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Chesto means business
Group effort: Carbonite CEO Mohamad Ali knows a thing or two about building the right team.
The Boston-based data-protection provider just completed its priciest acquisition since Ali joined in late 2014, a $65 million purchase of Double-Take Software. Missing from the announcement: some former colleagues who worked with him at IBM helped him get the deal done.
Ali is trying to broaden the company beyond its original core business of providing backup storage for consumers. When he joined, Ali scribbled the names of three dozen potential takeover targets on his wall. Ali says he’s still working off that list, although several have been crossed off after they were sold.
Ali helped build IBM’s big data and analytics business during his final years before leaving in 2009. IBM’s 2007 Cognos deal was one of his. So Ali turned to his former crew to help find the right talent for Carbonite. He says he has recruited six former IBMers to fill out his deal-making and integration squads over the past two years.
Based on its stock price, Ali’s 1,000-person company is on fire. Carbonite shares had sunk into the $7 range a year ago. But investors are betting on a comeback today: The shares now trade around $20.
Companies’ fortunes rise and fall based on the plays called by their chief executives. But the best CEOs know success depends on a group effort, not an individual one.
Heavy Metal: Desktop Metal, a Burlington-based startup, is reporting a significant influx of cash from Alphabet Inc., BMW, and Lowe’s.
From Curt Woodward: Desktop Metal raised $45 million for its somewhat secretive 3-D printing startup. The 80-employee company has not yet revealed a product but says it is getting ready for a launch later this year.
Overall, the Desktop Metal has raised more than $97 million. “We’re introducing something totally novel,” chief executive Ric Fulop said.
Roger that: Anyone hoping Tom Brady was going to call out NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on the Super Bowl stage was likely disappointed. But that doesn’t mean the New England Patriots quarterback, who was suspended from the first four games of the season by Goodell, didn’t exact some revenge.
From Chesto: Brady filmed a TV commercial for Shields MRI in September, while serving his four-game suspension, that aired just after the dramatic come-from-behind victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
The ad, which is getting plenty of play on social media, shows Brady pulling out a fifth Super Bowl ring to store in a locker. Told he’ll need a bigger locker, Brady deadpans, “Roger that.” (In a version of the ad that ran frequently before Sunday, Brady flashed just four rings.)
Tom Shields, chief executive of Shields MRI, said there was some risk, “but not much.” Ah, Patriots confidence. Shields likely speaks for most of New England when he says, “It’s good to be a sports fan in Boston [right now].”
Commercial success? The game was over-the-top exciting, but the 30-second spots are usually worthy of water cooler talk, too.
College students were asked to rate Super Bowl ads because they’re in the coveted 18-35 age range usually targeted by marketing campaigns. The responses ranged from being creeped out by the “sexy” Mr. Clean ad to the “visually appealing” Airbnb ad that took a political tone.
And they really, really liked the Ford ad that showed various people stuck in frustrating places and situations. The commercial “highlighted the brand while also being just an awesome ad.”
For the birds:You’ll never guess what’s posing the biggest problem for the self-driving car being tested in South Boston by nuTonomy.
From Adam Vaccaro: it’s the seagulls.
The company’s chief executive Karl Iagnemma says they had to train the cars to recognize the flock of seagulls. Now the car reacts the way a human would, it slows down until the flock scatters and then resumes normal speeds.
Let it grow, let it grow: Hasbro, the Rhode Island-based toy maker, is enjoying its best year in 16 years thanks in large part to its ties to Disney’s Frozen franchise and a decision to stick with traditional board games like Monopoly.
A workday without women:
Big companies rally against ban:
Google, Apple, and others say it harms them -- Washington Post
Tyson wings it over investigation:
Stolen jersey is a winner:
Brady uniform could fetch $500,000 -- Bloomberg
Brewed awakening: Apparently, there is such a thing as a business being too popular.
From the Globe’s Dan Adams: Iron Duke Brewing, a tiny craft beer company located in a renovated mill building in Ludlow, is being told that very thing.
Westmass Area Development Corp., which is redeveloping Ludlow Mills for $6 million, is threatening to evict the brewery because it’s attracting throngs of people to its live entertainment and food trucks.
In a letter to the brewery, Westmass chief executive Eric Nelson writes the “growth and the activities occurring associated with your brewery has created liability issues.”
Iron Duke is fighting back with a petition drive and a new label called “Eviction Notice Black IPA.”
We’ll have to wait to see how this brouhaha gets sorted out.The Talking Points newsletter is compiled by George Brennan. Follow George on Twitter at @gpb227. If you liked what you've read, please tell your friends to sign up.