On May 5, 2020, at least one website will post the comments Wilson made on Monday. The prominent tech investor will be recognized for boldly predicting the future – or mocked for a forecast that flopped.
On-stage at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, Wilson sunk his teeth into Apple. He was asked which three tech companies will have the biggest market cap in 2020.
“Google, Facebook, and one that we’ve never heard of,” Wilson said.
“Why is Apple gone?” asked TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington.
“Because I think they’re just too rooted to the hardware and I think that hardware is increasingly becoming more commodity,” Wilson said. “And they don’t have anything in the cloud to speak of. And the stuff they have in the cloud, I think, is largely not good. And I just don’t think that they think about data and the cloud in the way that you need to think about things.”
Will Wilson or Apple laugh last? Find out – in six years.
Here are four more names that made news on the beat:
CEO Marissa Mayer has been asked before to define Yahoo’s identity: media or technology company? She’s apparently tired of it.
Mashable reported that Mayer, interviewed at the same conference where Wilson made his remarks, squashed the subject when it was introduced:
“I’ve scolded people who ask me that. Over the years, it became Yahoo’s version of navel gazing. In short, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we build products that people love.”
To her last point, true. But is Yahoo’s boss correct to dismiss the larger question?
Target-ing a new CEO
Months after the data breach that burned Target, change is taking place at the top: Gregg Steinhafel resigned as Chairman of the Target board of directors, president and CEO, according to the company’s statement.
Whether Target promotes from within is worth watching. Repairing its reputation may require hiring an outsider – someone with no ties to the holiday breach that compromised personal data of up to 110 million customers.
Ken Nisch, chairman of retail branding and design company JGA, told USA Today, “They need to find somebody who really gets e-commerce. If I was them, I would probably look at somebody at a Google and not a traditional retailer.”
‘The company’s best voice’
Promoted to Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox may be unknown to casual Facebook users. But his bio says he helped create one of the sites most recognizable features: News Feed.
Josh Constine’s TechCrunch story may highlight the CPO’s top talent:
“I’ve seen Cox give several presentations with a big smile and patient tone at Facebook over the years, and I’m not alone in thinking he’s the company’s best voice. (The developer conference) f8 this year felt the noticeable absence of his ability to show the sentimental side of even the most mechanical update to Facebook’s product.”
Slight dip in ownership
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates can no longer lay claim as the company’s largest shareholder. Annually selling shares to fund his philanthropic foundation, Gates is second to ex-CEO Steve Ballmer, whose shares surpass 333 million.
According to GeekWire:
“The transaction that took Gates below Ballmer’s stake was a sale of $4.6 million shares on April 30, at a price of $40.34, bringing the Microsoft co-founder’s shares to 330,141,164, or just under 4 percent of the company.”
CNET reported Gates has sold 80 million shares annually for the last 12 years, and, “At the current rate, Gates will have no direct ownership stake of the company by mid-2018.”
Gates tops Forbes’ list of billionaires with a fortune beyond $77 billion – for what it’s worth.