Three Things (June 10th)

Commentary6 days ago
“What’s behind you doesn’t matter.” - Enzo Ferrari
1) In race to innovate, Ferrari taps semiconductor chip veteran as new CEO
Six months after former CEO Louis Camilleri’s decision to step down after a tough battle with COVID-19, the Italian sportscar maker announced the appointment of electronics pioneer Benedetto Vigna as the company’s new CEO. Vigna is a veteran of STMicroelectronics, a French-Italian semiconductor and electronics manufacturer, and was previously head of the company’s sensors group. While the appointment of Vigna came as a surprise to some, Ferrari’s announcement underscores the accelerating transformation taking place in the automotive industry, as companies transition from the era of gas-powered engines to the dawning future of electric vehicles.
2) Amazon capitalizes on pandemic-fueled e-commerce boom with advertising price hikes
According to a report published by Marketplace Pulse, Amazon’s search advertising rates increased by more than 50% year-over-year to a somewhat staggering $1.16 per click during May. While conversion rates have remained stable, the average advertising cost of sale (ACoS) has risen from 22% in 2020 to over 30% in May 2021. Amazon’s ability to materially increase its advertising rates and revenue demonstrates not only the very healthy demand for its $20B advertising division, but also the make-or-break importance for many businesses of building and maintaining a robust e-commerce presence amid the pandemic-fueled surge in online shopping.
3) Twitter launches new subscription feature in bid to diversify company revenues
On Wednesday, Twitter announced the long-awaited launch of its “Twitter Blue” subscription service, with new features that grant users the ability to “unsend” tweets and organize posts for $2.99/month. While Twitter remains highly reliant on its advertising business, which comprises 85% of the company’s annual revenues, Twitter Blue and other recently-launched Twitter products, including Tipping and Spaces, underscore the company’s focus on creating new revenue streams.

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