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Workhuman valued at more than $1 billion


Workhuman valued at more than $1 billion

Massachusetts has a new unicorn: Workhuman, a human-resources tech company, has been valued at $1.2 billion. The company sold a 10 percent stake to Intermediate Capital Group, a British investment firm, enabling a number of original angel investors to cash out. Workhuman chief executive Eric Mosley said ICG bought the stake for $120 million. He said Workhuman has probably been worth more than $1 billion — the threshold for private companies to achieve “unicorn” status — for a few years but this was the first time its valuation was put to the test by selling shares in the firm. Morgan Stanley handled the sale process, which began last year and was completed during the pandemic, on behalf of Workhuman. The company employs about 700 people, including 300 at the headquarters in Framingham, and reported about $580 million in revenue last year. (The firm also has a headquarters office in Dublin.) “I’ll always be thankful for those angel investors,” Mosley said. “They invested in us when we were two or three people, with just an idea. . . . I was delighted to be able to get them that return.” — JON CHESTO


Mass. Life Sciences Center has an interim leader

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center has a new leader, but still hasn’t found a permanent one. Interim chief executive Timothy McGourthy has left the quasi-public agency to work for the city of Worcester as its new chief financial officer. Damon Cox, a top economic development official in the Baker administration, will take over the interim role at the Life Sciences Center. (Cox was also co-chair of the Life Sciences Center board between 2018 and 2019, as a Baker administration designee.) The Life Sciences Center and the Baker administration are still seeking a permanent replacement for former CEO Travis McCready, who left in January. — JON CHESTO



Amazon increased its carbon footprint last year

Amazon said Tuesday that its carbon footprint rose 15 percent last year, even as it launched initiatives to reduce its harm on the environment. The online shopping giant said activities tied to its businesses emitted 51.17 million metric tons of carbon dioxide last year, the equivalent of 13 coal burning power plants running for a year. That’s up from 2018, when it reported a carbon footprint of 44.4 million metric tons. Amazon disclosed its carbon footprint the first time last year after employees pressured the company to do more to combat climate change. The Seattle-based company also said it’s on track to have 100 percent of its energy use come from solar panels, wind turbines and other renewable energy by 2025, five years earlier than it had planned. And on Tuesday, Amazon announced it would start a $2 billion fund to invest in companies that make products and technology that help fight climate change. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



FCC to vote in July on creating a three-digit suicide prevention hotline

Federal regulators will vote in July on whether to make “988” the number to reach a suicide prevention hotline. The Federal Communications Commission says phone service providers will have until July 2022 to implement the new number, if the measure is approved in July, as expected. Once it’s in place, people will be able to dial 988 to seek help, like how you can call 911 for an emergency. Currently, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline uses a 10-digit number, 800-273-TALK (8255), which routes calls to about 170 crisis centers. That 800 number will remain in place, but having the shorter number makes it easier for people to call, and is expected to lead to an increase in calls to the hotline. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Harley, Polaris dealer ousted over disparaging remarks

Harley-Davidson Inc. and Polaris Inc. are ousting a dealer from their retailer networks after racist comments disparaging Black Lives Matter protesters were posted to his personal Facebook page. Activists in Tennessee took screen shots and shared a post made earlier this month on the Facebook page of Russell Abernathy, who owns Polaris, Harley-Davidson, and Honda Motor Co. powersports stores in Union City, near the northwest corner of the state. “I’m sick of this black lives matter,” read the post, which then used an expletive to call for Black people to return to Africa. Abernathy has said his Facebook page — which features a photo of him standing next to a motorcycle and pointing up at a Confederate flag — was hacked, according to Honda. Abernathy didn’t respond to multiple messages left at his stores seeking comment. In a statement on his Harley dealership’s website, he said he didn’t write the post and rejects its content. Honda condemned the remarks and said it is investigating. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Starbucks to sell plant-based meat for first time in the US

Starbucks is adding plant-based meat to its US menu for the first time. The Seattle coffee chain said Tuesday that a breakfast sandwich made with imitation sausage from Redwood City, Calif.-based Impossible Foods is now available at a majority of its US restaurants. The sandwich comes with egg and cheese and is served on a ciabatta bun. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Saudi company misses payments for thousands of employees

Saudi Binladin Group failed to pay thousands of employees as the construction giant reels under the impact of coronavirus and restructures about $15 billion of debt. The conglomerate missed some salary payments in April and May, according to people with knowledge of the matter. It’s not clear yet whether the company, which employs about 100,000 staff, will be able to pay those employees in June, the people said, asking not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Former CEO of Wirecard arrested in scandal involving missing billions

The former CEO of German payment service provider Wirecard has been arrested, accused of inflating the company’s balance sheet in an accounting scandal that centers on a missing sum of 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion), prosecutors in Munich said Tuesday. Markus Braun resigned on Friday after the company said that auditors couldn’t find accounts containing the money. On Monday, Wirecard said it has concluded that the money probably doesn’t exist. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


PG&E raising money to exit bankruptcy

PG&E launched two public equity offerings totaling $5.23 billion as it prepares to exit the biggest utility bankruptcy in US history. PG&E has already raised more than $13 billion in the debt markets to finance its bankruptcy, which began after its equipment sparked deadly wildfires in Northern California and saddled it with $30 billion in liabilities. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


More than 2M restaurants may close

Consulting firm Aaron Allen & Associates estimates that 10 percent of restaurants globally will disappear due to the coronavirus. Allen estimates there are about 22 million restaurants worldwide, so the projection implies that 2.2 million of them will close. In the United States, the industry employs 15.6 million workers, according to the National Restaurant Association. OpenTable, which tracks restaurant activity via reservations, estimates the failure rate could be even higher. — BLOOMBERG NEWS