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Bush’s ZUS Health raises largest funding round yet

Jonathan Bush, pictured here when he was CEO of athenahealth, is now the head of Zus Health, a firm that’s building a shared data platform for healthcare providers and has closed a $40 million round of financing.Michele McDonald


Bush’s ZUS Health raises largest funding round yet

Zus Health, a firm that’s building a shared data platform for health care providers, has closed a $40 million round of financing. It’s the largest round of funding to date for Zus, which former athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush launched in 2021 in Watertown. The investors in this round include Jazz Venture Partners, F-Prime Capital, Maverick Ventures, and Andreesen Horowitz. Zus plans to use some of the funding to add to its 50-person workforce. The announcement coincided with the firm’s signing of a contract with Elation Health to help the electronic health records company build out its data offerings. Zus said its long-term goal is to create a platform that is the go-to source for aggregated health records in the United States. — JON CHESTO



Amazon says it will ax another 9,000 corporate and tech jobs is laying off an additional 9,000 employees, adding to cuts that were already the largest round of firings in the company’s history. Chief executive Andy Jassy announced the cuts internally Monday, saying they would occur in the coming weeks and primarily affect Amazon Web Services, human resources, advertising, and the Twitch live-streaming service groups. The e-commerce giant has been laying off mostly corporate workers after a hiring spree during the pandemic left Amazon with too many people. The company last month wrapped up a round of job cuts that totaled about 18,000 workers. Those layoffs landed heaviest on Amazon’s recruiting and human resources teams, its sprawling retail group and devices teams. The cuts come less than a week after Facebook owner Meta Platforms announced that it was laying off another 10,000 employees and closing about 5,000 additional open roles in its own second major round of job cuts. Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg told employees during a recent internal meeting that the economic climate of layoffs and restructuring could last “many years.” — BLOOMBERG NEWS



G-7 likely to hold off on revising Russian oil price cap

Group of Seven nations are unlikely to revise a price cap on Russian oil this week, despite initial evidence that crude is selling well below the current $60 threshold. European Union member states were informed over the weekend by the bloc’s executive branch that there is little interest among the G-7 — in charge of setting and changing the price cap — to modify price levels at this stage, according to people familiar with the matter. Talks between the European Commission and the G-7 will likely continue beyond a summit of EU leaders taking place in Brussels this week, two of the people added. European countries and their allies have taken a number of steps to reduce Russia’s oil proceeds to limit the Kremlin’s ability to finance its war in Ukraine. Ceilings on the price of Russian crude oil and refined products are also designed to keep the country’s energy flowing onto world markets while curbing revenue. The G-7 previously agreed to review the price level in mid-March, and EU legislation stipulates that the aim should be to keep the threshold at 5 percent below average market rates. A report by the International Energy Agency last week showed that Russian crude oil and petroleum products sold for less than the price cap last month. ― BLOOMBERG NEWS

A Starbucks logo at a store on Nov. 17, 2022, in Boston.Charles Krupa/Associated Press


New Starbucks CEO moves into corner office two weeks early

Starbucks Corp. said Laxman Narasimhan has assumed the role of chief executive on Monday, two weeks earlier than planned. Narasimhan, 55, has also joined the company’s board of directors, Starbucks said in a statement. He began working at the coffee giant in October and has spent the last few months getting to know the operations at more than 30 stores, manufacturing, and support facilities. He also earned a barista certification. He replaces company founder Howard Schultz, who had served as interim CEO since returning in April. Monday also marked the end of Schultz’s third stint leading the company he founded. Since returning to the helm in April, Schultz has restructured management, redesigned cafe and store formats, and introduced new products. Starbucks has faced a growing union push at some of its US stores, a movement that started in 2019. Schultz is due to testify before a key US Senate panel on March 29. The US National Labor Relations Board has complained that Starbucks uses illegal tactics to thwart union organizing efforts. ― BLOOMBERG NEWS



Falling costs of key metals are driving electric car prices downward

Lithium, the common ingredient in almost all electric-car batteries, has become so precious that it is often called white gold. But something surprising has happened recently: The metal’s price has fallen, helping to make electric vehicles more affordable. Since January, the price of lithium has dropped by nearly 20 percent, according to Benchmark Minerals, even as sales of electric vehicles have soared. Cobalt, another important battery material, has fallen by more than half. Copper, essential to electric motors and batteries, has slipped by about 18 percent. The sharp moves have confounded many analysts who predicted that prices would stay high, or even climb higher, slowing the transition to cleaner forms of transportation, an essential component of efforts to limit climate change. Instead, the drop in commodity prices has made it easier for carmakers to cut prices for electric vehicles. This month, Tesla lowered the prices of its two most expensive cars, the Model S sedan and Model X sport utility vehicle, by thousands of dollars. The average price of an electric vehicle in the United States fell by $1,000 in February compared with January, according to Kelley Blue Book. — NEW YORK TIMES


The OpenAI website ChatGPT about page on laptop computer arranged in the Brooklyn borough of New York, on Jan. 12, 2023.Gabby Jones/Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomb


Companies move to draft policies on use of ChatGPT

Nearly half of human resource leaders polled by consulting firm Gartner said they’re in the process of formulating guidance on employees’ use of OpenAI’s artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT. What those policies will look like may end up varying widely. Some Wall Street firms, like Bank of America Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., have banned the chatbot, while hedge fund giant Citadel has embraced it. At the same time, one-third of HR leaders surveyed by Gartner said they aren’t planning to issue any policies on employees’ use of ChatGPT, even as experts raise concerns about copyright infringement and data privacy, and caution users against the chatbot’s tendency to, at times, simply make stuff up. ― BLOOMBERG NEWS


Federal Reserve’s challenge: confront inflation and bank jitters

Still grappling with persistently high inflation, the Federal Reserve faces an entirely new — and in some ways conflicting — challenge as it meets to consider interest rates this week: How to restore calm to a nervous banking system. The two problems would normally push the Fed in different directions: To fight elevated inflation, it would raise its benchmark rate, perhaps substantially. But to soothe financial markets, the Fed might prefer to leave rates unchanged, at least for now. Most economists think the Fed will navigate the conundrum by raising rates by just a quarter-point when its latest policy meeting ends Wednesday. That would be less than the half-point hike that many economists had expected before the recent collapse of two large banks. ― ASSOCIATED PRESS