Afternoon Coffee: Lystable Rebrands as Kalo, Activists Investigating Ivanka Trump Supplier Are Now Missing


Freelancer collaboration platform Lystable has officially rebranded as Kalo, and it has received financial backing from PayPal co-founders Max Levchin and Peter Thiel, CNBC reports. Although chief executive Pete Johnston sought input from a consulting firm as well as from the platform’s 50,000 freelancers, the new name came from a ship Johnston saw in the San Francisco Bay.

“The name change and rebranding seem to reflect a shift in focus from just freelancer management and control to the enablement of teams and collaboration,” said Andrew Karpie, research director of services and labor procurement at Spend Matters.

Supplier Investigators Missing

One activist investigating workplace conditions at a Chinese supplier that manufactures shoes for the Ivanka Trump brand has been arrested, and two others are missing, AP reports. All three activists are associated with the New York-based nonprofit China Labor Watch, which has said that the three were due to publish "a report next month alleging low pay, excessive overtime and possible misuse of student labor."

China Labor Watch has been investigating labor conditions at suppliers to the world's biggest companies for nearly two decades. As Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell put it, "Supplier sustainability issues can definitely bite you in the Gucci."

Shareholder Rebellion

Going against management, Exxon Mobil investors holding 62.3% of shares voted in favor of a proposal calling for the company to disclose climate risks, the Washington Post reports. Financial giants BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street are reportedly behind this resolution. The vote comes at an interesting time as President Donald Trump is expected to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement.

Game Over

Procuring a Nintendo Switch right now seems like no small challenge, given that the gaming console is sold out almost everywhere. The shortage is due to limited supplies of computer servers using flash memory, the Wall Street Journal reports. Nintendo competes with companies such as Apple Inc. for these parts, and suppliers tend to favor the latter, for they place larger orders.

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