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Greentown Labs has a new CEO

Greentown Labs in Somerville.Aram Boghosian for The Boston Gl


Greentown Labs has a new CEO

Climate-tech incubator Greentown Labs has hired clean-energy veteran Kevin Knobloch to be its next chief executive, to take over after longtime leader Emily Reichert stepped down late last year. Board member and cofounder Jason Hanna recently took on the role on an interim basis, while the executive search continued. Knobloch will start at Greentown on Sept. 5. He had been president of the Union of Concerned Scientists from 2004 through 2013 and then became chief of staff at the US Department of Energy working for energy secretary Ernie Moniz during President Obama’s second term, from June 2013 through January 2017. Later, Knobloch went to work for Anbaric, the Wakefield-based transmission line developer. Most recently, Knobloch has been running his own clean-energy consulting and advisory firm. Greentown is considered the largest cleantech incubator in the country, supporting 125 startups in Somerville and 68 in Houston. The organization reported $17.8 million in revenue last year and employs 57 people across both its locations. — JON CHESTO



Peloton wants to get into offices

Peloton, the seller of upscale home gym equipment, wants to be known as something else: a workplace perk. The company is going after business clients — especially small and midsize firms — by making it easier for them to offer Peloton services to employees and customers. The push, called Peloton for Business, is an attempt to gain a bigger foothold in seven areas: hotels, corporate wellness, apartment buildings, education, health care, and neighborhood gyms. Peloton has been striving to broaden its focus after a post-pandemic slump ravaged its finances. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Even LA mansions get marked down

Los Angeles is reeling from successive waves of labor strikes and budget shortfalls. Now, even the city’s rich are feeling the pinch: Its ultra-luxury housing market is subject to deep discounts, brokers say. In this year’s second quarter, median prices for luxury single-family homes fell more than 25 percent from the first quarter and are down more than 13 percent year over year, according to an Elliman report. In practical terms, that often means serious discounts. In early August, a 19,000-square-foot, new-construction, “French chateau”-style mansion in Bel Air closed for $15.8 million, according to Zillow, well below its initial asking price of $27 million. Similarly, a Beverly Hills mansion whose decor was dubbed “Game of Thrones meets Harry Potter” sold in late July for a recorded $16.8 million, a steep drop from its original asking price of $22 million. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


A Simbe Robotics Inc. Tally shelf-scanning robot travels through an aisle at a Giant Eagle Inc. Market District supermarket in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Oct. 29, 2019. Allison Farrand/Bloomberg


Nearly half of Americans believe their job could easily be automated

Close to half of Americans say automation could easily replace their jobs, according to an American Staffing Association survey. Younger workers and Blacks and Hispanics consider themselves most exposed, while baby boomers and white Americans are less concerned, based on the survey, which was conducted on behalf of the association by the Harris Poll. The recent rapid development of generative artificial intelligence has extended the potential for automation of many more on-the-job tasks. One-third of Americans are already using AI at work, the survey found. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Startup backed by celebrities raises over $50 million in funding

Jinx, a dog-food startup backed by actor Chris Evans, raised $17 million as it pushes into more US retailers. The funding round was led by the Merchant Club, which represents family offices in co-investments, and was joined by Align Ventures and AF Ventures. Existing investors include celebrities such as actor Will Smith, singer Halsey, and comedian Trevor Noah. It brings Jinx’s total funding to more than $50 million. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Dehumidifiers recalled over fire risk

More than 1.5 million dehumidifiers are under recall following reports of nearly two dozen fires, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. The recall impacts 42 models of dehumidifiers sold under five brand names: Kenmore, GE, SoleusAir, Norpole, and Seabreeze. These products, all manufactured by the Zhuhai, China-based Gree Electric Appliances, were sold from January 2011 to February 2014 at major retailers nationwide — including Walmart, Home Depot, and Sam’s Club, among others. According to the CPSC, the now-recalled dehumidifiers can overheat, smoke, and catch fire. Gree has received reports of at least 23 fires, 688 overheating incidents, and $168,000 in property damage from the recalled products. Consumers are instructed to unplug and immediately stop using the dehumidifiers — and contact Gree for a refund. The recalled dehumidifiers can be identified by their brand, model number, and capacity, which are all listed on the CPSC’s notice. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Top three carriers lose big as smartphone sales drop

The top three US wireless carriers have lost billions in revenue as smartphone sales dwindle in a reversal of the pandemic boom. AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon collectively lost nearly $5 billion in equipment sales over the past 12 months compared with the previous year. T-Mobile’s equipment revenue fell 23 percent last quarter, while AT&T’s slipped 7 percent and Verizon’s postpaid phone upgrades dropped 34 percent. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

The Tesla logo is on a Model Y electric vehicle during the vehicle's launch in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 20, 2023. Samsul Said/Bloomberg


Tesla didn’t fix Autopilot flaws after crash, engineers say in lawsuit

Tesla failed to fix limitations in its Autopilot system following a gruesome Florida crash that killed a driver in 2016, company engineers said in a family’s lawsuit over a very similar 2019 fatal collision that’s headed to a jury trial. The electric car maker didn’t make any changes to its driver-assistance technology to account for crossing traffic in the nearly three years between two high-profile accidents that killed Tesla drivers whose cars slammed into the side of trucks, according to newly revealed testimony from multiple engineers. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



American and Delta expand service

Building on strong bookings this summer, American Airlines said Thursday it will add three new European destinations next summer and revive another international route that it last flew in 2019. The announcement comes one day after Delta Air Lines said it will expand service to China later this year. The news from two of the biggest US carriers underscores the airline industry’s confidence that its strong recovery from the pandemic will continue and that planes will remain packed. American said that next summer it will add flights to Copenhagen, Naples, and Nice, France — all new destinations for the airline — from Philadelphia. It plans to resume flights between Chicago and Venice that were dropped four years ago. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


NJ labor officials close Boston Market locations

State labor officials have temporarily shut down more than two dozen Boston Market restaurants in New Jersey after finding multiple violations of workers’ rights, including more than $600,000 in back wages owed to 314 employees. A stop-work order was issued Tuesday by the Department of Labor against 27 restaurants across New Jersey. The state also imposed nearly $2.6 million in penalties against the firm. The Associated Press sent an email seeking comment to Boston Market’s corporate office in Golden, Colo., on Thursday. There are 31 Boston Market restaurants in New Jersey and 310 nationwide, according to its website. — ASSOCIATED PRESS