Singapore Firm’s Newcastle Bid In New Turmoil As Exec Quits

A top executive at a Singapore firm seeking to buy Newcastle United has quit after police launched a probe into his activities, the company said Wednesday, the latest turmoil for the bid.

Bellagraph Nova Group, founded by two Singaporean entrepreneurs and a Chinese business partner, announced in August it was in “advanced talks” to buy the English Premier League team.

But the bid became mired in controversy over allegations that photos had been doctored to show the trio meeting with former US president Barack Obama, and other inconsistent claims.

Police then began investigating a company linked to Singaporean co-founders Terence and Nelson Loh, after an accounting firm lodged a report over unauthorised signatures on the group’s financial statements.

BN Group said in a statement that Terence Loh has now quit the firm to try and resolve the issues related to the police probe into Novena Global Healthcare.

Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper previously reported that he denied wrongdoing.

Bellagraph Nova Group, founded by two Singaporean entrepreneurs and a Chinese business partner, announced in August it was in "advanced talks" to buy Newcastle United Bellagraph Nova Group, founded by two Singaporean entrepreneurs and a Chinese business partner, announced in August it was in “advanced talks” to buy Newcastle United Photo: POOL / LAURENCE GRIFFITHS

The statement also stressed that BN Group is not “linked to Novena Global Healthcare and its forged financial statements”.

Despite growing doubts about the bid, the firm’s Chinese co-founder Evangeline Shen insisted last week BN Group was still serious about the plan.

She said the company’s team recently met a representative of Newcastle’s owner to discuss the bid, reported to be worth 280 million pounds ($360 million).

BN Group’s bid came after a Saudi-backed consortium withdrew its offer to buy Newcastle in late July, following a months-long wait for Premier League approval.

The company has said it oversees 31 business “entities” worldwide, with a group revenue of $12 billion last year and 23,000

Former Warner Bros. TV Exec Susan Rovner Joins NBCU as Entertainment Programming Chief

Former Warner Bros. TV president Susan Rovner, who left the company Oct. 2, is heading to NBCUniversal to head up entertainment content for all platforms, the company said today. Her title is chairman, entertainment content of NBCUniversal television and streaming.  

Rovner, who spent more than two decades at Warner Bros., will oversee programming for the entire NBCU portfolio, which includes broadcast network NBC, basic cable networks USA, Bravo, E!, Syfy, Oxygen and new streaming service Peacock. Her entertainment programming division consists of separate content groups for scripted, unscripted, late-night and alternative programming.

“Susan is the bold creative force we need as we rethink the future of our business,” said Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBCU television and streaming, in a statement.  “Throughout this process I have been consistently impressed by her strong perspective, track record of success and passion for content. Susan joins a great team that is poised to begin a new era at NBCU.”

Even though news broke of Rovner’s new role in early September, and she announced her exit to Warner Bros. staff soon after, explaining in a memo that she was going “to start a new chapter in my career,” NBCUniversal had declined to confirm she would be joining the company until today.

“NBCU has a deep-rooted tradition of having the best programming from visionary creators, and I feel so grateful for the opportunity to join this incredible organization as it builds on that legacy to head into the future,” said Rovner in a statement.

Nearly two months ago (Aug. 6), new NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell unveiled a major TV and streaming reorganization he had first teased during Comcast’s July earnings call. The new structure created three horizontally integrated units, all of which will report to Mark Lazarus, who was promoted in May as part of an

Controversial former Uber exec Emil Michael has registered plans for a $250 million SPAC

SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies, are all the rage right now, and people are emerging from all corners to raise them.

Among the latest entrants — and someone who might be of interest to Silicon Valley watchers — is Emil Michael, a former Uber executive and top lieutenant to former CEO Travis Kalanick. Earlier today, Micheal registered plans with the SEC to raise $250 million in an IPO for a blank-check company that will broadly acquire a company in the tech sector.

IPO Edge had reported earlier today that the SPAC might be in the works.

The filing lists as special advisors Alphabet’s former executive chairman Eric Schmidt, and Betsy Atkins, a founder of Ascend Communications and investor who has served on so many boards that last year she wrote a book about it. Indeed, among her other roles currently, she’s on the boards of Volvo, Wynn Resorts, and Oyo Hotels.

Michael was as senior vice president of field operations at Tellme Networks, then later served as COO of the startup Klout before landing at Uber, where he was a senior vice president for business for nearly four years.

He gained prominence in the role, but also some disrepute after he publicly made comments about hiring opposition researchers to quite journalists critical of the company and following a later report that he had attended an “escort bar” in Seoul with other Uber executives, including Kalanick. Indeed, when he left the company in 2017, Uber declined to say if he left of his own accord.

Despite — or perhaps even because of — his trajectory at Uber, Michael was reportedly vetted at one point for the position of Secretary of Transportation after Donald Trump was elected president. Now, he apparently sees a way to jump back into tech by using

Flowhub hires former Glassdoor exec Stephanie Jenkins as SVP of sales

  • Cannabis tech startup Flowhub hired Stephanie Jenkins as an SVP of sales. She was formerly an executive at Glassdoor.
  • Jenkins told Business Insider that when she was evaluating new opportunities, cannabis tech was the highest risk — but also potentially the highest reward — for her career. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When Stephanie Jenkins got on a Zoom call in early May, she knew it would be one of the toughest days of her career.

Then an exec at the job-hunting site Glassdoor, Jenkins says she understood the economic recession caused by the pandemic hurt many industries, but perhaps none more than recruiting. As company budgets dry up, hiring is usually the first cost on the chopping block. 

“I had to fire my entire team of about 160 people over a Zoom call that morning,” Jenkins told Business Insider over the phone. Glassdoor laid off around 300 people that day, mostly shuttering its Chicago office, and Jenkins said that as part of those layoffs she’d be leaving her job by the summer.

Jenkins said that while she was still at Glassdoor, she’d had a series of conversations with Flowhub CEO Kyle Sherman. When the two set up a formal interview, Jenkins said what was supposed to be a 45-minute interview turned into a two-and-a-half-hour conversation.

“We talked very theoretically about where the business is going, how it’s operating, and how to make it better,” Jenkins said. 

Read more: The buzziest startup in cannabis doesn’t even sell marijuana. Meet Flowhub, the cannabis-tech platform that’s already signed on more than 900 dispensaries.

In September, Jenkins made the jump into the cannabis industry as Flowhub’s senior vice president of sales, a strong signal that investors and executives from inside and outside of cannabis think that the tech side of

A leading Silicon Valley exec says Big Tech prioritized lower costs over employees’ wellbeing, and it’s created a feudalist system where workers are left to fend for themselves



a man riding on the back of a truck: Sean Gallup/Getty Images


© Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

  • Maëlle Gavet is a leading Silicon Valley executive, entrepreneur, investor, and most recently, the chief operating officer at real estate platform Compass.
  • The following is an excerpt from her first book, “Trampled by Unicorns: Big Tech’s Empathy Problem and How to Fix It.”
  • In it, she examines how Big Tech’s failure to empathize with customers and workers has led to “digital era’s equivalent of feudalism.”
  • In her in-depth critique of the world’s largest tech corporations — including Amazon, Uber, and Google — she crafts an earnest call to action for industry leaders, board members, employees, and consumers to get tech back on track. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Right now the jury is still out on whether the tech economy is ultimately a job creator or a job destroyer. As with many of the points in this book, that topic is complex, nuanced, and polarizing.

As of today, while tech has upended some businesses, it has helped drive expansion in so many industries that the net effect is likely more jobs, even if there is disagreement over how to quantify it. Whether that will be true as automation driven by artificial intelligence expands throughout the economy is another matter. Either way, it is critical that we look deeper than simple employment numbers.



polygon: "Trampled by Unicorns: Big Tech's Empathy Problem and How to Fix It," by Maëlle Gavet. Courtesy of Wiley.


© Courtesy of Wiley.
“Trampled by Unicorns: Big Tech’s Empathy Problem and How to Fix It,” by Maëlle Gavet. Courtesy of Wiley.

Tech defenders argue that the information revolution is no different from others in history. One can certainly draw parallels to the industrial revolution, for example: Powered by relentless innovation, it, too, created new jobs while killing others.

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What is different is the degree to which tech companies, and unicorns in particular, have changed the nature