Tech business week: Vodafone Q4 revenues and EMC promotes Irish exec

25 May 2015

Vodafone's revenues got a boost this week

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, incuding Vodafone’s revenues and a promotion at EMC.

Vodafone Ireland Q4 revenues boosted by growth in smartphones and enterprise

Vodafone Ireland this morning reported revenues of €935.8m, down 2.6pc year-on-year. The company reported that 1.3m of its 2.3m customers now sport smartphones.

In its preliminary results for its fourth quarter, Vodafone reported a total Irish customer base of 2.3m at the end of March this year, out of which 2m were mobile customers.

The company’s fixed-line voice and broadband customer base grew by 25,700 – up 10pc — to 282,300.

EMC promotes Irish executive to global role to figure out the future of IT

One of the most senior executives at EMC in Ireland, Chris Murphy, has been promoted to a global role. As vice president of IT Client Experience he will lead a 1,000-strong workforce.

Previously the senior director of IT Client Experience at EMC’s Centre of Excellence in Cork, as vice president Murphy’s focus has shifted to providing a world-class IT experience to more than 50,000 EMC employees worldwide.

A team of 1,000, speaking 25 languages in 37 different countries, will report directly to Murphy from his base at EMC’s Ovens-based Centre of Excellence.

Carl Icahn’s single tweet sends Apple’s market value soaring US$8bn

In a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, corporate raider and Apple’s seventh biggest shareholder Carl Icahn said Apple is undervalued and will soon dominate the TV and motor space. The tweet linking to the letter sent Apple’s market value soaring by US$8bn.

Despite many predictions and plenty of R&D homework, Apple is understood to have shelved plans to create a standalone television a year ago. Instead it appears to be doubling down on the Apple TV set-top box to be compatible with the Apple Watch.

However, that hasn’t stopped Icahn insisting Apple has the ways and means to still enter the competitive consumer TV space in 2016 as well as the car market by 2020.

Icahn said he believes the giant is worth US$240 per share.

Pinterest pins top Irish Facebook exec Adele Cooper to spearhead UK operations

The director of global accounts at Facebook in the UK, Irish executive Adele Cooper, is understood to be leaving Facebook to take up the role of head of Pinterest in London.

Stanford and Harvard graduate Cooper is leaving Facebook imminently to spearhead Pinterest’s international growth, according to sources.

Cooper was part of the same management team led by John Herlihy that included Twitter’s Stephen McIntyre, Flipboard’s Colm Long and Facebook’s Sonia Anne Flynn that kickstarted Google’s growth in Dublin, leading it on a path to where it is today, employing 5,000 people directly and indirectly in Dublin. Another member from the same team, Twitter’s former number two in Dublin Don O’Leary, is now heading up Stripe’s expansion in Europe.

Eircom rejects €3.3bn bid as undervaluing company – Blackstone sells 25pc

Eircom is once again at the heart of a bidding war for the company after the operator rejected an offer of €3.3bn as too low.

Eircom has two options before it, either it proceeds on its path to profitability and eventually pursues a public flotation or it gets acquired by another entity. That other entity could either be an investment group or another telecoms operator.

Eircom told the stock exchange that the offer it received was too low and that the issue is not being progressed.

At the same time it has emerged that Eircom’s biggest shareholder, Blackstone, has sold its 25pc stake in Eircom to New York-based Anchorage Capital.

Malaysian e-hailing app GrabTaxi to expand into Jakarta

GrabTaxi is an Uber-style motorbike hailing service operating in Southeast Asia, where two-wheeled vehicles are particularly popular. Already in 18 cities across six countries, the Malaysia-based company is now expanding into Jakarta, Indonesia – a city with a population of 10m.

Launched in 2011, GrabTaxi is now available to passengers in Malaysia, The Phillipines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam, across cities that, because of severe traffic problems, suit motorcycle taxi services as the vehicles can weave their way through the congestion. With Jakarta’s large population and numerous transport challenges, the city seems tailor made for such a service.

“We definitely plan to service a larger area but wanted to focus on a specific area for this beta,” Cheryl Goh, GrabTaxi’s VP of marketing told TechCrunch.

Vodafone image via Shutterstock

Brigid O Gorman is a former sub-editor of Silicon Republic.