Business


Austin-area manufacturers battle tight job market

A few years ago, John Newman ran into a young man working at a local restaurant. The guy was in a low-skill, low-wage job, but his work hinted at a certain aptitude with his hands and his mind. So Newman, chief financial officer at Athena Manufacturing, struck up a conversation with him. “He ended up being one of the smartest guys in our shop,” Newman said Thursday at a meeting of the...


Up the Ladder

General contracting Jordan Foster Construction has named Leland Rocchio president of the company’s commercial group. Fitness industry United PF Partners has named Shelli Taylor chief operating officer. Medical Hanger Inc. has named Christopher Begley chairman of its board of directors. It also named Thomas Freyman and John Fox as directors. State government The Texas State Securities Board has...
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

Top Local Business Stories of the Week

HOUSING MARKET Austin-area housing market stays on pace for record year: In a year that’s shaping up to be another record-breaker, Central Texas home sales increased more than 2 percent in October and the median sales price climbed more than 4 percent, the latest figures show. Year to date, sales across the region are up 1.7 percent, putting the region on track for an anticipated seventh straight...

Governor’s tweet: Inaccurate or a breach of confidentiality?

A tweet sent Wednesday by Gov. Greg Abbott might have violated rules on the confidentiality of workforce numbers prior to their official release. “The Texas unemployment rate is now the lowest it’s been in 40 years & Texas led the nation last month in new job creation,” Abbott said in his tweet. The governor’s office dismissed the notion that the tweet violated any rules...
Talking about techie kitchen gadgets ahead of Thanksgiving with Texas Standard

Talking about techie kitchen gadgets ahead of Thanksgiving with Texas Standard

This week on the “Texas Standard” radio show, we got real about the utility of gadget for the kitchen. Are they really useful to make cooking easier and more fun? And which ones should you be considering as gifts? You can check out the segment on the Texas Standard website or give it a listen below:
Whole Foods reports big drop in profit for fiscal 2017  

Whole Foods reports big drop in profit for fiscal 2017  

Whole Foods Market saw a big decline in profit during the past year, according to financial documents the Austin-based grocery chain filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. Whole Foods, which was acquired by Amazon earlier this year, posted $245 million in profit for its fiscal year that ended on Sept. 24, the company said.  That’s a significant...
Austin-based jeweler Kendra Scott set for overseas debut

Austin-based jeweler Kendra Scott set for overseas debut

Austin-based Kendra Scott LLC is heading overseas. The company, which produces and sells jewelry popular with a wide swath of Americans including a number of A-list celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift, will open its first location outside the U.S. on Monday in London. The “shop-in-shop” will be inside Selfridges, a high-end department store chain that got its start on London&rsquo...
Austin jobless rate at 2.6% as employers add jobs, labor force shrinks

Austin jobless rate at 2.6% as employers add jobs, labor force shrinks

A surge in local job creation and an unusual contraction in the labor force combined to help send the Austin-area unemployment rate to its lowest point in almost 17 years. The metro-area jobless rate dropped to 2.6 percent in October, down from 2.9 percent the prior month and to its lowest point since it hit 2.3 percent in December 2000, according to preliminary data released Friday by the Texas Workforce...
Austin-based jeweler Kendra Scott makes overseas debut

Austin-based jeweler Kendra Scott makes overseas debut

Austin-based Kendra Scott LLC is heading overseas. The company, which produces and sells jewelry popular with a number of A-list celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift, will open its first store outside the U.S. on Monday in London. The “shop-in-shop” will be located inside a Selfridges department store. “This is such an exciting milestone in our journey and we cannot wait...
In biggest deal yet, Austin’s Upland Software buys Qvidian for $50 million

In biggest deal yet, Austin’s Upland Software buys Qvidian for $50 million

Austin-based Upland Software just keeps doing what it does — growing by acquiring other software companies.  The company said Friday that it has acquired Massachusetts-based Qvidian Corporation, which makes cloud-based RFP and sales automation software, for $50 million. The acquisition is Upland’s largest to date, the company said.  The deal will add $19.5 million in...
Friday Tech Crawl: Mashable sold, Apple’s VP of diversity exiting and Tesla’s big truck news

Friday Tech Crawl: Mashable sold, Apple’s VP of diversity exiting and Tesla’s big truck news

Happy Friday before Thanksgiving, everybody! Here are some tech stories we’re watching: And if that wasn’t enough, the company surprised everyone with the announcement of a new version of its original Roadster vehicle. Musk says it’ll get 600 miles to a charge, hit a top speed of 250 miles (because you need that) and cost a whopping $200,000. It’ll be out in 2020, he said....
PSA: Download Firefox’s update if you want faster browsing

PSA: Download Firefox’s update if you want faster browsing

The Browser Wars seems like such a quaint concept these days, like the Cola Wars or caring about how many MP3s you own. Most people decided on their favorite web browser ages ago and tend not to switch. That said, if you are a Firefox user or just keep it around as a backup for the times when Safari, Chrome or Microsoft Edge aren’t working, you should take a look at Quantum, the latest...
As Austin nursing shortage grows, traveling nurses help fill gap

As Austin nursing shortage grows, traveling nurses help fill gap

It took months for Ashley Senatus to find her first nursing job, and she loved the colleagues and managers with whom she worked over the next three-plus years. She just couldn’t ignore her curiosity and sense of adventure. So rather than settle into a nursing career in her hometown Miami, she signed on with Cross Country Staffing, one of the country’s largest staffing agencies for...
‘DropMix’ changes the game with unique take on music creation

‘DropMix’ changes the game with unique take on music creation

“DropMix” is a really curious attempt at throwing an intriguing gaming concept at the wall with as much style and skill as possible and seeing if it sticks. The hybrid video/music game costs $99, but I’ve seen it on sale for $69 recently online, and it’s from the toy maker Hasbro and Harmonix. Harmonix, you might remember, co-created the popular “Rock Band&rdquo...
Amazon says it’s lowering prices on more items at Whole Foods  

Amazon says it’s lowering prices on more items at Whole Foods  

About two and a half months after Amazon shook up the grocery industry by announcing lower prices on some items at its newly acquired Whole Foods Market, the online retailer said Wednesday that it is cutting prices on more items at Whole Foods stores.  Prices will be lowered for customer favorites such as “Value Pack Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts,” “Responsibly Farmed...
Will #WasteLessWednesday make an impact? Austin agency thinks so

Will #WasteLessWednesday make an impact? Austin agency thinks so

America Recycles Day got its start 20 years ago – thanks in no small part to an Austin-based ad agency. EnviroMedia launched and worked on the first five years of the event, which takes place Nov. 15 each year, pushing Americans to do a better job of preserving the earth’s precious resources In 2017, there’s a new twist, with the introduction of a robust social media campaign, according...
Tiff’s Treats lands $25 million to fund continued growth

Tiff’s Treats lands $25 million to fund continued growth

Austin-based Tiff’s Treats has landed $25 million in funding to help fuel its founders’ appetite for continued growth. The 18-year-old company, which delivers warm cookies and other sweets, is getting the Series D money from investment funds led by Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital. Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital, part of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, says it focuses its investments...
Amid big growth, tech startup Opcity is moving HQ from downtown to Southeast Austin

Amid big growth, tech startup Opcity is moving HQ from downtown to Southeast Austin

Real estate technology startup Opcity is moving its headquarters from downtown to Southeast Austin to fuel its rapid growth. After researching options across town, the company is opening a 50,000-square-foot office at 6800 Burleson Road. The space will allow the company to double its current 225-person headcount, said CEO Ben Rubenstein. “We have a very aggressive plan to grow, and this...
JUST IN: Tiff’s Treats lands $25 million to fund continued growth

JUST IN: Tiff’s Treats lands $25 million to fund continued growth

Austin-based Tiff’s Treats has landed $25 million in funding to help fuel its founders’ appetite for continued growth. The 18-year-old company, which delivers warm cookies and other sweets, is getting the Series D money from investment funds led by Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital. Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital, part of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, says it focuses its investments...
Forbes: CEO of Austin's Bumble is '$1 billion Queen Bee of Dating Apps'

Forbes: CEO of Austin's Bumble is '$1 billion Queen Bee of Dating Apps'

Dating app Bumble is already one of Austin’s brightest break-out stars. Now founder Whitney Wolfe Herd is taking center stage. Herd, 28, will be featured on the cover of Forbes’ 30 under 30 issue in mid-December, the magazine tweeted. The cover story, which dubs Herd “the $1 billion Queen Bee of Dating Apps” reports that Match, which owns Tinder and OKCupid, made a $450...
Study: Dramatic rise of digital skills should shift job-training focus

Study: Dramatic rise of digital skills should shift job-training focus

A really nice black-and-white print. It’s about all Jana Birchum misses about analog photography. “Otherwise, to hell with it,” Birchum said. “It was a lot of standing around in the dark with smelly chemicals.” These days, she and most of her professional photographer peers are happy to leave darkrooms in the past. Of course, the transition wasn’t a walk in the...
Texas Association of Business ranks best, worst state legislators

Texas Association of Business ranks best, worst state legislators

The state’s largest business lobbying group vowed Tuesday to help mobilize support for pro-business candidates for the Texas Legislature in the wake of this year’s regular and special sessions, where it often found itself on the defensive while social conservatives steered the agenda. “The business community is motivated to become very involved in the primaries,” said Jeff...
One Buc-ee’s location is about to get a Guinness World Record

One Buc-ee’s location is about to get a Guinness World Record

You might think they have the cleanest restrooms in all the land, but the folks at roadside convenience store chain Buc-ee’s are set to be recognized for a different superlative. This one is coming from an organization that knows a thing or two about superlatives. According to Houston Business Journal, the gas station company’s Katy location will be recognized Thursday...
Austin company spends $164 million to acquire 4 hotels

Austin company spends $164 million to acquire 4 hotels

An Austin-based company said Tuesday that it has acquired a portfolio of four U.S. hotels in a deal valued at $164 million. The properties being acquired by Summit Hotel Properties are the 207-room Courtyard New Haven at Yale in New Haven, Conn.; the 148-room Hilton Garden Inn Boston/Waltham in Waltham, Mass.; the 175-room Residence Inn Cleveland Downtown in Cleveland; and the 122-room Homewood Suites...
‘Star Wars Battlefront II’ and revamped ‘L.A. Noire’ lead this week’s game releases

‘Star Wars Battlefront II’ and revamped ‘L.A. Noire’ lead this week’s game releases

“Star Wars Battlefront II.” The “Battlefield”-like “Star Wars” game returns bigger and broader across three eras (prequel, classic and new trilogy) and what could be a beefier single-player storyline than its 2015 predecessor. Expect big battles with 40 players at a time fighting for and against the Empire. Rated T for Teen, $60-$80 in Standard and Elite Trooper...
Austin-area housing market on pace for another record year

Austin-area housing market on pace for another record year

In a year that’s shaping up to be another record-breaker, Central Texas home sales increased more than 2 percent in October and the median sales price climbed more than 4 percent, the latest figures show. Year to date, sales across the region are up 1.7 percent, putting the region on track for an anticipated seventh straight year of record sales, the Austin Board of Realtors said Tuesday. &ldquo...
READY, SET, SHOP: UT Target store makes its debut

READY, SET, SHOP: UT Target store makes its debut

The wait is over, Target shoppers. The discount chain’s new small-scale store near the University of Texas opened its doors over the weekend. The store, which was initially set to make its debut in July, is located in the Dobie Twenty21 development at 2021 Guadalupe St. The UT Target has fewer items than a traditional Target store because of its reduced square footage. It sells an assortment...

Business digest: Austin-based credit card issuer CreditShop acquired

ACQUISITIONS Austin-based credit card issuer CreditShop acquired Austin-based CreditShop, which earlier this year acquired a $1.6 billion credit card portfolio to become one of the country’s 25 largest MasterCard and Visa issuers, has been acquired by a global investment firm, according to a release issued Monday. The release said Värde Partners, a $13 billion alternative investment firm...
ROOM AT THE INN: New hotel opens near Austin’s airport

ROOM AT THE INN: New hotel opens near Austin’s airport

A new hotel has opened near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The Hilton Garden Inn Austin Airport, at 7610 John Glenn Way, has 149 guest rooms, according to city planning documents. Those same documents indicate the hotel cost about $9.8 million to build. Amenities include a fitness center, outdoor pool, patio, fire pit, 4,000 square feet of event space, 24-hour convenience store selling grab-and-go...
PHOTOS: Target opens store near UT campus

PHOTOS: Target opens store near UT campus

Target held a "soft opening" on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, of its new store in the Dobie Twenty21 development near the University of Texas campus in Austin.
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

Top Local Business Stories of the Week

AMD’S BIG MOVE Longtime rivals AMD, Intel team up against Nvidia: For decades, chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices has battled for dominance in the computer chip market against rival Intel Corp. But last week, the companies announced they were putting their competition aside to work together. Intel is developing a computer chip for lightweight laptops that combines an Intel processor and an AMD...

Up the Ladder

E-Commerce RetailMeNot has named John Adcock senior vice president, people. Energy The Texas Alliance of Energy Producers has named Jim Beck vice chairman, John Tintera president and Jo Ann Baker board secretary. Software Personify has named Jim FitzGibbons chief financial officer.
Dozens of jobs to be eliminated as tech company shuts down Austin operations 

Dozens of jobs to be eliminated as tech company shuts down Austin operations 

Austin software company Overwatch Systems, which provides computer programming and other services, will soon begin to wind down its operations and eventually stop service, Overwatch’s parent company Textron Systems confirmed on Friday. The shutdown will affect 46 positions at the company’s offices at 5301 Southwest Parkway in Austin, according to a letter the company sent to the Texas...
Austin case reignites debate over ride-hailing background checks

Austin case reignites debate over ride-hailing background checks

When Osmani Limonta Diaz applied to become a driver for ride-hailing nonprofit RideAustin, his criminal record looked clean. It gave no sign of the legal trouble he faces now. Diaz is accused of raping a female passenger while working for RideAustin on June 10. He was formally charged on Oct. 13. Diaz, however, had passed fingerprint- and Social Security number-based background checks before being...
Former RideAustin driver’s rape case reignites debate over ride-hailing background checks

Former RideAustin driver’s rape case reignites debate over ride-hailing background checks

When Osmani Limonta Diaz applied to become a driver for ride-hailing nonprofit RideAustin, his criminal record looked clean. It gave no sign of the legal trouble he faces now. Diaz is accused of raping a female passenger while working for RideAustin on June 10. He was formally charged on Oct. 13. Diaz, however, had passed fingerprint- and Social Security number-based background checks before...
Memorial set for Austin LGBT activist Ceci Gratias

Memorial set for Austin LGBT activist Ceci Gratias

Earlier this year, the Human Rights Campaign Austin honored LGBT activist and organizer Cecilia “ Ceci” Lourdes Bulaong Gratias with the Bettie Naylor Visibility Award at its annual gala. On Sunday, Gratias died. Ceci Gratis in January. Michael Barnes/American-Statesman A memorial will be held at Austin City Hall...
The dilemma for Twitter, Snap and Facebook: Go for growth, or give users what they want?

The dilemma for Twitter, Snap and Facebook: Go for growth, or give users what they want?

 According to The Emily Post Institute, when somebody gives you a gift you don’t want, the etiquette is pretty clear: “Issue a warm thank-you; after all, someone did buy you a gift, even if they missed the mark.” If the gift is a complete misfire, the Institute says, “sometimes we have to secretly wonder what the giver was thinking. Just wonder that silently...
Friday Tech Crawl: Musical.ly may be next $1 billion unicorn, EA snaps up Respawn and Uber loses in England

Friday Tech Crawl: Musical.ly may be next $1 billion unicorn, EA snaps up Respawn and Uber loses in England

Happy Friday, tech watchers! Here are some of the stories you should know about today: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the makers of Musical.ly, a popular app among teens for lip syncing and other kinds of short music videos on a social network. The China-based app launched three years ago and could be acquired by Beijing Bytedance Technology Co., according to the WSJ. The company ...
Talking with Texas Standard about changes at Twitter and other social networks

Talking with Texas Standard about changes at Twitter and other social networks

This week on the “Texas Standard” radio program, we talked about Twitter, Facebook and Snap balancing their business goals with the needs and wants of its users (sometimes not very well). It’s the basis of a column I’m writing that’ll be on 512tech tomorrow. Update: You can read that column now! You can check out the audio segment below or ...
Threadgill’s to remain on Riverside Drive — for now

Threadgill’s to remain on Riverside Drive — for now

Threadgill’s has a new lease on life — at least for the near term. Proprietor Eddie Wilson has signed a lease with his landlord, members of the Moton Crockett Jr. family, that will keep Wilson’s homestyle cooking restaurant and live music venue at West Riverside Drive and Barton Springs Road for another three years, according to Jack Burton, executive vice president of Crockett Properties...
Herman: The media and mass murders

Herman: The media and mass murders

“Three days ago,” Vice President Mike Pence said at a Wednesday night memorial service for those killed at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, “evil descended on a small town and a small church.” And where evil goes, journalists follow, descending on and often overwhelming the scene, especially among small-town folks who would otherwise never come face to face with...
Feds: 3 plead guilty to defrauding Dell Inc. of millions

Feds: 3 plead guilty to defrauding Dell Inc. of millions

Three people from the Austin area pleaded guilty Thursday morning to several counts of fraud after prosecutors say they charged Dell Inc. for millions of dollars in services they did not provide, overbilled the company, and lied about their income in federal tax returns.  Bryan Dale Wallace, 55, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud; Tobie R. Nunn, 47, pleaded guilty...
Settlement reached in Capital Factory’s suit against Austin co-working space

Settlement reached in Capital Factory’s suit against Austin co-working space

After being sued by Austin tech accelerator Capital Factory, an East Austin co-working space has changed its name and a settlement has been reached, according to a court filing. In August, Capital Factory sued atx Factory and its founder, accusing them of trademark infringement, unfair competition and unjust enrichment. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of...
Amazon to sell Kindles, Echos, other products in Whole Foods stores 

Amazon to sell Kindles, Echos, other products in Whole Foods stores 

So far, the most visible sign of Amazon’s ownership of Austin-based Whole Foods Market has been orange Amazon price labels inside the grocer promoting lower prices. Soon, though, shoppers will be seeing some of Amazon’s most popular items in Whole Foods stores.  Amazon and Whole Foods said Thursday that the grocer will begin to sell Amazon products such as Echo home devices, Fire...
ScaleFactor, maker of accounting software for small businesses, raises $2.5 million

ScaleFactor, maker of accounting software for small businesses, raises $2.5 million

ScaleFactor, which sells finance and accounting software for small businesses, has landed $2.5 million to speed up product development. The Austin-based startup provides a platform that provides automation tools for bookkeeping, tax compliance and financial analysis. Investors in the seed round were Next Coast Ventures, Techstars Ventures, Firebrand Ventures, Matchstick Ventures, Edison Factory and...
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, A-Rod, Christiane Amanpour and Walter Isaacson added to SXSW 2018 lineup 

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, A-Rod, Christiane Amanpour and Walter Isaacson added to SXSW 2018 lineup 

South by Southwest has announced another keynote speaker for its March 2018 event as well as several featured speakers across tech, sports, entertainment and politics. London Mayor Sadiq Khan will be another keynote speaker for SXSW 2018 and is scheduled to speak on Monday, March 12. He was elected in May 2016 and has had a fascinating run so far. He joins a group of keynote speakers that...
A Harry Potter version of ‘Pokemon Go’ is coming to your smartphone

A Harry Potter version of ‘Pokemon Go’ is coming to your smartphone

Remember 2016, in more innocent times, when everybody walked around for about a month staring at their phones and trying to catch tiny monsters? Get ready for the second wave, this time for Harry Potter fans.  Niantic Labs, the company which created “Pokemon Go,” announced Wednesday it will create an augmented reality game in partnership with Warner Bros. Interactive.  One of...
Reader seeks a way to export iPhone texts

Reader seeks a way to export iPhone texts

A reader, Jetty, writes: “I am on a HOA board in my subdivision and have a lot of texts from other board members. I would like to find some way to print them or transfer them somewhere to print them. I have talked to AT&T and they suggested screen shots. My iPhone is a 5S and I do not have email on my phone. If you could help me, I would be so grateful.” The solution largely depends...

Earnings reports show mixed bag for Austin companies

A busy few days of quarterly earnings reports has shown a mixed bag of results for Central Texas companies this week. Amplify Snack Brands, Parsley Energy, USA Compression Partners and Digital Turbine were among the Austin-based companies issuing financial reports on Tuesday and Wednesday. Here’s a look at how they fared: Amplify Snack Brands Austin-based Amplify Snack Brands saw its share price...
Johnny Depp’s former managers file foreclose action on 5 Depp properties in bitter feud

Johnny Depp’s former managers file foreclose action on 5 Depp properties in bitter feud

Actor Johnny Depp’s bitter legal feud with his former business team at The Management Group is intensifying after TMG filed foreclosure actions Monday on five Depp properties in the Los Angeles area to collect on an unpaid loan, according to court documents. The agency said “The Pirates of the Caribbean” star owes them nearly $5 million from a 2012 loan, which Depp stopped...
Wednesday Tech Crawl: Twitter doubles its character count and Apple wants an AR headset to succeed the iPhone. Plus more tech news.

Wednesday Tech Crawl: Twitter doubles its character count and Apple wants an AR headset to succeed the iPhone. Plus more tech news.

Good morning, Austin! We have scrolled the internet to bring you the latest in tech news. Here’s what’s going on: Call it double trouble: Twitter is rolling out a 280-character limit for single tweets after testing the option among a handful of users since September. The new character limit applies to languages where cramming is an issue, such as English. The change won't apply to Chinese...
Why run its San Antonio and other company offices from Austin? TaskUs leader explains

Why run its San Antonio and other company offices from Austin? TaskUs leader explains

Nine and a half years ago, two buddies who have been business partners since they were 17 years old started a company called TaskUs LLC.  They built it on the idea that, in line with a movement created by “4-Hour Workweek” author Tim Ferriss, everyone would soon have virtual personal assistants.  “That didn’t work out but we tried that model for a few years...
Austin-based Accruent ramps up its European expansion with an acquisition

Austin-based Accruent ramps up its European expansion with an acquisition

Austin-based software company Accruent is ramping up its European expansion by acquiring a Dutch software maker. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Accruent, which develops real estate, facilities and equipment management software, has grown through acquisitions. It has purchased 15 companies since its founding in 1995. BlueCielo, based in Amsterdam, sells engineering content and...
Chamber names business owner Jenkins ‘Austinite of the Year’

Chamber names business owner Jenkins ‘Austinite of the Year’

The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce has bestowed its highest honor on Bobby Jenkins, naming the longtime business owner “Austinite of the Year” for 2017. Over the past 30 years, Jenkins has built a distinguished record of civic, community and volunteer service, chamber officials said. He is owner and CEO of ABC Home & Commercial Services, which employs 730 people in areas including...
Holey rollers: Austin’s competitive Skee-ball players are building the future of the sport

Holey rollers: Austin’s competitive Skee-ball players are building the future of the sport

It’s chilly for Austin on the Sunday night before Halloween and it’s getting a little late. The final four rollers have been chosen for the National Brewskee-Ball Championships, an event known to players as “The BEEB.”  The back area of Full Circle Bar on East 12th Street has been transformed with tents and a makeshift projector screen into a lively battleground...
Longtime rivals AMD and Intel team up against Nvidia

Longtime rivals AMD and Intel team up against Nvidia

For decades, chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices has battled for dominance in the computer chip market against rival Intel Corp.  But on Monday, both companies announced they were putting their competition aside to work together. Intel is developing  a computer chip for lightweight laptops that combines an Intel processor and an AMD graphics processing unit.  Investors interpreted the...
Austin’s SailPoint plans to raise $200 million in upcoming IPO

Austin’s SailPoint plans to raise $200 million in upcoming IPO

Austin-based software maker SailPoint Technologies is getting closer to an initial public offering of stock, with plans to raise $200 million. The company on Monday announced terms for its IPO. It plans to offer 20 million shares (29 percent are insider shares) at a price range of $9 to $11.  At the midpoint of the of the proposed range, SailPoint would command a fully diluted market value...
Fire risk prompts BMW recall of more than 1 million vehicles

Fire risk prompts BMW recall of more than 1 million vehicles

BMW is recalling more than a million vehicles in two recalls covering a number of models built over a six-year period, according to news reports. The German automaker announced Friday it’s recalling BMW 3-series, 5-series, X5, X3,and Z3 vehicle models, CNN Money reported. One recall of 740,000 vehicles involves a fire risk in which part of the engine can short-circuit and melt, according...

Up the Ladder

Cybersecurity NSS Labs has named Emeka Obianwu vice president of vendor ecosystem. Entertainment IFLY Indoor Skydiving has named Dave Kirchhoff chief executive officer. Financial services Q2 Holdings has named Christine Petersen chief revenue officer. Vacation rentals TurnKey Vacation Rentals has named Jen Ford chief financial officer. Technology Advanced Micro Devices has named Mark Durcan to its...
What made former newscaster Olga Campos Benz turn novelist?

What made former newscaster Olga Campos Benz turn novelist?

If you’re hoping longtime Austin newscaster Olga Campos Benz’ new book is a tell-all, you’re in for some disappointment. Sure, after spending a couple decades as a broadcast journalist, there’s plenty of dirt she could dish. But instead, her book “It’s News to Me” is largely a work of fiction. Find it at BookPeople and other local stores, or online at Amazon...
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

Top Local Business Stories of the Week

MEDICAL MARIJUANA Austin company planting medical pot crop after getting state license: The first legal crop of medical marijuana in the Austin metro area is being planted after a local company received its license to grow, process and sell it in Texas. But only patients suffering from a rare form of epilepsy will be eligible to buy and use the finished products, such as tablets, tinctures or skin...
Former ArthroCare CEO sentenced to 20 years in federal prison

Former ArthroCare CEO sentenced to 20 years in federal prison

The one-time head of Austin-based ArthroCare Corp. has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for his role in a scheme that federal prosecutors say caused shareholder losses of more than $750 million. Former CEO Michael Baker, 58, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud, seven counts of wire fraud, two counts of securities fraud and two counts of making...
New rankings: Austin not among top 25 contenders for Amazon HQ2

New rankings: Austin not among top 25 contenders for Amazon HQ2

Not everyone seems to be sold on Austin as a contender for Amazon’s second headquarters. After Amazon announced plans in September to build its $5 billion Amazon HQ2, market analysts, economists and publications were quick to name Austin as a top contender. The city’s young workforce, tech culture, flagship UT campus and livability were all listed as factors. But a new top...
Astros fans hit up Change.org with requests big and small

Astros fans hit up Change.org with requests big and small

These days it seems like there’s a petition for just about everything. That was certainly the case after the Houston Astros won the World Series this week for the first time ever. Change.org was home to dozens of Astros-related petitions, calling for schools to close so students could attend Friday’s victory parade, requesting that beloved Houston furniture salesman Jim “Mattress...
State accuses Central Texas gas stations of gouging during Harvey

State accuses Central Texas gas stations of gouging during Harvey

More than 100 gas stations statewide – including several in Central Texas – have been accused by the state’s attorney general of price gouging before, during or after Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast. In total, owners of 127 gas stations have been sent notices of violation by the state for allegedly charging more than $3.99 per gallon for fuel. The attorney general&rsquo...
How a tech accelerator program is tackling Austin’s affordable housing challenges

How a tech accelerator program is tackling Austin’s affordable housing challenges

Alex Le Roux has an unusual idea for how to lower the cost of housing in Austin. He wants to build homes using a 3D printer. Le Roux, a mechanical engineer, is co-founder of Icon 3D, a company that plans to build a 25-by-30-foot printer capable of churning out sheets of cement. “We’ll be the first in the U.S. if we can pull it off,” Le Roux said. Those sorts of ideas are just what...
Why’s retro tech making a comeback? We go back in time with Texas Standard

Why’s retro tech making a comeback? We go back in time with Texas Standard

This week on the “Texas Standard” radio program, we take a look back (WAY back) to the 1980s and 1990s, decades that contain gadgets that appear to be making a comeback, from Polaroid film to retro game consoles such as the Nintendo Super NES Classic Edition. Why are these items returning to the mainstream now? You can check out the segment on the Texas Standard website...
Austin’s Chameleon Cold-Brew being acquired by Nestlé USA

Austin’s Chameleon Cold-Brew being acquired by Nestlé USA

Austin-based Chameleon Cold-Brew has been sold to Nestlé USA, one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Chameleon Cold-Brew coffee will continue to be based in Austin, where it got its start in 2010, and co-founder and CEO Chris Campbell will retain his title. “Chameleon has been extremely fortunate to grow from our hometown...
Friday Tech Crawl: Apple’s earnings strong (again), Trump’s Twitter deactivated and the war over frowning poop emojis

Friday Tech Crawl: Apple’s earnings strong (again), Trump’s Twitter deactivated and the war over frowning poop emojis

Happy Friday, Austin! Here are a few tech stories you should be checking out today: On the eve of its official iPhone X launch, Apple had a strong earnings report that countered fears that its main business line might be slowing down. Instead, it seems as if lots of phone buyers bypassed the iPhone 8 and 8+ to wait for the iPhone X, which the company expects will have strong holiday sales. Beyond...
Culture, balance among virtues of employers on Top Workplaces list

Culture, balance among virtues of employers on Top Workplaces list

What are the best places to work in Austin? For the eighth straight year, the Austin American-Statesman is helping to answer that question. After surveys of more than 24,000 workers at 151 area employers earlier this year, the American-Statesman narrowed the field to the 100 companies worthy of being honored as part of the 2017 Top Workplaces of Greater Austin project. The surveyed companies employ...
Focus on tech helps keeps Reilly Realtors growing

Focus on tech helps keeps Reilly Realtors growing

When you talk to Reilly Realtors’ agents about what makes the real estate company special, the word technology keeps coming up. The agency’s technology-driven strategy is one of Reilly Realtors’ best aspects, employees say. Reilly Realtors ranked No. 2 among small employers in the American-Statesman’s 2017 Top Workplaces of Greater Austin project. It’s the fourth consecutive...
Greater Austin Top Small Employers 2017

Greater Austin Top Small Employers 2017

Greater Austin Top Small Employers Top workplaces with 149 or fewer employees in the greater Austin area. Information provided by the companies. Company / Founded /Sector / Locations / Employees 1. Aceable /2012 /Online drivers education /1 /74 2. Reilly Realtors /2006 /Real estate /1 /122 3. Texas National Title /2017 /Title insurance/ 10 /97 4. RE/MAX 1 /2009 /Real estate /1 /94 5. SeniorAdvisor/...
Aceable culture lets workers ‘create something together’

Aceable culture lets workers ‘create something together’

Not every company has a clearly defined set of cultural values, but Austin Internet startup Aceable Inc. does. The company’s six-part cultural mantra is: Help Others; Be Authentic; Create Delight; Seek to Understand; Embrace Challenges; and Pursue Growth. Its employees say that Aceable, which is aiming to reinvent a segment of the online education field, does a good job of practicing what it...
Top midsized companies

Top midsized companies

Greater Austin 2017 Top Midsized Employers Top workplaces with 150 to 499 employees in the greater Austin area. Information provided by the companies. Company / Founded /Sector / Locations / Employees 1. Parsley Energy /2008 /Oil & gas/ 1 /218 2. Realty Austin /2004 /Real estate /8 /464 3. Arrive Logistics /2014 /Logistics /1 /161 4. WP Engine /2010 /Web hosting /1 /376 5. RateGenius /1999 /Financial...
Employees say Parsley Energy puts them in ‘position to succeed’

Employees say Parsley Energy puts them in ‘position to succeed’

During one of the worst periods of Texas’ oil downturn in 2015, 34-year-old engineer John Nelson was seeking a new job. Austin’s Parsley Energy stood out to him. “Even during the downturn, their reputation as a good operator is what drew me in,” Nelson said. “We’ve stayed fairly hedged since the downturn, which has allowed us to stay in good shape.” Parsley&rsquo...
Top large employers

Top large employers

Greater Austin Top Large Employers Top workplaces with 500 or or more employees in the greater Austin area. Information provided by the companies. Company / Founded /Sector / Locations / Employees 1. Silicon Labs /1996 /Technology /1 /688 2. JBGoodwin Realtors /1972 /Real estate / 4 /523 3. Cirrus Logic/ 1984 /Semiconductor /3 /765 4. Keller Williams Realty /1983 /Real estate /5 /2,129 5. The Progressive...
Silicon Labs focuses on ‘mature, respectful’ workplace environment

Silicon Labs focuses on ‘mature, respectful’ workplace environment

Since its inception in the 1990s, Silicon Laboratories set out to hire the smartest engineers it could find to work on technical product breakthroughs in promising electronics growth markets. That fundamental strategy has worked well enough to make the chip design company one of the biggest and most profitable home-grown tech firms in Austin. The company has a global reach, with extensive customer...
Passion, team mentality drive growth for Arrive Logistics

Passion, team mentality drive growth for Arrive Logistics

Some high-growth companies are like big freightliners cruising down the interstate in high gear. But Austin-based Arrive Logistics moves even faster than that. The three-year-old company is a rising star in freight brokerage, where its agents specialize in getting products and supplies from one place to another on behalf of thousands of clients. The company has risen quickly to 73rd place among independent...
JB Goodwin Realtors works to stay ‘ahead of the curve’

JB Goodwin Realtors works to stay ‘ahead of the curve’

When Gay Puckett moved to Austin in 1979, she was looking to join a real estate agency that excelled in professional development. She quickly heard about JB Goodwin Realtors, which has grown a reputation for strong employee training since being founded in 1972. The firm “has always been ahead of the curve,” said Puckett, 63, an agent at the company. “It’s very hands on.&rdquo...
Even amid expansion, Cirrus Logic maintains its synergy

Even amid expansion, Cirrus Logic maintains its synergy

For Austin-based Cirrus Logic Inc., the push for a high quality workplace is a global effort. The semiconductor company has been building a work-hard, play-hard family friendly culture for years in Austin. But in the past three years, it took on the new challenge of building a similar culture in Edinburgh, Scotland, where it acquired Wolfson Microelectronics in 2014. The substantial work involved...
Realty Austin mixes savvy, fun to create workplace culture

Realty Austin mixes savvy, fun to create workplace culture

Selling real estate is part art and part science. Innovative brokerages are finding better ways of harnessing the science part computer software that can sift through an avalanche of market data that helps good agents find the prospects and deliver the data they need to focus their buying choices. In Central Texas, the brokerage that seems to show the most software savvy has become a magnet for compelling...
At Texas National Title, ‘happy employees equals happy customers’

At Texas National Title, ‘happy employees equals happy customers’

At first glance, the real estate title insurance industry seems like an unlikely one for ambitious new players. The multi-billion dollar industry has been around in this country for more than 150 years and four large companies control the lion’s share of the national market. But industry veteran David Tandy, with the help of dozens of others, created Texas National Title this spring and the...
Austin Top Workplaces 2017: Special Awards

Austin Top Workplaces 2017: Special Awards

All of the companies making the American-Statesman’s 2017 Top Workplaces list got high marks from their employees. But even among these top companies, some performances stood above the rest, earning them special awards in our Top Workplaces Project. The special awards were chosen by the American-Statesman’s partner in this project, Energage, an Exton, Pa.-based company with expertise in...
Workplace challenges? Bring ‘em on, Austin’s top employers say

Workplace challenges? Bring ‘em on, Austin’s top employers say

At many of Austin’s fast-growing companies, job challenges can show up within just a few hours — and then sometimes last for years. The challenges come in many forms. They can mean dealing with changing customer requirements. Or they could be an industry change that requires big moves within a company’s structure. The challenges might wear different faces, but the response of companies...

Contributors

CONTRIBUTORS Editor: Barry Harrell Photo editor: Nell Carroll Reporters: Kirk Ladendorf Sebastian Herrera Photographers: Ralph Barrera Ricardo B. Brazziell Mark Matson Cover design: Sabrina J. Starrett-Wolff Section design Jennifer Schaefer, Gatehouse Publishing Advertising sales: Scott Pompe, VP of sales Karlee Steele, recruitment manager Surveys and analysis: Energage: CEO Doug Claffey

What House tax plan could mean for Texas taxpayers

It would take days – and more than a few attorneys – to figure out how the new House tax bill would affect specific individual or corporate taxpayers, but the plan includes some obvious pluses and minuses for Texas taxpayers. Of the proposals included in the bill, two might stand out for Texas residents. The first would cap the federal deduction of local property tax payments at $10,000...
Austin’s Cirrus Logic reports better-than-expected sales, profit

Austin’s Cirrus Logic reports better-than-expected sales, profit

Austin-based chipmaker Cirrus Logic reported higher-than-expected revenue and profit in its fiscal second quarter, in large part due to demand for new Apple smartphones.  CEO Jason Rhode said in a letter to shareholders that the company’s $425 million in revenue in the quarter can be attributed to “accelerating demand for certain portable audio components ahead of new product launches...
Fast-growing ‘HQ Trivia’ lets iPhone players compete for cash

Fast-growing ‘HQ Trivia’ lets iPhone players compete for cash

It’s 8 p.m. on a weeknight and the push alert comes through to tens of thousands of iPhones. “Hello players. Do you want to play a game? HQ is live.”  “HQ Trivia” is an idea so well-executed, it’s hard to believe it hasn’t happened before now. It’s a live trivia game that airs twice a day at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. central and is hosted by an actual...
Suspect kept working for 2nd ride-hailing firm after rape accusation

Suspect kept working for 2nd ride-hailing firm after rape accusation

For two months after he was accused of raping a passenger, an Austin man continued to pick up passengers for at least one major ride-hailing company in Central Texas. Osmani Limonta Diaz, 40, was driving for local ride-hailing nonprofit RideAustin when he was accused of raping a female passenger in the back of his blue Dodge Dart on June 10. Diaz was arrested on a sexual assault charge Oct. 13. When...
Mozilla pledges $95,000 to Austin tech-for-good projects

Mozilla pledges $95,000 to Austin tech-for-good projects

Mozilla, the Mountain View, California-based nonprofit, said it is awarding $95,000 total to seven Austin-based educational tech projects. The money is from the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund, which awards funding to projects in so-called “Gigabit cities,” those that have access to higher-speed Internet such as Google Fiber. Those cities include Austin, Chattanooga, Tennessee...
Whole Foods prepares for Amazon-like hiring spree 

Whole Foods prepares for Amazon-like hiring spree 

As one of the world’s biggest employers, Amazon has become known for its large hiring sprees: On Aug. 2, it attempted to hire 50,000 warehouse workers in a national “Amazon Jobs Day” event. Now, a similar tactic is being tried by Amazon’s newly acquired Whole Foods Market.  The Austin-based grocer says it plans to hire 6,000 workers on Thursday at its U.S. stores...
WSJ reports: Michael Dell is poised to buy $40 million condo in Boston

WSJ reports: Michael Dell is poised to buy $40 million condo in Boston

Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell has a $40 million penthouse condo in Boston under contract, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. The penthouse is in the under-construction Four Seasons Private Residences One Dalton Street condominium building, which the Journal reports will be Boston’s tallest residential tower when it is completed.  Dell’s penthouse...
The Justice Department is suing AT&T to block its $85 billion bid for Time Warner

The Justice Department is suing AT&T to block its $85 billion bid for Time Warner

The Department of Justice is suing to block AT&T's $85 billion bid for entertainment conglomerate Time Warner, setting the stage for one of the biggest antitrust cases to hit Washington in decades. The suit is fraught with legal and political risks for both sides. Several Democrats have expressed concern that antitrust officials could be seeking to block the deal because the Trump administration has...
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