- Associated Press - Monday, May 12, 2014

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Apple CEO dares to be different from Steve Jobs

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - “Think different” became Apple’s creed under Steve Jobs‘ reign as CEO. Now chief executive Tim Cook is embracing the idea, while making decisions that would have seemed crazy to his fabled predecessor.

Cook is straying from Jobs‘ cash-hoarding habits by committing to return $130 billion to shareholders. He has orchestrated a company stock split and agreed to match employees’ charitable contributions up to $10,000 annually. And under Cook, Apple also is working to improve labor conditions, reduce pollution and make major acquisitions.

The shift in management philosophy has resulted in an odd twist: Apple Inc.’s pace of innovation has slowed and it now looks more like a conventional company than the corporate rebel Jobs tried to cultivate.

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Hillshire looks beyond meat with Birds Eye, Vlasic

NEW YORK (AP) - Hillshire Brands is pushing further outside the deli case with a deal to buy the maker of Birds Eye frozen vegetables, Duncan Hines cakes mixes and Hungry-Man frozen dinners.

The Chicago-based company, which makes Hillshire Farm lunch meats, Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park franks, said Monday that it would buy Pinnacle Foods in a deal valued at $4.23 billion. The move extends Hillshire’s reach into other sections of the supermarket as more Americans watch how much meat they’re eating.

Pinnacle’s brands include Wish-Bone salad dressing, Celeste frozen pizzas and Vlasic pickles.

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Godzilla proves even giant monsters need lawyers

Even Godzilla needs a good lawyer sometimes.

Attorneys acting on behalf of Godzilla’s owners, Toho Co. Ltd., have amassed a string of victories in recent decades, fighting counterfeiters and business titans along the way. The litigation has kept Godzilla’s brand thriving and helped pave the way for commercial and merchandising tie-ins that will accompany the monster’s return to the big screen on Friday after a 10 year hiatus.

Godzilla’s image is for sale, but permission is needed.

Story Continues →