Feb 15, 2017

WhatsApp brings on new exec as it looks to make money

Tecnomovida Caracas / Flickr Creative Commons

Recode's Kurt Wagner reports — and the company confirms — that WhatsApp has picked up a new executive from parent company Facebook. Matt Idema will serve as the messaging platform's first-ever chief operating officer.

What's his deal: His last job at Facebook was a high-level marketing role.

Why it matters: WhatsApp has a large user base but hasn't yet figured out how to convert that into a thriving business. Recode reports that Idema will be working on monetizing the product, which Facebook purchased in 2014 for $22 billion. There are other signs that the company is focused on earning money from WhatsApp: last year, the platform announced that it would start sharing some user data with Facebook — a potentially valuable move for the digital ad powerhouse.

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Scoop: Staples refuses to pay landlords for April rents

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Staples recently informed landlords that it will not pay April rents for its U.S. stores, even though the locations remain open, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Commercial landlords are stuck in a tightening vise, forgiving or deferring payments from shuttered tenants while still needing to meet their own mortgage obligations.

EIA forecasts U.S. oil boom will reverse amid coronavirus disruption

Data: EIA; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Pain in the U.S. oil patch from the coronavirus outbreak is no longer on the horizon. It's here, and several new reports and data points show how quickly it's happening.

Driving the news: The Energy Information Administration yesterday released a sharp downward revision to its U.S. crude oil production forecast.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 a.m. ET: 1,446,262 — Total deaths: 83,424 — Total recoveries: 308,146Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 a.m. ET: 399,929 — Total deaths: 12,911 — Total recoveries: 22,539Map.
  3. 2020 latest: The results for Wisconsin's primary elections won't be released until April 13. Thousands of residents cast ballots in person.
  4. Trump admin latest: Trump's moves against federal watchdogs signal "deep state" war
  5. Public health latest: Surgeon General Jerome Adams highlighted the disproportionate impact the illness is having on African-American communities.
  6. 🚌 Public transit: Systems across the country are experiencing ridership collapse, squeezed funding streams and slow recovery from the pandemic.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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