▲ Winner: Alibaba
Don’t forget: you read it in CB’s 2014 Outlook issue first
The massive China-based online retailer announced on May 6 that it had filed an IPO, and before you could say “open sesame” financial experts were predicting it would out-raise previous record-breaking offerings set by Facebook ($16 billion) and Visa ($20 billion). Founder Jack Ma, already China’s fifth richest person, with a net worth of $8.4 billion, is set to become even richer, thanks to his 8.9% ownership. The sale is also a potential boon to Yahoo, which owns 22.6% of Alibaba, and could see a payday of up to $10 billion as a result. Yahoo’s success or failure will depend on how it handles that windfall—not to mention how it handles becoming overshadowed by what many believe will be the next global tech powerhouse.
▼ Loser: Target
Zellers, all is forgiven!
The retailing giant’s aim has been more than a little off-target of late. On May 5 CEO Gregg Steinhafel resigned after the board suggested that it was time for new leadership. This follows a massive breach of Target’s digital data system that resulted in 40 million stolen customer debit and credit card numbers. The chain’s Canadian expansion also had a rough year, as Target’s inability to stock shelves and offer competitive pricing could result in as much as a $2 billion loss. Not that Target is doing so hot in the U.S. right now either. Apparently, even Bullseye the dog is now denying best-friend status with Steinhafel.