07 Apr, 2017

News round-up: Marketing and Retail Layoffs and Bankruptcies; Strong Investment in Digital Health and more.

 -news round-up

Here’s is your weekly round-up of the latest digital transformation news.



Payless closes 400 stores, as it officially files for bankruptcy.


Under Armour announces cutbacks in the staffing of its connected fitness unit, laying off about two dozen employees. The unit is responsible for the brand’s mobile apps, include UA Record, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal, and Endomondo.


According to a filing this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bebe is closing 21 stores, anticipating an impairment charge of approximately $2 million. It will also have to make a termination payment to landlords of some $7.4 million



CMO Maris Thalberg announced a shake-up to Taco Bell’s marketing strategy in 2017 by spending less on digital and increasing spending on TV, added that traditional channels work well for the brand, especially when coupled with their digital efforts.

This is not the only shift in marketing from the fast-food chain. They also recently moved to bring social media as well as design and branding in-house, by adding an internal design studio to handle store merchandising, packaging, and artwork for its restaurants.


Amazon has beaten Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to exclusive rights to live stream 10 NFL Thursday Night Football games this season, according to Ad Age. Paying $50 million, Twitter only paid $10 million for a similar deal last year. Amazon plans to limit the service to the subscribers of its Prime service, numbering 65 million. The company will also capitalize on advertising, with an extensive ad inventory available during the streamed games.


The fast-food chain has announced a major shake-up to its marketing infrastructure, replacing CMO Deborah Wahl with Morgan Flatley, formerly CMO of Global Nutrition at PepsiCo.

This is not the only major change to McDonald’s staffing. Lance Richards, head of U.S. menu, and Julia Vander Ploeg, head of U.S. digital, are also leaving the company in the shakeup initiated by CEO Steve Easterbrook.

The move comes as CEO looks to strengthen the brand.



Rock Health released a report on Q1 digital health spending. It’s great to see that investment in the area has remained strong with $1 billion across 71 deals, according to the latest report by Rock Health and StartUp Health.


Mount Sinai bucks trend this quarter, reporting a 52% hike in operating income. The Hospital’s operating income has increased to $159.7 million during 2016 from $105.3 million in 2015, new bondholder documents show.

This comes as many hospitals are being forced to make cutbacks. Spring River Health System in Mississippi has been forced to cut salaries and axe Neurosurgery.


“Dr. Scott Gottlieb, President Trump’s nominee to head the Food and Drug Administration, pledged to a Senate committee Wednesday that he would defend the regulator’s “gold standard” for establishing the safety and effectiveness of new drugs — a statement likely to reassure many who were concerned the new administration’s aim to cut regulatory red tape would jeopardize safety.

“We should reject a false dichotomy that it all boils down to a choice between speed and safety,” Gottlieb said in his introductory remarks before the Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions.” – Healthcare Dive



McAfee announced this week its official separation from Intel, reporting that it now operates as a standalone company. Previously, TPG and Intel Corporation has attempted to establish a pure-play cybersecurity company.


The Strategic Guide to Digital TransformationMillennium Alliance released its Strategic Guide to Digital Transformation eBook this week.

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