What Tim Cook's essay means to me

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  • Tim Cook’s essay inBusinessweek, in which he acknowledges a sexual preference that was nobody’s business and not much of a secret, is a thing everybody should read.
    If you haven’t yet, do it now.
    This is the paragraph that resonated for me:
    Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.”
    I’m not gay. But I know what Tim Cook is talking about.
    I have what you might call a hidden disability — a gimpy right arm, the result of a bad fall when I was a toddler. Most people never notice, but for me it’s huge. It’s a central fact of what it’s like to be me — to occupy this body — that I’m reminded of a dozen times a day every day of my life.
    Like Tim Cook’s homosexuality, my right arm made me more empathetic. It’s drawn me to the causes of all sorts of underdogs. Which included, for most of my 35-years in journalism, Apple.
    It’s somehow perfect that the company, back on top after all that time in the wilderness, now has an openly gay CEO. It’s almost as if Steve Jobs had stage managed it.
    I love the story Stratechery‘s Ben Thompson tells in his daily newsletter (subscribe!) about the difficulty he had securing an internship in business school. “Employers would look at my resume — political campaign, English teacher, curriculum writer — and not even invite me to an interview.”
    But when a job opened up at Apple University Thompson nailed it in the first interview.
    I simply had the good fortune of interviewing directly with someone who was not only the hiring manager, but who also later told me she had mostly made up her mind because my experiences were so much different than a typical business student. At Apple, she said, being different was a feature, not a bug.”
    In some ways — maybe most ways — Apple is just another business. But “Think Different” wasn’t just an advertising slogan. Apple is different, and I think Thompson put his finger on what makes it so:
    What is critical to appreciate — and this ought to be thought of as true no matter your personal feelings about homosexuality — is that Apple’s long term success is absolutely predicated being the sort of company where it’s OK for the CEO to be gay. It is from different viewpoints and different experiences — and the unexpected connections that can be drawn between them — from which innovation arises.”
    A final thought about the ripple effect of all this, borrowed from James Stewart’s essay in Thursday’s New York Times:
    “Sixty percent of Apple’s sales are outside the United States,” says Todd Sears, the founder of Out on the Street. “People love Apple products. It’s the biggest company on the globe. There are 78 countries where being gay is illegal, and in a third of those, it’s punishable by death. What are those countries going to do when Tim Cook comes to visit?”
    Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple  AAPL 0.35%  coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.

    Most new dads take time off, without calling it paternity leave

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  • Dear Annie: I’m envious of the people who work and other employers I’ve been reading about lately, since those employees can take time off for the birth or adoption of a child without feeling like they’re risking their careers. My wife and I are expecting our second baby soon, and my problem is, not only does my company have no formal policy that allows paternity leave, but I’ve heard my immediate boss make snarky remarks about it. His attitude is, you’re not the one having the baby, so why do you need time off? I’ve been here less than a year, so I’m pretty low on the totem pole and hesitate to make any special requests. But I would like to take a two- or three-week paternity leave when the time comes. Any pointers on how to ask for it? — Anonymous, Please
    Dear A.P.: Good question. “American families are evolving, but lots of employers aren’t keeping up,” says Chris Duchesne, a vice president at “There is definitely still a double standard when it comes to parental leave.” Even at companies that have formal policies permitting new dads to take time off for their families, he adds, “there has to be a culture of permission. If front-line managers and supervisors don’t set an example by taking paternity leaves themselves”—or, worse, if they diss the idea as your boss does—“then there might as well not be a policy at all.”
    That’s too bad, because research on parental leave is piling up, and so far it’s unanimous on one point: Men who work for companies that have a “culture of permission” are far more loyal to their employers than men who don’t. At a moment when companies are worried about retaining talent, that matters.
    Consider, for instance, a new report conducted by the Working Mother Research Institute and sponsored by Ernst & Young. Based on a survey of about 1,000 men at an average age of 39, the study says those with access to paternity leave and other kinds of work-life flexibility are happier, more productive, and get along better with coworkers than men who lack that option.
    Almost three-quarters (74%) of men in a “culture of permission” said they’re satisfied with opportunities to develop their skills, versus fewer than half (48%) in other places. Satisfaction with career prospects, implying an intention to stick around, was markedly higher, at 72% versus 40%. Male employees with work-life flexibility are even happier with their pay (68% satisfied) than those without (40%). These figures suggest that “we have to shift our thinking to be more inclusive,” says Karyn Twaronite, global chief of diversity at EY. “Men are too often an afterthought in conversations about working parents.”
    As a result, men who want or need time off for a new addition to the family often take it, but they do it on the down-low. “Even in many companies with formal policies allowing it, people worry it will make them look less dedicated or less serious about their careers,” says Chris Duchesne. So, especially with bosses like yours, a less risky approach is to piece together a leave using vacation time and any available personal days.
    Duchesne points out that an 80% majority of new dads in a recent Boston College study chose this “informal” path to a paternity leave, but he also speaks from experience. At a previous employer with no paternity-leave policy, he took two weeks of vacation for each of his three children, now ages 4, 6, and 9. “I worked it out with my manager and team beforehand each time,” he says.
    You need to do that too, just as you would for any other vacation, medical leave, or other planned absence. “Sit down with your boss and talk through how your work will get done, including whether you’ll be reachable at certain times, whether you’ll be checking email, and who has agreed to cover for you on which aspects of your job while you’re out,” Duchesne advises. “Demonstrate that you’ve thought this through. If you have a plan up front that covers all the bases, it will go a long way toward reassuring your boss that you do care about getting the work done, and that things aren’t going to fall apart.”
    If you’re thinking about making any other changes in your schedule when you get back—working from home one day a week, or coming in early and leaving early, for example—this conversation is also the time to mention that. “Paternity leave is one event,” Duchesne says. “But you may need support later on for a continuum of different adjustments as your responsibilities change at home.”
    For whatever it may be worth to you right now, Duchesne thinks organizations that are still clinging to your boss’s old-school attitudes toward fatherhood are going to have to catch up with the times.
    About 40% of the workforce now is made up of Millennials who say they care more about having a life outside of work than they care about money or rank, according to various studies, and they’re quick to quit jobs that don’t offer them the flexibility they want. “Employers will have to respond to that, if they want to stay competitive,” he says. “Millennials are a much larger cohort than Gen X, and they’re going to have more and more influence over the next five to 10 years.” Here’s hoping.
    Talkback: Does your company have a “culture of permission” toward paternity leave? If you’ve ever taken one, did you call it that, or use vacation time instead? Leave a comment below.
    Have a career question for Anne Fisher? Email

    The little literary t-shirt company that could

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  • Everyone has a list of books they’re embarrassed to have never read. But instead of finally reading that hefty novel—whether it’s Middlemarch, War and Peace or Infinite Jest—you could just buy the t-shirt.
    It started that way for the writer Joe Hill, whose novel,Horns, has been made into a movie that premieres today.
    “I felt really guilty about the fact that I was 40 and still hadn’t read Moby-Dick, and make my living in American letters,” Hill says. “And I saw this beautiful Moby-Dick shirt [made by Out of Print] and thought it would help me get stoked to read the book, and that was the beginning of a real fixation with the company.”
    Hill estimates he now owns 30 of their shirts. Among his collection: 1984; Fahrenheit 451; and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
    That’s how Brooklyn-based apparel company Out of Print started: by putting famous, recognizable book covers on t-shirts. But since its founding in 2010, the company has expanded into all kinds of literary merchandise, from tote bags to iPhone cases to socks to baby onesies. And it has done so with the requisite charitable element, by donating one book to the charity Books for Africa for every product it sells – 1 million books donated to date.
    Leblanc and his co-founder Todd Lawton were childhood friends who met in second grade in Portland, Ore. LeBlanc moved away in seventh grade, and the two didn’t meet again until 2004, when both were in New York. In 2010, they decided to create a literary t-shirt label.
    “The passion for books is huge,” says Lawton. “And there really wasn’t anything out there that allowed people to express this passion the way we thought they should. If you look at people who love a band, they can go to the concert and come home with the shirt. So we thought a similar thing could be done with readers.”
    LeBlanc brought the finance chops—he had worked as a consultant at McKinsey, spent a couple of years in Silicon Valley, then went to GE Capital, and finally spent five years working at the hedge fund Greenlight Capital. Lawton brought apparel experience from working for four years as a brand manager at Nike. Together, the pair found a factory in Brooklyn to do all the screen printing and shipping. The tees are manufactured mostly in Central America, though the tote bags, children’s tees and other items are all made in the U.S.
    The company launched in January 2010, the day after famed author J.D. Salinger died, and the day after the first iPad was announced. “A lot was happening in the world of publishing and the way people were consuming books,” Lawton says.
    Indeed, the rise of the e-reader has, in its way, created opportunity for Out of Print. Peter Mendelsund, the celebrated book designer and author of the new book What We See When We Read, suggests part of the reason people buy the company’s shirts is to show off what they’ve read. Thanks to the tablet, gone are the days of showing off the book you’re reading at a cafe or on the train.
    “Books used to telegraph what kind of person you are,” Mendelsund says, “and now everyone is on their e-reader, so you can’t see anything. So there’s this kind of pride and identity [to Out of Print's products]. We buy things partially to identify who we are.”
    Mendelsund says he was always getting requests from people to put his designs on merchandise, especially his re-imagined Franz Kafka covers, but it never happened. Then he discovered Out of Print, partnered with them, and they made it happen.
    “Their reach is really far,” he says. “Someone sent me some photos of bags with my designs on them in Paris, which is crazy.”
    Authors and artists like Hill and Mendelsund have been key to Out of Print’s growth—along with celebrities. The actress Kristen Bell, of Veronica Mars fame, loves the shirts, as does her husband Dax Shepard. Bell, who is an investor in snack-bar seller This Bar Saves Lives, orchestrated a partnership with Out of Print to distribute a book and a bar to people in need.
    “I am a believer that the future of business will be conscious companies that give back,” she tells Fortune. “Literacy is of course a wonderful cause and for me, I will always choose an item with a give over an item without.”
    Actors including Chris O’Dowd, Josh Brolin, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, and James Franco have all worn Out of Print shirts either in public or on the screen, helping to raise the company’s visibility. Even LeBlanc’s former boss at Greenlight Capital, financial whiz David Einhorn, is a fan.
    “It’s been fun to watch Jeff transform from analyst to entrepreneur,” Einhorn says“I always sensed he would make his mark off Wall Street.”
    But it was getting into brick-and-mortar retail right away that the co-founders say was crucial. Their first retail account was Newbury Comics, and it grew from there. Out of Print products are now in 700 retailers across 80 countries, including Urban Outfitters and J. Crew. But getting attention online, from blogs like Cool Hunting, Thrillist, and Urban Daddy, also helped push the shirts early on.
    And, unsurprisingly, independent bookstores have been a boon and loyal friend to Out of Print. Allison Hill, president of Vroman’s Bookstore in Los Angeles, says Out of Print merchandise is one of her top-ten sellers every year for gift items.
    “They obviously recognized a need that could be met in the marketplace, but then they took it to such a different level,” she says. “I’s not just about books, it’s about great design, and about this nostalgic feeling we all have about books, and about social entrepreneurship, too.”
    It’s not as though the duo hasn’t had their startup speed bumps, of course. When Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, it was just before the holiday season of their pivotal third year in business. The Brooklyn factory got hit hard by the storm, and fully flooded, losing power for weeks.
    “It threw everything off for a bit,” recalls Lawton. “But then, being there and seeing the product get produced, and helping with my own hands, seeing an entire factory dedicated to fulfilling our orders was a moment where I said, ‘Wow, this is really big.'”
    The product line grew naturally. On their Facebook page, fans suggest ideas for covers to put on products, and not just on t-shirts, but on all range of accoutrements. Next up: going digital. “Our business is all about starting conversations around books, and there are other ways to do that outside of just physical products,” says LeBlanc. “We are hoping to do something by next year of a more digital nature.”
    For a tiny Brooklyn t-shirt label with just north of $5 million in annual sales, Out of Print has some big accounts. It just shipped a large order to the Virgin Megastore chain in the Middle East, and it has its shirts in many Barnes & Noble college campus bookstores. Out of Print is self-funded, but its Brooklyn manufacturer, Apsco Enterprises, has a small stake in the company.
    Those 1 million donated books have landed in 22 different countries in Africa; Lawton and LeBlanc now have 10 full-time employees; and new designs get made every month. Those in publishing are pumped.
    “In publishing, as an industry, we need to find other incomes sources, no matter how small,” says Mendelsund. “We’re really great at what we do, which is publishing books, but not very good at much else. Out of Print is really good at it.”

    Wal-Mart doubles down on deals, tech as holiday fight starts earlier

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  • Wal-Mart Stores  WMT 0.99%  is leaving nothing to chance in a holiday season it needs to win.
    The discount retailer is doubling the number of deals it is offering this weekend, in an early kick-off to the holiday shopping season, and planning to make full use of its recent tech investments to keep  AMZN 1.18% , among others, at bay with more options for shipping and order pick up than it has previously offered.
    The company, the world’s largest retailer, is coming off of six straight quarters without comparable U.S. sales growth. And with the holiday season shaping up to be ferociously competitive, the retailer is doling out the deals early, rolling back prices on 20,000 items, beginning on Saturday, compared to the the more typical 10,000 at this time of year. It has also increased the assortment of merchandise available on its web site by 1 million items to 7 million now.
    Wal-Mart, whose stores will be decked out in Christmas decorations by Saturday morning, after a quick post-Halloween changeover, is looking to fend up rivals like Amazon, which is starting its own Black Friday deals a month before the actual day itself, at a time consumers are as price-conscious as ever, something its executives readily acknowledge. (Wal-Mart will announce its Black Friday-specific strategy later.)
    The Wal-Mart deals this weekend will emphasize electronics and toys, two of the most competitive categories during a holiday season for any retailer.
    “It doesn’t start on Black Friday, it starts right now,” Steve Bratspies, executive vice president of general merchandise for Walmart U.S. told reporters on a holiday strategy briefing. “We’re expecting to see a highly competitive environment throughout the holiday season.”
    He’s right. On top of Amazon, Office Depot  ODP 1.38% and OfficeMax are among the retailers already out there early with aggressive deals this weekend. Even indirect competitors, like department stores Macy’s  M 1.36% and Kohl’s,  KSS 0.62%  threaten Walmart, as they are opening earlier on Thanksgiving Day this year than last.
    But early deals don’t necessarily make the holiday pie bigger—they just change spending habits, warned Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group.
    “Instead, consumers will simply have more time to take advantage of sales,” Cohen added, noting that all this early deal activity “foreshadows a promotional-heavy holiday season,” which might mean retailers may meet their sales forecast, but to the detriment of their profit margins.
    Wal-Mart is testing a program that does online prices comparisons with stores like Amazon for potential roll-out this holiday season, according to the Wall Street Journal, although it hasn’t made a decision yet.
    Wal-Mart raises its e-commerce game
    Wal-Mart is facing a resurgent Target  TGT 0.44% determined to do well this holiday season, after a disastrous data breach right before Christmas killed its holiday quarter last year. Some 20% of Target’s toy offerings this Christmas period will be exclusive, compared to 3% in 2009. And Target, trying to cut into Wal-Mart’s e-commerce lead over it, has just overhauled its website and launched brand new mobile sites. Target will suspend shipping fees on orders less than $50 between Oct. 22 and Dec. 20.
    So Wal-Mart is also upping its e-commerce game. On Monday, it is holding a 24-hour holiday cyber-savings event with deals that more typical of Cyber Monday than a plain ol’ Monday in early November. While it has held a similar sale before, Wal-Mart is offering same-day in-store pickup on those items at no extra fee. Wal-Mart is also launching a new app ahead of the holiday season that helps a shopper see if a particular product is available at a given store, along with product reviews. Wal-Mart is also offering free shipping on 100 top gifts, regardless of their price.
    These initiatives are part of a multi-year effort by Wal-Mart to fight Amazon by investing heavily in tech, with more to come: at its investor day earlier this month, Wal-Mart said its capital spending on its e-commerce firepower has gone from $400 million last year to $1 billion this year, and further increases next fiscal year. The company gets about 4% of U.S. revenues online, and has acknowledged that needs to grow. (Online sales are rising almost 30% these days)
    The company has invested heavily to integrate its stores and e-commerce so it can offer shoppers choices such as the ability to have an item delivered to a store of their choice for pick up, or to be able to comparison shop. The holiday season will be a big test of those efforts.
    “There’s a growing consensus that the future of retail is not just in-store or online. The winners in retail will be the ones that can put them together and frankly, we think we’ve done the harder part,” McMillon said at the analyst day.

    Sondeo: Solo un 18% de ejecutivos chilenos prevé un crecimiento para su empresa en 2014

    Según el estudio, elaborado por la consultora de Recursos Humanos Randstad, las compañías se ven inmediatamente afectadas por el proceso de desaceleración económica

     Sólo el 18% de ejecutivos chilenos de empresas estima que su compañía registrará un crecimiento económico durante este 2014.

    Así lo reveló el informe "Tendencias anuales en sueldos, beneficios y lugares de trabajo", elaborado por la consultora multinacional de Recursos Humanos Randstad, el que además indicó que el 30% cree que estará en el mismo nivel que en 2013 y 16% vaticina un descenso en el estado de los resultados.

    El estudio señaló que las desvinculaciones ocupan el primer lugar en los impactos negativos que han percibido las organizaciones por las condiciones económicas, con 22% de encuestados que señaló haber realizado algún tipo de reestructuración en este sentido.

    En el departamento de contabilidad y finanzas se produjo la mayoría de los despidos, considerando que 36% de empresas sostuvo haber reducido el headcount en esta área. Sigue producción y operaciones, con 34%; ventas con 27%; y Recursos Humanos, capacitación y desarrollo con 21%.

    El director de Randstad Professionals, Julián Rubio, manifestó al respecto que "una desaceleración o cualquier cambio en el escenario económico del país afecta inmediatamente a las empresas, ya que disminuye la confianza y se desincentiva el consumo, por lo tanto, bajan las ventas y las utilidades percibidas por las compañías, además de paralizarse la inversión".

    "Ante este escenario, las compañías deben tomar decisiones para reducir costos, razón por la cual se producen las desvinculaciones y el personal disponible debe absorber las responsabilidades de más de un posición, optimizando así los recursos disponibles", dijo.

    Otro de los aspectos que analiza el informe hace referencia a la evolución de la remuneración de los trabajadores y su comparativa con otras empresas. En esta línea, 49% de las empresas afirma que sus retribuciones salariales son muy similares a las de su competencia; 17% considera que sus condiciones son superiores; mientras que un 19% teme que son inferiores. El 15% no dispone de información suficiente para responder.

    El estudio, que se realiza en otros 12 países, consideró entrevistas a más de 300 altos ejecutivos a lo largo de Chile de los sectores: finance & administration, sales, marketing & logistics, mining & suppliers, y engineering & natural resources.

    Economía de EE.UU. registra crecimiento de 3,5% durante el tercer trimestre del año

    El dato superó ampliamente las expectativas de los analistas, quienes esperaban un crecimiento de 3,0% en el período.

    La economía estadounidense registró un crecimiento de 3,5% durante el tercer trimestre del año, según informó este jueves el Departamento de Comercio de ese país en su primera lectura del indicador.

    El dato superó ampliamente las expectativas de los analistas, quienes esperaban un crecimiento de 3,0% en el período, luego del alza de 4,6% en el segundo cuarto del año.

    Según el organismo, el aumento del PIB en el tercer trimestre fue reflejo de las contribuciones positivas de los gastos personales de consumo (PCE), las exportaciones, la inversión fija no residencial, el gasto del gobierno federal, estatal y local, y compensado en parte por que la contribución negativa de la inversión en inventarios privados.

    Bolsas europeas anotan leves alzas tras término de plan de la Fed y reportes corporativos

    Bolsas europeas anotan leves alzas tras término de plan de la Fed y reportes corporativos

    El índice FTSE 100 de Londres avanzó un 0,15%, el CAC 40 de París un 0,74%, el IBEX 35 de Madrid un 0,16%, el DAX de Francfurt un 0,35%y el FTSE MIB de Milán un 0,19%.

    Las acciones europeas cerraron este jueves con leves alzas, en medio de un respiro tras el fuerte repunte de las últimas semanas, después que la Reserva Federal de Estados Unidos tuvo un tono más restrictivo al finalizar su programa de compras de bonos, el que se prolongó por seis años.

    Los resultados de empresas ayudaron a impulsar la confianza, con las acciones de Renault, ganando un 3,4%, después de registrar un alza en sus ingresos del tercer trimestre y mejorar su pronóstico de crecimiento en el mercado europeo para todo el año.

    El índice paneuropeo FTSEurofirst 300 de las principales acciones de la zona subió un 0,53%, a 1.326,36 unidades.

    En particular, el índice FTSE 100 de Londres avanzó un 0,15%, el CAC 40 de París un 0,74%, el IBEX 35 de Madrid un 0,16%, el DAX de Francfurt un 0,35%y el FTSE MIB de Milán un 0,19%.

    Caso Cascadas: SVS aplica multas que suman US$ 6,9 millones a Banchile, Linzor y ejecutivos

    Caso Cascadas: SVS aplica multas que suman US$ 6,9 millones a Banchile, Linzor y ejecutivos

    La entidad fiscalizadora constató "una serie de infracciones a la Ley de Mercado de Valores" que ocurrieron durante el 2011.

     La Superintendencia de Valores y Seguros (SVS) informó que resolvió aplicar multas, que en su conjunto ascienden a UF 165.000 (aprox. US$ 6,9 millones), tras constatar una serie de infracciones a la Ley de Mercado de Valores que ocurrieron en 2011, en el marco de la investigación administrativa del denominado Caso Cascadas.

    A través de un comunicado, la entidad fiscalizadora explicó que "tras formular cargos el 30 de enero de 2014, la SVS resolvió aplicar sanción de multa a Banchile Corredores de Bolsa S.A., y a su ex gerente de inversiones, Cristián Araya Fernández; a Linzor Asset Management –hoy CHL Asset Management Chile-, y a su representante legal, Canio Corbo Atria por operaciones realizadas en acciones SQM-A en marzo de 2011".

    Asimismo, "y si bien se pudieron configurar las infracciones a la Ley de Mercado de Valores, mediante la Resolución N°269”, se resolvió cerrar sin sanción los procedimientos administrativos sancionadores en contra de Citigroup Global Markets Inc y su ejecutivo Fabio Gheilerman, ello, conforme al artículo 33 del DL 3.538, que impide a la SVS multar más allá de cuatro años desde que se produce la infracción imputada.

    La SVS indicó que luego de informar oportuna y debidamente las formulaciones de cargos, el procedimiento administrativo que llevó adelante contempló la recepción de los descargos de las partes involucradas y, posteriormente, un periodo probatorio en el que se recibieron los antecedentes y testimonios que aportaron los involucrados, garantizando así su debida defensa.

    El superintendente de la SVS, Carlos Pavez, indicó que "hemos llegado a la convicción que las operaciones que son objeto de la sanción afectan y lesionan gravemente el principio de buena fe que debe existir en cualquier mercado de valores. Esperamos que estas sanciones sirvan para disuadir aquellas conductas que se alejen de las exigencias que impone la Ley de Mercado de Valores en Chile y esperamos que estos hechos no vuelvan a ocurrir en nuestro mercado".

    Relación de hechos

    La operación mencionada forma parte de una extensa investigación realizada por la SVS y que abarcó transacciones bursátiles que se realizaron con los títulos SQM-B y SQM-A, entre diciembre de 2009 y marzo de 2011, que se detallan cronológicamente de la siguiente manera:


    Entre los días 18 y 21 de diciembre, la Sociedad Cascada Pampa Calichera adquirió 3.370.000 acciones SQM-B, casi en su totalidad a Citigroup Global Markets Inc y a la sociedad Inversiones del Parque, a un precio promedio ponderado por acción de $19.502.

    Del total de acciones adquiridas en esos días, 199.755 fueron compradas el 18 de diciembre de ese año a Inversiones del Parque a un precio promedio ponderado de $19.562, mientras que 3.000.000 de unidades fueron compradas a Citigroup Global Markets Inc  el 21 de diciembre a un precio de $19.500 por acción.

    Posteriormente, entre los días 23 y 29 de diciembre Pampa Calichera vendió 3.460.000 acciones SQM-B, las que fueron adquiridas casi en su totalidad por Citigroup e Inversiones del Parque, a un precio promedio ponderado por acción de $19.313. Estas operaciones fueron intermediadas exclusivamente por Banchile Corredores de Bolsa y se ejecutaron principalmente en la Bolsa Electrónica de Chile (BEC), usando para ello, mayoritariamente, Operaciones Directas (OD) con difusión de tres minutos.

    Así, mediando un día hábil de diferencia, Pampa Calichera pasó de un ciclo comprador a un ciclo vendedor por un número similar de acciones, pero siendo el precio de las unidades que vendía, menor al precio de las acciones que compraba, lo que le generó pérdidas financieras estimadas en $638 millones. Sin embargo, estas operaciones le significaron importantes utilidades contables que representaron el 39% de las ganancias generadas por la venta de activos.


    Entre los días 23 y 25 de marzo, Pampa Calichera compró un total de 1.900.000 acciones SQM-B. De ellas, 1.895.000 fueron adquiridas a Citigroup Global Market Inc y a Banchile Corredores de Bolsa actuando para cartera propia, mismas sociedades que el 30 de marzo compraron en conjunto 1.900.000 acciones de SQM-B a Pampa Calichera, esta vez, a un precio menor.

    Los efectos de estas operaciones le reportaron a Pampa Calichera aproximadamente el 70% de las utilidades contables por venta de acciones reportadas en el primer trimestre de 2010, no obstante le otorgaron resultados financieros negativos por aproximadamente $267 millones.

    Entre los días 22 y 28 de abril, Pampa Calichera adquirió 1.100.000 acciones SQM-B, en su gran mayoría a Citigroup Global Markets Inc, a un precio promedio ponderado de $19.062, y luego, el 28 de abril vendió 1.000.000 acciones SQM-B a Banchile Corredores de Bolsa a un precio promedio ponderado de $18.939, la que a su vez, en ese mismo día, vendió un total de 999.898 acciones SQM-B a Citigroup Global Markets a un precio promedio ponderado de $18.969. Por las operaciones anteriores, Pampa Calichera obtuvo utilidades contables explicadas en la venta de acciones SQM-B, pero también una pérdida financiera aproximada de $130 millones.


    El día 29 de marzo, la sociedad Global Mining, filial controlada en un 100% por Pampa Calichera, vendió un total de cinco millones de acciones SQM-A al fondo Linzor Total Return Fund (hoy CHL Asset Management) a un precio de $27.100 por acción, a través de 22 Operaciones Directas (OD) con difusión de tres minutos −21 de ellas por 230.000 y la última por 170.000 acciones− intermediadas por Banchile Corredores de Bolsa y ejecutadas en la Bolsa Electrónica de Chile (BEC).

    El mismo día 29 de marzo, tres minutos después de la primera OD en la que Linzor Total Return Fund compró 230.000 acciones a la filial de Calichera, el fondo inició un ciclo de ventas por un total de cinco millones de acciones SQM-A que fueron adquiridas por la sociedad cascada Oro Blanco a un precio de $27.139 por acción, a través de 22 operaciones OD con difusión de tres minutos −21 de ellas por 230.000 y la última por 170.000 acciones− intermediadas por Banchile Corredores de Bolsa y materializadas en la BEC.

    En una primera instancia, Pampa Calichera registró el resultado de estas operaciones como utilidades contables por un monto de US$275 millones, no obstante, mediante oficio ordinario N°10.198 de fecha 20 de abril de 2012, esta Superintendencia instruyó a esta sociedad reversar los efectos en sus estados financieros producto de la operación efectuada en marzo de 2011, puesto que los títulos operados nunca salieron del grupo empresarial al que pertenecían, tratándose por tanto de operaciones entre partes relacionadas, al primar el principio de fondo sobre la forma de la operación.


    Verizon Cloud Chief, Siki Giunta: 'To the Cloud? Sì, Per Favore!'

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  • Siki Giunta wants to change the way people think about cloud computing. “Everybody thinks the cloud is 100% technology,” she says. “They think the cloud is magically delivered.”
    Which makes Giunta a sort of tech sorceress. As the new chief of cloud computing for Verizon’s enterprise division, she happily admits that the cloud comprises servers, storage devices, databases, and networks. But the majority of the magic, she insists, is in the people and processes that keep it online—the “maniac” levels of service that businesses expect from a Fortune 500 company.
    It is here where Verizon  VZ -0.26%  is placing its bets—and where it believes it has a key advantage. Last fall the company rolled out Verizon Cloud, a service combining an infrastructure-as-a-service platform (think of it as on-demand computing for companies) and object storage, the same type used for Facebook photos and Netflix movies. Verizon wants to give companies the agility and savings of a public cloud along with the reliability and scale of an enterprise service. The challenge? So do Amazon  AMZN -0.50% , Microsoft  MSFT 0.28% , and Google  GOOG 0.08% .
    “We want to be a global player,” Giunta says. “There are a lot of cloud providers, but if you have an application to execute in many regions and have data privacy and security concerns, your choice becomes rather small.”
    WAR IN THE SKIES Amazon continues its global dominance, according to Synergy Research Group data for the third quarter.WAR IN THE SKIES Amazon continues its global dominance, according to Synergy Research Group data for the third quarter.Graphic Source: Synergy Research Group
    Giunta is a relative newcomer to Verizon, having joined the company in late February. But she’s no newcomer to the industry. She is the former CEO of Fortisphere and Managed Objects, and she held leadership roles at Novell, CA, Synapse, and CSC. Still, her background is anything but typical. Born and raised in Italy, she studied literature and art history in Rome and French language and civilization in Paris. Some time after she completed her studies, Giunta realized she was a builder at heart. “We have an idea, we build, deliver, and make a change,” she says. “I said, ‘I’m going to make it my life journey to learn how to use technology to change business outcomes.’”
    At Verizon, Giunta’s focus will be on expanding the company’s architecture and capabilities with an eye toward rolling out new products. “This is the cookie-cutter-making period,” she says. “Next year we’re going to make lots of cookies around the world.”
    Giunta is the only woman on the leadership team of eight at Verizon Enterprise Solutions. She takes comfort in the fact that there are several female directors on the company’s board. “If you have a sense of community, life gets easier,” she says. Even if it requires a little patience. “Otherwise, you’ll be the only one rowing,” she says, “and the boat is not going to take off.”