Morning Coffee May 16 2012

Facebook and Twitter Get Francesca CFO Fired

By Saabira Chaudhuri

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs and other social media sites are great ways to communicate with friends, publicly voice your opinions and share your activity, but they can also get you in hot soup if you aren't prudent.

This is particularly true if you're privy to internal company communications, as shown by the fate of Gene Morphis, the 63-year-old chief financial officer of Houston-based women's fashion retailer Francesca's Holdings, who was fired for improperly communicating company information through social media.

Morphis—who served as Francesca's CFO since October 2010 and has previously held CFO positions at David's Bridal and the Rowe Companies—maintained a publicly viewable Facebook profile, a blog called "Morph's View" and a Twitter account under the h andle "theoldcfo."

He tweeted about having to "be on guard every second" while dining with Francesca's board, about attending board meetings and about the company's earnings. After the company discovered the posts on Friday afternoon, Morphis was "terminated for cause."

Francesca's shares climbed jumped 5% to $25.25 in pre-market trading on Tuesday.

Sales Buzz

Rotten Briefs (WSJ)

Here's a qualifier for quote of the day from Chief Operating Officer Michael Kramer on the J.C. Penney earnings call: "I don't know about you, but I am not going to want underwear that has been sitting on the shelf for two or three years."

Coty Drops Avon (Bloomberg)

Coty has withdrawn its $10.7 billion bid for Avon, sending shares of the world's largest door-to-door cosmetics seller down the most in over six months to close 9.74% lower at $18.71.

Retailers Grapple with Risk (Chain Store Age)

The top risk factors faced by retailers are general economic conditions, U.S. and foreign supplier vendor concerns, and competition/consolidation, according to consulting and accounting firm BDO.

Macy's Takes on Amazon (WSJ)

To compete with online retailer Amazon, Macy's is turning the back rooms of its stores into distribution centers, enabling it to send goods to customers from these impromptu shipping centers rather than only from online warehouses.

Marketing Buzz

Groupon Costs Drop (Marketing Week)

Groupon's marketing costs decreased 49% from the same period last year to $117 million after the daily deals site switched from acquiring new customers to retaining existing ones, growing the number of repeat purchasers 1.5 times faster than the number of unique purchasers.

Brush up on Your Stats (Forbes)

Marketers take note: Data skills are becoming increasingly valuable. As companies collect lots of data on consumer behavior, they need statisticians who underst and data and can forecast consumer behavior trends, says Katie Bardaro, lead economist at compensation research firm PayScale.

New CEO at CIM (Marketing Week)

The U.K.'s Chartered Institute of Marketing—which recently stirred up controversy by urging marketing and sales departments to merge—has appointed Anne Godfrey, head of the Guild of Travel Management Companies, as its new chief executive.

Digital Marketing Goes Freelance (Econsultancy)

Freelance digital marketing jobs are on the rise: Freelance job website Elance saw a 106% increase in U.S. digital marketing jobs for the 12 months leading up to March. The increase in such jobs was even greater in the U.K., at 124%.

BBDO Atlanta New CEO (Ad Week)

Gill Duff will succeed Chris Hall to become president and chief executive of BBDO's Atlanta office. Duff previously worked as a global business director at BBDO's sister Omnicom agency, DDB Worldwide.

Buzz Around the Office

The World's Strangest Restaurants (care2)

They include a cat café in Amsterdam, a restaurant run by children in the Netherl ands and a toilet-themed chain across Taiwan.

List of the Day: Getting Ready

School's out and you may be getting ready to start your first job.

1. Clean up your online social profiles.

2. Start networking in your new city.

3. Read as much as you can about your industry.

(Source: Glassdoor.com)




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