Thursday 22 February 2018

The Punt: Apple needs a time machine

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs

It would be something of an understatement to say Apple executives have come up with a lot of great ideas over the years.

Steve Jobs, inset, may have been the genius leader for decades at the company, but a lot of other people have played a role too.

Jony Ive and his brilliant designs or Ron Johnson and his superb leadership of the Apple retail business, turning the Apple stores into theatres of shopping which almost every brand now tries to replicate.

Another of their products is the wifi data storage product called 'Time Machine'.

The Punt though thinks the Apple executive who proposed that Apple buy Time Warner needs an actual time machine.

The 'Financial Times' reported that Eddy Cue, who overseas iCloud and iTunes among other Apple products, broached the topic with Olaf Olafsson, Time Warner's head of corporate strategy.

Talks did not go anywhere, and it's worth looking back in time to figure out why the talks may not have gone anywhere. Time Warner has merged with an internet giant before. AOL was the king back in 2000 when it merged with Time Warner in the biggest merger ever.

Nine years later a much smaller AOL spun off Time Warner into a separate company. It's widely seen as one of the worst mergers of all time.

Heavy-hitters join IoD board

The Institute of Directors (IoD) in Dublin has been made two new appointments to its board.

Harry Lorton, an independent non-executive director at Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank, and Dan Flinter, a non-executive director at Aryzta and Dairygold Cooperative, and a former chief executive of Enterprise Ireland, were elected at the IoD agm on Wednesday.

Lorton serves as chairman of Independent Trustee Company and of the Johnson & Perrott Motor Group. As well as being a non-executive director at Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank, he is also member, and former chairman, of the Supervisory Committee at Royal Liver Assurance Sub-Fund, part of the Royal London Group.

He is also a former president of the Institute of Bankers in Ireland and of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants in Ireland. Flinter is chairman of The Irish Times, PM Holdings and of Venture Capital Investment Managers (VCIM).

IoD president Des Lamont said: "Both are directors of the highest calibre with vast experience at board level, executive and non-executive.

"I have no doubt that each will make a valuable and effective contribution to the IoD board as the organisation continues to focus on improving corporate governance standards in Ireland and providing professional development opportunities."

Barracuda gets more teeth

The Punt sees that Dublin financial software firm Barracuda FX has received an €800,000 investment to beef up its coffers. Some €600,000 has been pitched in by the AIB Start-up Accelerator Fund. Mark Redwood, a UK-based businessman who joined the board of Barracuda three years ago, has stumped up €200,000.

Redwood is the former president of sales and training at Thomson Reuters, and the founder of AVT Technologies. AVT provided foreign exchange technology to financial institutions, and was acquired by Reuters in 2002.

Barracuda FX was founded in 2009 by ceo Kieran Fitzpatrick and chief operations officer Maurice Curran.

It provides foreign exchange trading and risk management software to banks. Fitzpatrick was an executive with Irish firm Cognotech, while Curran also worked at Cognotech and with Bank of Ireland Asset Management.

Last year Barracuda expanded its R&D operations to the Macedonian capital of Skopje.

Irish Independent

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