains sparse, and the technology is still basic, a boost in revenue will increase the adoption of automation, Business Insider analyst Lea Nonninger reports.
Google fired an employee who questioned its work with Customs and Border Protection
- The company alleged the employees violated company policies about accessing sensitive internal documents and monitoring employees’ calendar events.
- In a note sent to staff by Google’s Security and Investigations Team, the company stated that a “thorough investigation” found the individuals fired “were involved in systematic searches for other employees’ materials and work,” and that they were found to be “repeating this conduct even after they were met with and reminded about our data security policies.” The note also alleged that some employees reported feeling unsafe because their calendar events were being monitored.
- In the past year, it has placed new rules on acceptable speech on internal forums, eliminated opportunities to question management on ethical concerns in weekly all-hands meetings, and instituted a “need-to-know” policy for viewing many company documents that were previously more widely accessible to employees.
Bird lays off several Scoot employees
- Bird has laid off less than two dozen employees, The San Francisco Chronicle first reported.
- The layoffs affect employees Bird brought on board as part of its ~$25 million acquisition of Scoot earlier this year.
- Those affected were salaried employees and/or people with technical backgrounds, according to Bird.
- Scoot currently operates electric kick scooters and mopeds in San Francisco, where it’s one of four companies permitted to do so, as well as other types of vehicles in Santiago and Barcelona.
- This round marks Bird’s second set of layoffs this year.
- Those layoffs were part of Bird’s annual performance review process and only affected U.S.-based employees.
- In October, Bird closed a $275 million Series D round led by CDPQ and Sequoia Capital at a $2.5 billion pre-money valuation.
- That same month, at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco, Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden told me he wants the Scoot brand to live on.
The inevitable takedown of the female CEO
- As a new mom at the time, I intentionally decided to build a company where employees would not work on nights or weekends, where there was flexibility for employees to manage their lives outside of the office, where motherhood would no longer be a penalty but a bonus and where underrepresented groups would be valued and promoted.
- But as a female founder and CEO of a growing company, I have to ask: Why does it seem like so many of the toxic companies in the news are founded and led by women?
- First, while much of what is revealed in these reports is disgusting, what also comes through is the stereotype of women leaders as “bitches.” Articles often highlight when female CEOs curse, yell and show anger or bawdiness, because the shock value is higher than when male CEOs demonstrate these behaviors.
Magic Leap reportedly only sold 6,000 AR headsets in six months
- According to a report from The Information, the augmented reality startup and Silicon Valley darling only sold approximately 6,000 units of its $2,300 Magic Leap One Creator Edition mixed-reality headset through the first six months that it was available.
- The Information writes CEO Rony Abovitz had told investors he hoped the company would sell "at least" 1 million units of the Magic Leap One in its first year of availability.
- Sales of the headset, however, have been so poor that the company recently started giving employees free units.
- Understandably, poor sales have strained Magic Leap, with The Information reporting that the company recently laid off "dozens" of employees across multiple departments.
- Newly-minted Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai reportedly left the company's board sometime last year.
- Jaunt, another startup that had a lot of hype behind it, recently sold all its tech to Verizon (Engadget's parent company).
Away CEO Steph Korey is ‘appalled’ by how she spoke to employees
- Away CEO Steph Korey has apologized for her treatment of employees, following an investigation from The Verge yesterday that showed a pattern of intimidation and manipulation from executives at the popular luggage company.
- “I can imagine how people felt reading those messages from the past, because I was appalled to read them myself,” she said.
- Korey and her co-founder Jen Rubio do not allow employees to email each other and ask that direct messaging be kept to a minimum.
- The result is that almost all conversations at Away take place in public Slack channels.
- Many former Away employees noted that while these rules were supposed to create more transparency, in practice they fostered a culture of fear.
- Korey was known to rip into people for making even minor mistakes.
- “You could hear her typing and you knew something bad was going to happen,” a customer experience says in the article.
Ex-Google employees who say they were fired for organizing are taking legal action
- A group of former Google engineers said on Tuesday they’re filing unfair labor practice charges against the search giant, alleging that the company terminated their employment to retaliate against them for workplace organizing.
- They allege that the real reason Google fired them was to quash a growing movement among company employees to question management’s decisions on issues ranging from disparities in pay between contractors and full-time employees, to the company’s controversial projects with government agencies.
- If the NRLB finds reasonable evidence to support Google did that in this case, the company could be forced to reinstate the fired employees, issue backwages, and inform all its employees about their labor rights, according to UC Hastings Law Professor Veena Dubal.
- Both said they were also involved in other organizing efforts at the company around issues ranging from working conditions for Google’s temps, vendors, and contractors (TVCs) to its resources for transgender employees.
Ring's Ukraine office threw a party where white employees wore Native American headdresses and face paint
- On at least one occasion, Ring, a home security company owned by Amazon, threw a party where employees wore racially insensitive costumes depicting indigenous Americans, according to a report from Vice News published on Wednesday.
- In 2017, Ring's Ukraine-based team uploaded photos to Facebook that showed dozens of white employees wearing headdresses and face paint, as well as shirts that read "FUCK CRIME," though Vice said the photos were removed after it notified Ring about their existence.
- Documents obtained by Vice found that Ring's team in Ukraine appears to be focused specifically on developing machine learning tools capable of recognizing faces and voices captured by Ring customers' cameras.
- Ring also threw a private party for police officers — complete with free food, alcohol, and Ring cameras as well as a celebrity appearance from NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal — at the 2018 International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Orlando.