Hello friends and Fortune readers.
There has been some big news out of the tech world, with Google generating headlines for the huge pay package it disclosed for the company’s new chief financial officer, a Wall Street executive who on Tuesday announced she would leave her job as Morgan Stanley’s finance chief to take the same gig at Google. Meanwhile, BlackBerry’s shares are up slightly in premarket trading after the smartphone maker reported a tiny quarterly profit. No, the company isn’t doing wildly better in the smartphone wars — results were aided by an asset sale, while revenue sharply dropped again.
Here’s what you need to know to start your day.
1. Google’s new CFO gets huge pay package.
Ruth Porat, the former chief financial officer of Morgan Stanley (MS) and new CFO at Google (GOOG), is being paid $70.7 million in cash and stock to leave Wall Street and join the search engine giant. Google also disclosed Porat would get a $5 million signing bonus, as well as $65 million in restricted stock that will pay out over the next four years. Fortune‘s Stephen Gandel points out this doesn’t signify some massive change in the economy that we haven’t known for a while: that Silicon Valley is the new Wall Street. “People go to Wall Street for the same reason they leave it — the money,” he wrote.
2. BlackBerry posts slim quarterly profit.
BlackBerry (BBRY) on Friday posted a tiny fiscal fourth-quarter profit as the Canadian smartphone maker cut costs and booked a gain related to a sale of patents, helping offset weak revenue. The company reported a profit of $28 million for the quarter ended February 28, compared to a prior-year loss of $423 million. Revenue tumbled 32% to $660 million, but BlackBerry trimmed research and development and other expenses. But what really helped the company turn a profit was $115 million in investment income from the sale of a group of patents that were jointly owned by BlackBerry, Apple (AAPL) and a few other big technology companies.
3. Chevron to sell stake in Australian fuel company.
Chevron (CVX) on Friday disclosed plans to sell its 50% stake in Caltex Australia Limited, as asset sale for an estimated $3.6 billion and the latest move by a Big Oil company to conserve cash and focus on core businesses since oil prices slumped in the second half of 2014. Chevron expects to sell the shares to a “broad range of Australian and global equity market institutional investors.” The company is planning $15 billion in assets sales over the next two years, above the prior target of $10 billion.
4. American Apparel ex-CEO seeks $40 million in damages
American Apparel’s former CEO Dov Charney, who was fired late last year after a suspension for alleged misconduct, has claimed $40 million in damages for a breach of employment contract. The controversial executive, who founded the apparel company, confirmed via an e-mail sent by his lawyer to Reuters that there would also be other lawsuits filed against the company that they are aware of, but have not been revealed to the media. Charney was removed from the CEO role in June after the company alleged he had misused corporate funds and violated sexual harassment policies.
5. Germanwings pilot had medical issue
Germany’s flight safety agency on Friday disclosed that the pilot who flew a Germanwings airliner into a French mountainside earlier this week had a medical condition. The news strengthened the narrative that the pilot, who was alone at the controls of the plane at the time of the crash, was suffering from a depression-related illness. Meanwhile, Germanwings’ parent company, Deutsche Lufthansa AG (DLAKY) has sought to explain why he was allowed to fly an airliner, with the CEO claiming the pilot was “100% fit to fly” and had passed the regulation tests.