GameStop's CFO, Jim Bell, may take home about $30 million as he leaves the retailer, Bloomberg reported.
Bell's contract included severance of $2.8 million, along with a departure award of restricted shares worth about $13 million, according to Bloomberg. Much of the rest of the package would be in equity grants tied to company performance over the next few years, the report said.
The company on Tuesday announced Bell's departure, saying in a press release he would resign on March 26. Diana Jajeh, senior vice president and chief accounting officer, will serve as interim chief financial officer while the company searches for a permanent replacement.
The company said it's seeking a chief financial officer with "the capabilities and qualifications to help accelerate GameStop's transformation."
Bell was appointed to the chief financial position at GameStop in July 2019, less than two years ago. He had previously been CFO and interim CEO at Wok Holdings, parent company of P.F. Chang's, according to his company profile.
In 2020, activist investor Ryan Cohen bought a stake in GameStop, and took a seat on the company's board. Cohen, a co-founder of internet retailer Chewy, also installed two of his former Chewy lieutenants on the GameStop board.
In November 2020, Cohen wrote a letter to the company's executive team, pushing for the company to become a "technology-driven business." Cohen wrote: "But this pivot requires the type of strategic vision that has not yet taken hold in the c-suite or boardroom."
Bell's equity package has benefited from the recent spikes in GameStop stock, which was pushed higher in an epic struggle between retail investors and short sellers. When Bell joined GameStop, the company's stock price hovered around $5.30 per share. In January, it spiked briefly to $483 per share, although it settled back into the range of $40 to $50 per share.
Depending on the company's future performance, Bell could receive about 300,000 shares in the coming years, depending on how the company does, Bloomberg reported. Those shares were worth about $13.4 million based on Monday's $44.97 closing price of GameStop shares.
February 21, 2021Kevin ShalveyUncategorizedComments Off on NASA says its Ingenuity Mars helicopter sent a positive status update. As it prepares for the flight, the agency is thinking about future crewed flights to the Red Planet.
NASA said it received a positive first status update from its Ingenuity Mars Helicopter.
Simi liar flying robots "might be part of future robotic and human missions to Mars," NASA said.
When Ingenuity takes off, it'll be an event like the Wright brothers flying on Earth, NASA said.
Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said they'd heard back from the tiny Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, paving the way for its first-of-a-kind flight on the Red Planet.
The helicopter's first status report arrived as expected, said Tim Canham, operations lead for the project, in a statement on Friday. It said Ingenuity's batteries were charging as expected and its base station was operating as designed.
"Both appear to be working great. With this positive report, we will move forward with tomorrow's charge of the helicopter's batteries," Canham said.
The helicopter, which landed on Mars aboard the Perseverance rover on Thursday, weighs about four pounds, with a fuselage roughly the size of a tissue box, according to NASA.
When Ingenuity takes off on Mars in the coming days or weeks, it will be an event akin to the Wright brothers' Flyer taking off on Earth, NASA said in press materials about the helicopter.
"If successful, these technologies could enable other advanced robotic flying vehicles that might be part of future robotic and human missions to Mars," NASA said.
Ingenuity will have to make it through a few steps before its flight.
First, its batteries will be charged, NASA said. The rover will supply enough charge to get them to about 35% of their total. Once the helicopter is dropped on the Martian surface, it will rely on its own solar panel for power, the agency added.
Then, the helicopter will need to "survive" the planet's harsh atmosphere.
"If Ingenuity survives its first bone-chilling Martian nights - where temperatures dip as low as minus 130 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 90 degrees Celsius) - the team will proceed with the first flight of an aircraft on another world," NASA said in a statement on Friday.
Ingenuity's first flight, if successful, will achieve about 90% of NASA's goals for the helicopter.
The craft doesn't yet have a scheduled take-off day, but will have an approximately 30-Martian-day window, according to NASA. That's about 31 Earth days.
"Just about every milestone from here through the end of our flight demonstration program will be a first, and each has to succeed for us to go on to the next," said MiMi Aung, project manager.
Aung added: "We'll enjoy this good news for the moment, but then we have to get back to work."
Last week, it was reported that Vance's office hired Mark Pomerantz, a prosecutor specializing in white-collar and organized crime.
Property owners in New York City can file applications with the NYC Tax Commission to correct the assessed value of their properties, according to the agency's website.
Records held by the agency would likely include income and expense statements from the Trump Organization, which the company may have filed in an effort to lower its tax assessments, Reuters reported.
Vance's office has reportedly sought documents related to the value of Trump Organization properties in New York from other sources, too. Last fall, Vance's office issued a subpoena to Deutsche Bank, according to The New York Times. That bank had served as the primary lender for Trump's businesses for about two decades, reports said. Prosecutors last year reportedly interviewed bankers who had worked with Trump.
Reuters reported that investigators may be looking into whether the Trump Organization sought to increase the value of its properties when seeking loans, then tried to decrease the value when paying property taxes.
The Wall Street Journal last Saturday reported that Vance's office was looking into loans taken out on the Trump Organization's flagship properties in New York City.
Social network Gab on Friday said it took itself offline "out of an abundance of caution" to fix a bitcoin spam issue.
The company said it discovered and fixed a "security vulnerability" in its codebase.
"At 6:09pm EST Gab became aware of several accounts that were posting bitcoin wallet spam and related content," the company said in a blog post signed by Andrew Torba, chief executive.
About 16 minutes after it discovered the spam, Gab took itself offline, according to the blog post. Fox News, The New York Post, and other publications covered the outage on Friday.
"Because of our quick action zero bitcoin was sent to any of the addresses posted and the affected accounts have been secured," Gab said.
Gab is the latest among its social media peers to be attacked by bitcoin spammers. Last July, Twitter hackers took over dozens of high-profile accounts - including those of former President Barack Obama and Tesla CEO Elon Musk - and posted bitcoin scam links. When Apple's Twitter account posted its first public tweet, it was a bitcoin scam. Hackers may have made off with about $120,000 in bitcoin in that attack.
On Friday, fewer than 20 Gab accounts were affected by a bitcoin spam issue, the company said in its blog post.
Gab didn't say which accounts were affected, but Newsweek reported that some Twitter users posted images showing Gab accounts from notable right-wing media outlets. In screenshots posted on Twitter, people were asked to donate funds to a strange URL.
"We have no indication that any sensitive account information was breached or accessed by any unauthorized users," Gab said.
The company said it planned a "full audit of our logs and infrastructure." All active user sessions were ended, so every user needed to log in again.
"As Gab scales, our top priority is keeping your information secure. We will immediately be expanding our security and infrastructure team and launching a bug bounty program," the blog post added.
On Friday, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she plans to travel to Texas to help at the Houston Food Bank, along with Congresswoman Sylvia R. Garcia, who represents the Houston region.
Ocasio-Cortez called for volunteers to help out, although the application form now appears to be closed. She has helped raise $2 million in relief funds for those suffering after a winter storm slammed Texas, according to an announcement on Friday.
A day earlier, she'd announced that fundraising had topped $1 million in about four hours.
Garcia said: "We are ready to show you my District and impact of the #TexasFreeze to our most vulnerable. Be ready to roll up your sleeves and work starting at Houston Food Bank," Garcia said.
A winter storm last week hit the southern US, leaving millions without power. Texas, which has its own electrical grid, was among the hardest-hit states. Storm-related damages could near $50 billion in Texas, according to an estimate provided by AccuWeather CEO Joel Myers.
"Charity isn't a replacement for good governance, but we won't turn away from helping people in need when things hit the fan," Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter.
She added: "People understand that now is the time for collective action and doing what we can w/ whatever we've got."
On Fox News on Friday, Texas Senator Ted Cruz said he'd urged President Joe Biden to declare an emergency, which the president did on February 14. "This week has been hell for the state of Texas," Cruz said.
Cruz flew to Cancun with his family on Wednesday, initially planning to stay until Saturday. But he returned to the US on Thursday, following a wave of criticism.
On Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez re-upped her January call for Cruz to resign.
"If Sen. Cruz had resigned back in January after helping gin up a violent insurrection that killed several people, he could've taken his vacation in peace. Texans should continue to demand his resignation," she said.
German prosecutors reportedly are holding about 1,700 bitcoin confiscated from a bitcoin miner, but the man won't give them his password to unlock the cryptocurrency.
"We asked him but he didn't say," Sebastian Murer, a prosecutor, told Reuters. "Perhaps he doesn't know."
At time of writing, the stash was worth about $67.9 million.
The bitcoin miner, who was from Kempten, Bavaria, was not named in the report. He was sentenced to about two years in prison after installing bitcoin mining software on others' computers, using them remotely to build a sum of bitcoin, according to Reuters.
He reportedly kept his mined bitcoin in a password-protected digital wallet, which is a common way to hold the digital currency.
Without the password, there's no way to open a digital wallet.
Last month, another man in Germany had a bitcoin stash of about $220 million rendered inaccessible because he'd lost his password. In January, a man from the Welsh city of Newport said he'd mistakenly thrown away about 7,500 bitcoin, worth about $275 million.
About $140 billion in bitcoin, or about 20% of all bitcoin, is stranded in wallets because people forgot their passwords, according to The New York Times.
As the cryptocurrency has ballooned in the last few months, locked-out owners have watched the value climb. Bitcoin hit $40,000 last month for the first time, then $41,000, before pulling back. It's since climbed again, and, as of Saturday, its 24-hour high was $39,982.81, according to CoinDesk.
House impeachment managers last week brought their case against former President Donald Trump to the Senate for a five-day trial. Trump was charged with incitement of insurrection related to the deadly event at the Capitol on January 6. Trump was acquitted on Saturday.
Trump was photographed playing golf in Florida on Monday, as House impeachment managers prepared their case against him in Washington.
Over the weekend, a top conservative lawyer had dismissed Republican arguments against Trump's impeachment. Republican senator Ron Johnson, speaking on Fox News on Sunday, suggested House Speaker Nancy Pelosi bore responsibility for the Capitol riot.
In a pretrial brief submitted Monday, lawyers representing Trump argued that his January 6 rally speech "was not and could not be construed to encourage acts of violence."
As the impeachment trial began on Tuesday, 56 senators - including six Republicans - voted that the trial was constitutional. The House impeachment managers set the tone for the trial with a graphic video syncing up Trump's January 6 rally speech with the march on the Capitol.
After Trump's defense lawyers made their opening statements, CNN reported that Trump was "borderline screaming" and "deeply unhappy." Steve Bannon, Trump's former chief strategist, said the defense needed changes, The Associated Press reported.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday said he wasn't watching the trial. "I have a job," he told reporters.
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday reportedly said he hadn't ruled out the possibility of voting to convict Trump.
"The mob was looking for Vice President Pence because of his patriotism because the vice president had refused to do what the president demand, and overturn the election results," said Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett.
Trump's tweets, speeches, and statements were focal points, but the former president didn't testify. Trump reportedly was unmoved and mocked Democrats as they laid out their case against him on Wednesday.
House impeachment managers also showed footage of Officer Eugene Goodman urging Senator Mitt Romney to turn around and get to safety.
On Thursday, three Republican senators met with Trump's lawyers. CNN reported that Sens. Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, and Mike Lee met with the defense team at the US Capitol.
"We were discussing their strategy for tomorrow, and we were sharing our thoughts, in terms of where the argument was and where to go," Cruz said on Thursday.
The Daily Mail published photos of Trump playing golf on Friday. Trump reportedly "loved" it when his lawyers called the trial "constitutional cancel culture."
Trump was acquitted on Saturday. Fifty-seven senators voted to convict. Cruz said he had previously advised Trump's lawyers that they'd "already won" the case. McConnell voted to acquit Trump, but tore into the former president in a speech.
"There is no question - none - that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day," McConnell said. "The people that stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president."
In a statement, Trump thanked his supporters. "This has been yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country," he said.
He added: "No president has ever gone through anything like it, and it continues because our opponents cannot forget the almost 75 million people, the highest number ever for a sitting president, who voted for us just a few short months ago."
Biden said the trial was a "sad chapter" that demonstrated how "fragile" US democracy was.
"While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute," he said in a statement.
An investment unit under Morgan Stanley is exploring a stake in bitcoin, according to Bloomberg.
Morgan Stanley Investment Management's Counterpoint Global, a $150 billion investing unit, was looking into whether the cryptocurrency would be a "suitable option for its investors," Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The investment would require regulatory approval, the report added.
Were it to occur, the investment by Counterpoint Global would be one of several high-profile moves into cryptocurrency from well-established companies, banks, and investment firms. Bank of New York Mellon, the country's oldest financial institution, planned to offer bitcoin transactions, according to The Wall Street Journal. Mastercard on Thursday said it would allow merchants to accept select cryptocurrencies.
Tesla also said it had invested $1.5 billion into bitcoin, sending the cryptocurrency about 16% higher early last week. Twitter on Wednesday said it was considering adding some bitcoin to its balance sheet.
The reports have pushed bitcoinprices higher, sending it above $48,000 for the first time last week. Bitcoin's gained about 60% so far this year.
Some at Morgan Stanley have been bearish on the cryptocurrency in the past. In 2017, for example, an analyst at Morgan Stanley said the real value of bitcoin was zero. At the time, bitcoin traded at about $14,400.
At least one bitcoin backer predicted its price would climb to $100,00o this year but some commentators have urged investors to stay away from the cryptocurrency while it's trading at all-time highs. About 1,000 investors, known as whales, control about 40% of the bitcoin market.
"I see the promise of these new technologies, but I also see the reality: cryptocurrencies have been used to launder the profits of online drug traffickers; they've been a tool to finance terrorism," Yellen said.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Morgan Stanley was considering a $150 billion investment in bitcoin. Morgan Stanley's $150 billion investment unit is eyeing an investment.
Members of Congress on Friday called for President Joe Biden to replace every member of the US Postal Service's board of governors, saying they had enabled the Postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, in his "harmful" policy decisions.
"There should not be any toleration for their silence or complicity in overseeing these harmful policy changes that have also eroded the public trust in this agency," Senator Tammy Duckworth said in a letter sent to the president.
Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. said on Twitter, "Americans don't want to hear excuses. We can start fixing the Post Office by firing the leadership."
He added: "Louis DeJoy was appointed by Trump to slow your mail and destroy your Post Office. He's corrupt and needs to go."
The president has the power to appoint governors to the USPS board, which operates much like a public company's board. The nine governors appoint the postmaster general.
The Democrats' calls for Biden to replace the governors came as DeJoy's USPS team planned new updates, which would reportedly drive up some postage rates and remove first-class mail, according to reports from The Washington Post and NBC News.
"This work is not only needed, it is long overdue," DeJoy told NBC News on Friday.
As of Saturday, there were six governors appointed to the USPS board, leaving three vacancies. The deputy postmaster position was also vacant.
At the White House on Thursday, press secretary Jen Psaki was asked if Biden planned to move quickly to fill the vacancies on the USPS board.
Psaki said: "I don't have any personnel announcements or specifics of the determinations of the - or, I should say, the factors that are playing into those decisions. But, you know, the President stands by his concerns about what happened last fall and improvements he'd like to see at the Post Office."
The groups said delivery delays at the post office were an act of self-sabotage for the US mail system in "a blatant attempt to disenfranchise voters of color," many of whom planned to use mail-in ballots for the November election.
AACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson said at the time: "This willful and blatant attempt to obstruct the mail system amidst a pandemic and on the precipice of a pivotal election is a direct threat to the people of this nation's right to vote in a fair and free election."
In her letter to Biden, Duckworth said it would take significant work to rebuild trust in the USPS.
Sophia, a talking humanoid robot, is being readied for mass production during the pandemic.
"The world of COVID-19 is going to need more and more automation to keep people safe," Hanson Robotics founder David Hanson told Reuters.
Hanson said the company hoped to sell thousands of robots in the first half of 2021, according to Reuters. Based in Hong Kong, Hanson Robotics had been iterating on its Sophia design since introducing it in 2016. It was one of four models ready for mass production, according to Reuters.
In the years since Sophia's introduction, the robot has popped up at conferences, broken hearts, and talked to reporters, including severalinterviews with Insider. In 2018, the robot even sang a duet with Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show.
Here's a brief history of Sophia's history and appearances.
The humanoid robot was designed in the Hong Kong office of Hanson Robotics, seen here in January.
Hanson brought Sophia to conferences around the world, including the one above, in Switzerland, in 2017.
The robot has been making news for years, including in 2018, when it attended an Alexander Wang fashion show.
In 2018, Sophia spoke to the press at a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine.
In 2018, attendees at the Malta AI and Blockchain Summit took selfies with the robot.
In 2019, Sophia took to the stage in Mexico City.
Sophia's makers also brought her on stage during 2019's Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal.
In January, Hanson Robotics said it was putting the final touches on Sophia.
The robot is just one of a few models Hanson Robotics has worked on. In 2017, Business Insider wrote about Sophia's seven humanoid "siblings."