A new CEO for Boeing, Facebook boots Wal-Mart and Lego looks to a more sustainable future. Read about these and more of the day's top business news stories.
Legos to be Plastic-Free by 2030?
The Lego Group plans to spend $1 billion and hire 100 specialists to find an alternative to its iconic plastic pieces by 2030, Time magazine reports. Legos have been made with a strong plastic known as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene since 1963. The company uses more than 6,000 tons of plastic annually to manufacture its products, according to NBC News. The world’s largest toy company’ new LEGO Sustainable Materials Centre in Denmark will be devoted to finding and implementing new sustainable alternatives to their classic building materials. Changing the raw material could have a large effect on Lego’s carbon footprint, especially considering that only 10 percent of the carbon emissions from Lego products come from its factories. The other 90 percent is produced from the extraction and refinement of raw materials, as well as distribution from factories to toy stores, Time said.
Boeing Lands New CEO
Chicago-based aircraft maker Boeing announced Tuesday that CEO Jim McNerney is deplaning after 10 years at the controls. President and Chief Operating Officer Dennis Muilenburg will become its new CEO on July 1, the Associated Press reports. McNerney, 65, will keep working at Boeing until the end of February. He is also remaining chairman of the company. McNerney leaves behind a company with a record book of new jet orders and the fastest production rate in history. In the first quarter of this year, it delivered 184 new jets to airlines around the world, up from 161 during the same period the prior year. Commercial jets now account for about 70 percent of the company's revenue; most of the remainder came from its military and space operations. Boeing had $90.76 billion in revenue in 2014.
Smaller Decline Recorded in Revised First-Quarter GDP
The U.S. economy contracted in the first quarter by a revised 0.2 percent, a smaller decline that was previously reported. The revised GDP reflects higher consumer spending and a lower drop in exports, MarketWatch reports. The increase in consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, was revised to 2.1 percent from 1.8 percent. The value of inventories increased by $99.5 billion instead of $95 billion, while overall private sector investment also rose more than previously reported,, up 2.4 percent vs. the 0.7 percent estimate
Confederate Flag Controversy Spurs SalesAmazon.com, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., EBay and Target are among the big retailers that have begun to stop selling Confederate flags and merchandise following last week’s shooting deaths of nine black church members in South Carolina. Warner Bros. Consumer Products announced Tuesday it would not longer produce its popular toy based on the iconic General Lee car from "The Dukes of Hazard," which sported the Confederette flag. Debate over the flag’s symbolism has flared since the shooting. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has called for the flag to be removed from atop the state capitol. But manufacturers that produce the divisive merchandise report that sales are surging, according to the Associated Press. Kerry McCoy, owner and president of Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com told the AP that her company expects to sell about 50 of the flags over the coming week. Pete Van de Putte, owner of Dixie Flag Manufacturing in San Antonio, Texas, said he has sold more flags in the last couple days than they would have typically sold over a couple of months.
Facebook Stock Market Value Tops Wal-Mart
Facebook, the world’s biggest online social network, has knocked Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer off the top 10 list of the highest-valued companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index on Monday and the gap widened on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports. The switch signals investors' appetite for successful tech stocks. Apple, Microsoft and Google top the list of the highest-valued companies in the U.S., and Facebook looks to be on its way to joining them. Facebook Inc., which is based in Menlo Park, California, was valued at $238 billion at the close of trading Tuesday, according to FactSet. Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was valued at $234 billion.
Netflix Plans 7-1 Stock Split
In a “Daredevil” move that shows that Netflix is no “House of Cards,” the video streamer announced Tuesday it has approved a 7-for-1 stock split. Netflix shares have soared 182 percent over the past year, making it the company in the Standard & Poor’s 500 with the fourth highest stock price behind Berkshire Hathaway, Priceline and Autozone. The movie, which means that investors will receive seven shares for each one they currently own, is aimed at making company stock easier to purchase for everyday investors. Netflix is currently worth $681 a share. The stock split will take the form of a stock dividend and occur on July 14, CNN reports.